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George Meredith
Moreover, to touch and kindle the mind through laughter demands, more than sprightliness, a most subtle delicacy. That must be a natal gift in the comic poet.
John Milton
What besides God has resolved concerning me I know not, but this at least - He has instilled into me, if into any one, a vehement love of the beautiful.
John Henry Cardinal Newman
He writes passionately, because he feels keenly. Forcibly, because he conceives vividly. He sees too clearly to be vague. He is too serious to be otiose. He can analyze his subject, and therefore he is rich.
Walter Pater
The blithe, crisp sentence, decisive, as a child's expression of its needs, may alternate with the long-contending, victoriously intricate sentence.
Sir Walter Raleigh
At least these great artists of the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries are agreed upon one thing, that the public, even in its most gracious mood, makes an ill task-master for the man of letters.
John Ruskin
It seems to me, and may seem to the reader, strange that we should need to ask the question, What is poetry? I come to the conclusion, that poetry is the suggestion, by the imagination, of noble grounds for the noble emotions.
Sir Walter Scott
If I have a knack for anything it is for selecting the striking and interesting points out of dull details, and hence I myself receive so much pleasure and instruction from volumes which are generally reputed dull and uninteresting.
Robert Southey
To Charlotte Bronte. It is not my advice that you have asked as to the direction of your talents, but my opinion of them. And yet the opinion may be worth little, and the advice much.
Herbert Spencer
We have a priori reasons for believing that in every sentence there is some one order of words more effective than any other.
Robert Louis Stevenson
We have heard a story, indeed, of a painter in France who, when he wanted to paint a sea-beach, carried realism from his ends to his means, and plastered real sand upon his canvas. And that is precisely what is done in the drama.
William Makepeace Thackeray
In a pretty large experience I have not found the men who write books superior in wit or learning to those who don't write at all. In regard of mere information, non-writers must often be superior to writers.
It is a great matter to observe propriety in these several modes of expression compound words, strange (or rare) words, and so forth. But the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor.
Words should be marshaled in the following way. First should be placed those that are not especially vivid. In the second or last place should come those that are distinctly so.
Genius, it is said, is born and does not come of teaching, and the only art for producing it is nature. Works of natural genius, so people think, are spoiled and utterly demeaned by being reduced to the dry bones of rule and precept.
Is not the power of appearance that deceiving art which makes us wander up and down and take the things at one time of which we repent at another, both in our actions and in our choice of things great and small?
Honore De Balzac
One can put a good deal of black on white in twelve hours, little sister, and after a month of such life there's no small work accomplished. Poor pen! it must be made of diamond not to be worn out by such toil!
Francois Rene Vicomte De Chateaubriand
I have explored the seas of the Old World and the New, and trod the soil of the four quarters of the globe. After camping in Iroquois shelters and Arab tents, in the wigwams of the Hurons, amid the remains of Athens, Jerusalem, Memphis, Carthage, Grenada, among Greeks, Turks and Moors, in forests and among ruins.
Denis Diderot
Until the present day a novel was considered a frivolous tissue of fanciful events, the study of which was dangerous to our tastes and our morals.
Alexandre Dumas
Comparatively speaking, the making of Henri III was speedy. When the plot was once clearly set out in my mind, I took barely two months to complete the work.
Gustave Flaubert
I even think that a novelist has not the right to express his own opinion on any subject whatever. He may communicate it, but I do not like him to say it. (That is part of my art of poetry.)
Anatole France
I thank fate for having made me be born poor. Poverty taught me the true value of the gifts useful to life.
Victor Hugo
The poet in reality does more than relate, he exhibits. Poets have in them a reflector, observation, and a condenser, emotion. Thence those grand luminous spectres which burst out from their brain, and which go on blazing for ever on the gloomy human wall.
Pierre Loti
I have written pages, many and long, about Tahiti. In them there are endless details, even as to the appearance of the tiniest plants -- the physiognomy of its mosses.
Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
If the purpose of comedy is to correct the vices of men, I do not see why some comedies should be privileged to do so, others not.
Michel De Montaigne
Language gains in value not so much by being handled and used by vigorous minds, not so much from innovations, as by being put to more forcible and various service, stretching it and bending it.
Michel De Montaigne
But how little this agility is given to all men is seen in so many French writers of this age. They are bold enough and scornful enough not to follow the common path; but lack of invention and discretion is their undoing.
Jean Baptiste Racine
You seem by your letter-to envy Mad. C. because she has read more plays and romances than you have. I will give you my sentiments on that head, with the sincerity which it is my duty to use towards you.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself.
Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
A delicate question, to which somewhat diverse solutions might be given according to times and seasons.
George Sand
Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age, and to imagine right up to the brink of death that life is only beginning.
Francois Marie Arouet De Voltaire
What are they but miserable birds, with their wings close clipped, who, longing to soar, are for ever falling back to earth, breaking their legs! You have a fearless genius, and your work sparkles with imagination.
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