Quotations About / On: HUMOR

  • 41.
    We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.
    (Martha Graham (1894-1991), U.S. dancer, choreographer. "The American Dance," Modern Dance, ed. Virginia Stewart (1935).)
    More quotations from: Martha Graham, dance, humor, life
  • 42.
    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.)
    More quotations from: James Thurber, humor
  • 43.
    There's terrific merit in having no sense of humour, no sense of irony, practically no sense of anything at all. If you're born with these so-called defects you have a very good chance of getting to the top.
    (Peter Cook (b. 1937), British comedian. quoted in Beyond the Fringe ... and Beyond, pt. 4, Ronald Bergan (1989).)
    More quotations from: Peter Cook, irony
  • 44.
    Cold eyes ... steel grey, rather small, not unpleasant in good-humour, diabolic in a passion, but worst when a little suspicious; then they watch you as though you were a young rattle-snake, to be killed when convenient.
    (Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), U.S. historian. John Carrington in Democracy, p. 15, Library of America (1983). Referring to Senator Silas P. Ratcliffe.)
  • 45.
    Remember that the wit, humour, and jokes of most mixed companies are local. They thrive in that particular soil, but will not often bear transplanting.
    (Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773), British statesman, man of letters. letter, Oct. 29, 1748, Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. II, p. 95, London (1774).)
  • 46.
    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).)
    More quotations from: William Hazlitt, nature
  • 47.
    I do not correct my first imaginings by my second—well, yes, perhaps a word or so, but only to vary, not to delete. I want to represent the course of my humors and I want people to see each part at its birth.
    (Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of the Resemblance of Children to Fathers," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. II, ch. 37, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).)
    More quotations from: Michel de Montaigne, birth, people
  • 48.
    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.)
    More quotations from: Thomas Jefferson, humor, truth
  • 49.
    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).)
    More quotations from: Lionel Trilling, irony, humor
  • 50.
    Dostoevski is not a great writer, but a rather mediocre one—with 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.")
    More quotations from: Vladimir Nabokov, humor
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