Quotations About / On: HUMOR
Men's happiness and misery depends altogether as much upon their own humor as it does upon fortune.
(François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), French writer, moralist. repr. F.A. Stokes Co., New York (c. 1930). Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 62 (1665-1678), trans. London (1706).)
Charlie Chaplin's genius was in comedy. He has no sense of humor, particularly about himself.
(Lita Grey Chaplin (b. 1908), U.S. actor, second wife of Charlie Chaplin. Radio interview, 1974. Quoted in Richard Lamparski, Whatever Became Of ...?, Eighth Series (1982).)
The overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualitiesa sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. The Wit and Wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt, On America, p. 5, eds. Peter and Helen Beilenson, Peter Pauper Press (1982).)
From sixteen to twenty, all women, kept in humor by their hopes and by their attractions, appear to be good-natured.
(Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), British novelist. First edition, London (1753-1754). John Greville, in Sir Charles Grandison, vol. 1, letter 2, Oxford University Press (1972, repr. 1986).)
The nation that complacently and fearfully allows its artists and writers to become suspected rather than respected is no longer regarded as a nation possessed with humor in depth.
(James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. New York Times Magazine (Dec. 7, 1958).
In response to the question of whether humor was in decline in the United States.)
Humour is the making others act or talk absurdly and unconsciously; wit is the pointing out and ridiculing that absurdity consciously, and with more or less ill-nature.
(William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Dryden and Pope," Lectures on the English Poets (1818).)
In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
(Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. letter, Nov. 24, 1808, to his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph.)
Probably it is impossible for humor to be ever a revolutionary weapon. Candide can do little more than generate irony.
(Lionel Trilling (1905-1975), U.S. critic. Partisan Review 50th Anniversary Edition, notebook entry 1931-1932, ed. William Philips (1985).)
Dostoevski is not a great writer, but a rather mediocre onewith flashes of excellent humor, but, alas, with wastelands of literary platitudes in between.
(Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born U.S. novelist, poet. "Fyodor Dostoevski," Lectures on Russian Literature (1981).
"From the point of view of enduring art and individual genius.")
An emotional man may possess no humor, but a humorous man usually has deep pockets of emotion, sometimes tucked away or forgotten.
(Constance Rourke (1885-1941), U.S. author. American Humor, ch. 1 (1931).)