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Quotations From ROBERTSON DAVIES

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  • 1.
    I see Canada as a country torn between a very northern, rather extraordinary, mystical spirit which it fears and its desire to present itself to the world as a Scotch banker.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. "The Table Talk of Robertson Davies," The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990).

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  • 2.
    Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman. The right sort of woman can distinguish between Creative Lassitude and plain shiftlessness.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. repr. In The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990). "The Writer's Week," Toronto Daily Star (March 28, 1959).

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  • 3.
    What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. Simon Darcourt, in "Who Asked the Question?" pt. 1, What's Bred in the Bone (1985).
  • 4.
    The greatest gift that Oxford gives her sons is, I truly believe, a genial irreverence toward learning, and from that irreverence love may spring.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. repr. In The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1979). "Shakespeare over the Port," Stratford Papers on Shakespeare (1960).

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  • 5.
    Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. Saraceni, in "What Would Not Out of the Flesh?" pt. 4, What's Bred in the Bone (1985).
  • 6.
    A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. repr. In The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1979). "Too Much, Too Fast," Peterborough Examiner (Canada, June 16, 1962).

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  • 7.
    I think of an author as somebody who goes into the marketplace and puts down his rug and says, "I will tell you a story," and then he passes the hat.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. "The Table Talk of Robertson Davies," The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990).
  • 8.
    Pornography is rather like trying to find out about a Beethoven symphony by having somebody tell you about it and perhaps hum a few bars.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. "The Table Talk of Robertson Davies," The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990).
  • 9.
    No people in the world can make you feel so small as the English.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. "The Table Talk of Robertson Davies," The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies (1990).

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  • 10.
    Canada is not really a place where you are encouraged to have large spiritual adventures.
    Robertson Davies (b. 1913), Canadian novelist, journalist. The Enthusiasms of Robertson Davies, "The Table Talk of Robertson Davies," (1990).
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