Quotations From W.H. (WYSTAN HUGH) AUDEN


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  • You must go to bed with friends or whores, where money makes up the difference in beauty or desire.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "10 December, 1947," The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. by Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins (1990).

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  • It's impossible to represent a saint [in Art]. It becomes boring. Perhaps because he is, like the Saturday Evening Post people, in the position of having almost infinitely free will.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "November 16, 1946," The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. by Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins (1990).

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  • Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "November 16, 1946," The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. by Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins (1990).

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  • You know there are no secrets in America. It's quite different in England, where people think of a secret as a shared relation between two people.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "16 March, 1948," (1990). The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. by Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins.

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  • Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "Writing," pt. 1, The Dyer's Hand (1962).

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  • You have to see the sex act comically, as a child.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "March 17 (1947)," The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. by Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins (1990).

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  • Literary confessors are contemptible, like beggars who exhibit their sores for money, but not so contemptible as the public that buys their books.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "Hic et Ille, sct. B," pt. 3, The Dyer's Hand (1962).

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  • Between friends differences in taste or opinion are irritating in direct proportion to their triviality.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "Hic et Ille," pt. 3, sct. D, The Dyer's Hand (1962).
  • When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-U.S. poet. The Dyer's Hand, pt. 2, "The Poet & the City," (1962).
  • Anyone who has a child today should train him to be either a physicist or a ballet dancer. Then he'll escape.
    W.H. (Wystan Hugh) Auden (1907-1973), Anglo-American poet. "January 15, 1947," The Table Talk of W.H. Auden, comp. Alan Ansen, ed. Nicholas Jenkins (1990).

    Read more quotations about / on: today, child
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