Robertson Davies Quotes (77 Quotes)


    No people on earth can make you feel so small as the English

    Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.

    We wanted to meet him, for though we were neither of us naive people we had not wholly lost our belief that it is delightful to meet artists who have given us pleasure.

    Several children present me with scraps of paper for autographs obviously don't know who I am and don't care. I sign Jackie Collins and they go away quite content.



    May I make a suggestion, hoping it is not an impertinence? Write it down: write down what you feel. It is sometimes a wonderful help in misery.

    To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser.

    Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.

    Comparatively few people know what a million dollars actually is. To the majority it is a gaseous concept, swelling or decreasing as the occasion suggests.

    There are times when I think that the reading that I have done in the past has had no effect except to cloud my mind and make me indecisive.

    She has been kissed as often as a police-court Bible, and by much the same class of people

    I heard his library burned down and both books were destroyed - and one of them hadn't even been colored in yet.

    I never heard of anyone who was really literate or who ever really loved books who wanted to suppress any of them.

    The most original thing a writer can do is write like himself. It is also his most difficult task.

    He types his labored column - weary drudge Senile fudge and solemn spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.

    It isn't everybody who is the hero of his own romance, and when we meet one he is likely to be a fascinating monster

    Literary critics, however, frequently suffer from a curious belief that every author longs to extend the boundaries of literary art, wants to explore new dimensions of the human spirit, and if he doesn't, he should be ashamed of himself.

    In my experience tact is usually worse than the brutalities of truth

    The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need.


    Tristan and Isolde were lucky to die when they did. They'd have been sick of all that rubbish in a year.

    Too much traffic with a quotation book begets a conviction of ignorance in a sensitive reader. Not only is there a mass of quotable stuff he never quotes, but an even vaster realm of which he has never heard.

    Art is wine and experience is the brandy we distill from it



    Other-directed appears to be nothing more than a sociological term for weak-minded

    The wit of a graduate student is like champagne. Canadian champagne.

    The average politician goes through a sentence like a man exploring a disused mine shaft-blind, groping, timorous and in imminent danger of cracking his shins on a subordinate clause or a nasty bit of subjunctive.

    What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us.

    Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman. The right sort of woman can distinguish between Creative Lassitude and plain shiftlessness.


    Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.

    For I was a collaborator with Destiny, not one who put a pistol to its head and demanded particular treasures

    Imagination is a good horse to carry you over the ground not a flying carpet to set you free from probability.

    The dog is a yes-animal. Very popular with people who can't afford a yes man.

    Pessimism is a very easy way out because it is a short view of life. If you look at what is happening around us today, you cant help but feel that life is a terrible complexity of problems. But if you look back a few thousand years, you realize that we have advanced fantastically. If you take a long view, I do not see how you can be pessimistic about the future of mankind.

    Whether you are really right or wrong doesn't matter it's the belief that counts.


    The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealised past.

    The quality of what is said inevitably influences the way in which it is said, however inexperienced the writer.

    A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.


    Canada is not really a place where you are encouraged to have large spiritual adventures.

    There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.

    The young are often accused of exaggerating their troubles they do so, very often, in the hope of making some impression upon the inertia and the immovability of the selfish old.

    The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won't shut up

    Women say ... that if men had to have babies there would soon be no babies in the world.... I have sometimes wished that some clever man would actually have a baby in some new labor-saving way then all men could take it up, and one of the oldest taunts in the world would be stilled forever.

    Female beauty in an important Minor Sacrament which cannot be received too often I am no sure at all that the neglect of it does not constitute a sin of some kind.

    Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody. I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best.

    The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater.


    More Robertson Davies Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Books - Man - World - Life - People - Pleasure - Fate & Destiny - Past - English - Belief & Faith - Mind - Love - Wisdom & Knowledge - Time - Woman - Youth - Education - Age - Future - View All Robertson Davies Quotations

    Related Authors


    Charles Dickens - Thomas Hardy - Sidney Sheldon - Richard Bach - Miguel de Cervantes - Louisa May Alcott - Katherine Dunn - J. R. R. Tolkien - Elizabeth Gilbert - Aldous Huxley


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