Lillian Hellman Quotes (34 Quotes)

    I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashion.

    God helps all the children as they move into a time of life they do not understand and must struggle through with precepts they have picked from the garbage can of older people, clinging with the passion of the lost to odds and ends that will mess th

    We are a people who do not want to keep much of the past in our heads. It is considered unhealthy in America to remember mistakes, neurotic to think about them, psychotic to dwell on them.

    Tallulah was sitting in a group of people, giving the monologue she always thought was conversation.

    Failure in the theater is more dramatic and uglier than any other form of writing. It costs so much, you feel so guilty.

    Lonely people, in talking to each other, can make each other lonelier.

    It was an unspoken pleasure, that having come together so many years, ruined so much and repaired a little, we had endured.

    For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt.

    It may be the only country in the world where the rich are sometimes brilliant

    Success isn't everything but it makes a man stand straight.

    Intellectuals can tell themselves anything, sell themselves any bill of goods, which is why they were so often patsies for the ruling classes in nineteenth-century France and England, or twentieth-century Russia and America.

    They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

    It is a mark of many famous people that they cannot part with their brightest hour.

    If you believe, as the Greeks did, that man is at the mercy of the gods, then you write tragedy. The end is inevitable from the beginning. But if you believe that man can solve his own problems and is at nobody's mercy, then you will probably write melodrama.

    Nothing you write, if you hope to be good, will ever come out as you first hoped.

    I like people who refuse to speak until they are ready to speak.

    Nothing, of course, begins at the time you think it did.

    Belief is a moral act for which the believer is to be held responsible.

    It is not good to see people who have been pretending strength all their lives lose it even for a minute.

    There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. And other people who stand around and watch them eat.

    Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels.

    Decisions, particularly important ones, have always made me sleepy, perhaps because I know that I will have to make them by instinct, and thinking things out is only what other people tell me I should do

    Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge's chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view.

    Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?

    What a word is truth. Slippery, tricky, unreliable. I tried in these books to tell the truth.

    It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it.

    Unjust. How many times I've used that word, scolded myself with it. All I mean by it now is that I don't have the final courage to say that I refuse to preside over violations against myself, and to hell with justice.

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