Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
Almost all the people who've had the most effect on me I seem to have met by chance, yet looking back it seems as though I couldn't but have met them.
It is cruel to discover one's mediocrity only when it is too late. It does not improve the temper.
The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.
She had no mercy. He looked at her neck and thought how he would like to jab it with the knife he had for his muffin. He knew enough anatomy to make pretty certain of getting the carotid artery. And at the same time he wanted to cover her pale, thin face with kisses.
But Philip was impatient with himself; he called to mind his idea of the pattern of life: the unhappiness he had suffered was no more than part of a decoration which was elaborate and beautiful; he told himself strenuously that he must accept with gaiety everything, dreariness and excitement, pleasure and pain, because it added to the richness of the design.
Art is triumphant when it can use convention as an instrument of its own purpose.
It might be that to surrender to happiness was to accept defeat, but it was a defeat better than many victories.
Well, you know when people are no good at anything else they become writers.
The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment.
From old habit, unconsciously he thanked God that he no longer believed in Him.
For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay...
It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary.
You know, the Philistines have long since discarded the rack and stake as a means of suppressing the opinions they feared: they've discovered a much more deadly weapon of destruction -- the wisecrack.
The fact was that he had ceased to believe not for this reason or the other, but because he had not the religious temperament.
He did not care if she was heartless, vicious and vulgar, stupid and grasping, he loved her. He would rather have misery with one than happiness with the other.
I could see that Isabel listened to him with growing exasperation. Larry had no notion that he was driving a dagger in her heart and with his every detached word twisting it in the wound. But when she spoke it was with a faint smile on her lips.
It's no use crying over spilt milk, because all of the forces of the universe were bent on spilling it.
You're beginning to dislike me, aren't you? Well, dislike me. It doesn't make any difference to me now.
The idealist withdrew himself, because he could not suffer the jostling of the human crowd; he had not the strength to fight and so called the battle vulgar; he was vain, and since his fellows would not take him at his own estimate, consoled himself with despising his fellows.
He exulted in the possession of himself once more; he realized how much of the delight of the world he had lost when he was absorbed in that madness which they called love; he had had enough of it; he did not want to be in love anymore if love was that.
I happen to think we've set our ideal on the wrong objects; I happen to think that the greatest ideal man can set before himself is self-perfection.
Kant thought things, not because they were true, but because he was Kant.
The important thing was to love rather than to be loved.
He found that it was easy to make a heroic gesture, but hard to abide by its results.
I wish I could make you see how much fuller the life I offer you is than anything you have a conception of. I wish I could make you see how exciting the life of the spirit is and how rich in experience. It's illimitable. It's such a happy life. There's only one thing like it, when you're up in a plane by yourself, high, high, and only infinity surrounds you. You're intoxicated by the boundless space.
Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. When things are at their worst I find something always happens.
The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.
He knew that all things human are transitory and therefore that it must cease one day or another. He looked forward to that day with eager longing. Love was like a parasite in his heart, nourishing a hateful existence on his life's blood; it absorbed his existence so intensely that he could take pleasure in nothing else.
In business sharp practice sometimes succeeds, but in art honesty is not only the best but the only policy.
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Man - Love - Youth - People - World - Beauty - Habit - Pleasure - Mind - Art - Praise - Soul - Woman - Literature - Happiness - Characters - Money & Wealth - Jokes & Humor - View All W. Somerset Maugham Quotations
More W. Somerset Maugham Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Of Human Bondage
- The Razor's Edge
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