Archive

Quotes

Everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art—that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance.

—Tennessee Williams, 1944

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

—Aristotle, c. 350 BC

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term art, I should call it “the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul.” The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of “artist.”

—Edgar Allan Poe, 1849

The work of art, just like any fragment of human life considered in its deepest meaning, seems to me devoid of value if it does not offer the hardness, the rigidity, the regularity, the luster on every interior and exterior facet, of the crystal.

—André Breton, 1937

If my books had been any worse I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better I should not have come.

—Raymond Chandler, 1945

All art is a revolt against man’s fate.

—André Malraux, 1951

If a king loves music, there is little wrong in the land.

—Mencius , c. 330 BC

We possess art lest we perish of the truth.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1887

I cannot live without books, but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1815

When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man.

—Blaise Pascal, c. 1657

The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.

—Lester Bangs, 1971

If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay in solid cash—the tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.

—Aldous Huxley, 1926

It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mold, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work.

—Edward Gibbon, c. 1790