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Elias Canetti Quotes

A "modern" man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice.

Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.

All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.

As if one could know the good a person is capable of, when one doesn't know the bad he might do.

Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune?

He who is obsessed by death is made guilty by it.

His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations.

It doesn't matter how new an idea is: what matters is how new it becomes.

Justice requires that everyone should have enough to eat. But it also requires that everyone should contribute to the production of food.

Most religions do not make men better, only warier.

One should not confuse the craving for life with endorsement of it.

One should use praise to recognize what one is not.

People love as self-recognition what they hate as an accusation.

People's fates are simplified by their names.

Pessimists are not boring. Pessimists are right. Pessimists are superfluous.

Rulers who want to unleash war know very well that they must procure or invent a first victim.

Someone who always has to lie discovers that every one of his lies is true.

Success is the space one occupies in the newspaper. Success is one day's insolence.

Success listens only to applause. To all else it is deaf.

The fear of burglars is not only the fear of being robbed, but also the fear of a sudden and unexpected clutch out of the darkness.