Anthony Burgess was a British novelist, critic and composer. He was also a librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist and educationalist. Born in Manchester, he lived for long periods in Southeast Asia, the USA and Mediterranean Europe as well as in England.
Let this list of 25 quotations by the English novelist Anthony Burgess lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational living, violence, writing sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
What are the best Anthony Burgess quotes?
We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is Anthony Burgess truly willing to say and leave for generations. Whether an inspirational quote or a motivational message about giving your best, we can all benefit from the wisdom, captured within these words.
The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it.
For the serious artist does not satisfy needs
Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.
The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent, experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it, if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion.
The trouble began with Forster. After him it was considered ungentlemanly to write more than five or six novels.
Bath twice a day to be really clean, once a day to be passably clean, once a week to avoid being a public menace.
Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.
A man can write one book that can be great, but this doesn't make him a great writer-just the writer of a great book. . . I think a writer has to extend very widely, as well as plunge very deep, to be a great novelist.
It'll be your own torture," he said, serious. "I hope to God it'll torture you to madness.
I've always felt that English women had to be approached in a sisterly manner, rather than an erotic manner.
The aura of the theocratic death penalty for adultery still clings to America, even outside New England, and multiple divorce, which looks to the European like serial polygamy, is the moral solution to the problem of the itch.
Life's only choosing when to die. Life's a big postponement because the choice is so difficult. It's a tremendous relief not to have to choose.
I think art is sublimated libido. You can’t be a eunuch priest, and you can’t be a eunuch artist.
The important thing is moral choice. Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate. Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.
The downtrodden, who are the great creators of slang.
Blessed tree and blessed birds, that were to be neither saved nor damned.
We all need money, but there are degrees of desperation.
Writers are rarely their own best critics, nor are critics.
The practice of fiction can be dangerous: it puts ideas into the head of the world.
Fumbling for a word is everybody's birthright.
Without class differences, England would cease to be the living theatre it is.
The aura of the theocratic death penalty for adultery still clings to America, even outside New England, and multiple divorce, which looks to the European like serial polygamy, is the moral solution to the problem of the itch. Love comes into it too, of course, but in Europe we tend to see marital love as an eternity which encompasses hate and also indifference: when we promise to love we really mean that we promise to honor a contract. Americans, seeming to take marriage with not enough seriousness, are really taking love and sex with too much.
Only in England is the perversion of language regarded as a victory for democracy.
Life is, of course, terrible.
That so many writers have been prepared to accept a kind of martyrdom is the best tribute that flesh can pay to the living spirit of man as expressed in his literature. One cannot doubt that the martyrdom will continue to be gladly embraced. To some of us, the wresting of beauty out of language is the only thing in the world that matters.
Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of violence - the act of love, for instance; music, for instance.
And to all others in this story profound shooms of lip music brrrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries.
... A CLOCKWORK ORANGE- and I said: 'That's a fair gloopy title. Who ever heard of a clockwork orange?' Then I read a malenky bit out loud in a sort of very high type preaching goloss: '- The attempt to impose upon a man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my swordpen-
For no man is damned precisely because God hath not chosen him, because he is not elected, but because he is a sinner, and doth wilfully refuse the means of grace offered.
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
I conclude that there is as much sense in nonsense as there is nonsense in sense.
I was cured all right.
A word in a dictionary is very much like a car in a mammoth motor show - full of potential but temporarily inactive.
Senseless violence is a prerogative of youth, which has much energy but little talent for the constructive.
...We're a government that believes in everybody having the illusion of free will.
Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.
But don't think that it's a system or a culture or a state or a person that does the letting down. It's our expectations that let us down. It begins in the warmth of the womb and the discovery that it's cold outside. But it's not the cold's fault that it's cold.
As we are all solipsists, and all die, the world dies with us.
Only very minor literature aims at apocalypse.
What critics often ask for is the impossible, though this may be a salutary means of extending the borders of art.
Civilised my syphilised yarbles.
The not-self cannot have the bad, meaning they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad because they cannot allow the self.
If you write fiction you are, in a sense, corrupted.
There's a tremendous corruptibility for the fiction writer because you're dealing mainly with sex and violence. These remain the basic themes, they're the basic themes of Shakespeare whether you like it or not.
Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate.
And I sort of frowned about that, thinking.
'You felt ill this afternoon,' he said, 'because you're getting better. When we're healthy we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. You're becoming healthy, that's all.
This is great art, we've been told this by the great pundits of our age.
And in consequence why should we bother to learn? There's nothing more delightful than to be told, 'You don't have to learn, my boy. There's nothing in it. Modern art? There's nothing in it.