Quotations About / On:
Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be describedand will be, after our deathsby each of the family members who believe they know us.
(Gloria Steinem (b. 1934), U.S. feminist writer, editor. "Ruth's Song," Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1984).)
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
(George Orwell (1903-1950), British author. "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool," Shooting an Elephant (1950).)
And forever goodbye! Forever! Oh, Sir, can you imagine how dreadful this cruel word sounds when one loves?
(Jean Racine (1639-1699), French playwright. Berenice, in Berenice, act 4, sc. 5 (1670).
Berenice is being forced to leave Titus forever.)
We are at heart so profoundly anarchistic that the only form of state we can imagine living in is Utopian; and so cynical that the only Utopia we can believe in is authoritarian.
(Lionel Trilling (1905-1975), U.S. critic. Notebook entry, 1948. Partisan Review 50th Anniversary Edition, ed. William Philips (1985).)
Comedy has to be done en clair. You can't blunt the edge of wit or the point of satire with obscurity. Try to imagine a famous witty saying that is not immediately clear.
(James Thurber (1894-1961), U.S. humorist, illustrator. Letter, March 11, 1954, to critic and poet Malcolm Cowley. Collecting Himself (1989).)
[A] Dada exhibition. Another one! What's the matter with everyone wanting to make a museum piece out of Dada? Dada was a bomb ... can you imagine anyone, around half a century after a bomb explodes, wanting to collect the pieces, sticking it together and displaying it?
(Max Ernst (1891-1976), German painter, poet. Quoted in C.W.E. Bigsby, Dada and Surrealism, ch. 1 (1972).)
The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
(Albert Camus (1913-1960), French-Algerian philosopher, author. "The Myth of Sisyphus," The Myth of Sisyphus (1942, trans. 1955).
Last words of this work.)
Pornographers subvert this last, vital privacy; they do our imagining for us. They take away the words that were of the night and shout them over the roof-tops, making them hollow.
(George Steiner (b. 1929), French-born U.S. critic, novelist. "Nightworks," Language and Silence (1967).)
The movies today are too rich to have any room for genuine artists. They produce a few passable craftsmen, but no artists. Can you imagine a Beethoven making $100,000 a year?
(H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. "Appendix from Moronia," Prejudices (1937).)
You may try but you can never imagine what it is to have a man's form of genius in you, and to suffer the slavery of being a girl.
(George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian) Evans] (1819-1880), British novelist, editor. Deronda's mother, in Daniel Deronda, bk. 7, ch. 51 (1874-1876).)