Cyril Connolly

(1903_1974 / Coventry)

Cyril Connolly Quotes

  • ''A best-seller is the golden touch of mediocre talent.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. Quoted in David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir, ch. 11 (1983).
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  • ''The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. Quoted in David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir, epilogue (1983).
  • ''The artist is a member of the leisured classes who cannot pay for his leisure.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. Quoted in David Pryce-Jones, "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," p. 241, Journal and Memoir (1983).
  • ''He is the bully on the Left Bank, always ready to twist the milksop's arm.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. Quoted in The Observer (London, May 24, 1964).
  • ''Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph—green leaves, dear reader, on a dead tree.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," published in David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir (1983). Pryce-Jones chose these words for his book's epigraph.
  • ''Idleness [is] only a coarse name for my infinite capacity for living in the present.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," p. 228, David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir (1983).
  • ''Youth [is] a period of missed opportunities.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," p. 163, David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir (1983).
  • ''Except for poverty, incompatibility, opposition of parents, absence of love on one side and of desire to marry on both, nothing stands in the way of our happy union.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," p. 159, published in David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir (1983).
  • ''No taste is so acquired as that for someone else's quality of mind.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. "The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937," p. 230, David Pryce-Jones, Journal and Memoir (1983).
  • ''The English language is like a broad river on whose bank a few patient anglers are sitting, while, higher up, the stream is being polluted by a string of refuse-barges tipping out their muck.''
    Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. The Unquiet Grave, pt. 3, Harper (1944).

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