Search quotes by author:    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Rebecca West Quotes

A copy of the universe is not what is required of art; one of the damned things is ample.

A strong hatred is the best lamp to bear in our hands as we go over the dark places of life, cutting away the dead things men tell us to revere.

All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.

Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience.

Because hypocrisy stinks in the nostrils one is likely to rate it as a more powerful agent for destruction than it is.

Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology.

But there are other things than dissipation that thicken the features. Tears, for example.

Did St. Francis preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.

Everyone realizes that one can believe little of what people say about each other. But it is not so widely realized that even less can one trust what people say about themselves.

God forbid that any book should be banned. The practice is as indefensible as infanticide.

Great music is in a sense serene; it is certain of the values it asserts.

He is every other inch a gentleman.

Humanity is never more sphinxlike than when it is expressing itself.

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.

I wonder if we are all wrong about each other, if we are just composing unwritten novels about the people we meet?

I write books to find out about things.

International relationships are preordained to be clumsy gestures based on imperfect knowledge.

It is always one's virtues and not one's vices that precipitate one into disaster.

It is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between history and the smell of skunk.