Never trust a woman who will not lie about her age after thirty. She is unwomanly and unhuman and there is no knowing what crimes she will commit.— Gertrude Atherton
The most simplistic Gertrude Atherton quotes that are little-known but priceless
The only real rival of love is Art, for that in itself is a deep personal passion, its function an act of creation, fed by some mysterious perversion of sex, and demanding all the imagination's activities.
Every leader of a great revolution is a fanatic and a Jesuit.
The only two good words that can be said for a hurricane are that it gives sufficient warning of its approach, and that it blows from one point of the compass at a time.
All women want to be understood until they understand themselves.
The human mind has an infinite capacity for self-deception.
Our impulses are our birthright. To alter personality would be unjust, almost criminal, for the impulses that make a fool or worse of us in certain circumstances may be necessary for our happiness.
there is no greater fraud or bore than the writer who has acquired the art of saying nothing brilliantly.
It took me some time to learn that although every one secretly cherishes the ambition to be 'put in a book,' no one is ever satisfied with anything save incense, butter, and honey, unrelieved by salt or spice.
... the irony of life is not that you cannot forget but that you can.
the curse of human nature is imagination.
When a long anticipated moment comes, we always find it pitched a note too low, for the wings of imagination are crushed into its withering sides under the crowding hordes of petty realities.
I am a Californian, and we have twice the individuality and originality of any people in the United States. We always get quite huffy when we are spoken of as merely Americans.
orthodoxy is a fixed habit of mind. The average man and woman hug their orthodoxies and spit their venom on those that outrage them.
The minority of one generation is usually the majority of the next.
It is a pretty trick of authors to make nature ever in sympathy with man, but as a matter of fact she seldom is.
It is seldom that the imagination is disappointed in the 'ancestral piles' of England.
Plot and melodrama were in every life;
in some so briefly as hardly to be recognized, in others-in that of certain men and women in the public eye, for instance-they were almost in the nature of a continuous performance.
In times of panic man seems to exchange his soul for a tail.
It took me years to learn that character is fate and that no one can be made over.
... books are too heterogeneous an interest to furnish a vital one in life, a reason for being alive.
Fame compensates for a column of wants.
The world, and the great and free United States in particular, is full of narrow-minded, ignorant, moronic, bigoted, cowardly, self-righteous, anemic, pig-headed, stupid, puritanical, hypocritical, prejudiced, fanatical, cocoa-blooded atavists, who soothe their inferiority complex by barking their hatred of anything new.
A long while ago an eager group of reformers wrote to me asking if I could suggest anything that would improve the morals of the American people. I replied that the trouble with the American people in general was not lack of morals but lack of brains.
The world changed somewhat in form during its progress, but never in substance.
if there's a spirit world why don't the ghosts of dead artists get together and inhibit bad playwrights from tormenting first-nighters?
No matter how hard a man may labor, some woman is always in the background of his mind. She is the one reward of virtue.
The very commonplaces of life are components of its eternal mystery.
No loose fish enters our quiet bay.
I want books written out of a brain and heart and soul crowded and vital with Life, spelled with a big L. I want poetry bursting with passion. I don't care a hang for the 'verbal felicities.' They'll do for the fringe, but I want the garment to warm me first.
Here is a simple recipe to begin with.
Get up every morning with the set intention of writing and go to your desk and sit there for three hours, whether you accomplish anything or not. Before long you will find that you are writing madly, not waiting for inspiration.
when I am alone in the forest I always say my prayers;
and that occasional solitary communion with God is surely the only true religion for intelligent beings.
genius must ever be imperfect. Life is not long enough nor slow enough for both brain and character to grow side by side to superhuman proportions.
Writing was my real life and I was more at home with the people of my imagination than with the best I met in the objective world.
Authors are far closer to the truths enfolded in mystery than ordinary people, because of that very audacity of imagination which irritates their plodding critics. As only those who dare to make mistakes succeed greatly, only those who shake free the wings of their imagination brush, once in a way, the secrets of the great pale world. If such writers go wrong, it is not for the mere brains to tell them so
the only revenge worth having is success.
California has all the beauties of youth as well as its idiocies and vices.
The final result of too much routine is death in life.
Has it ever occurred to you, that the rich are at the mercy of the poor, not the poor at that of the rich? Who permits us to be rich if not the poor?
Civilization in certain respects is as inadequate as it was a thousand years ago.
her age was that indeterminate mixture of everlasting youth and anticipated wisdom which is the glory and the curse of genius.
... France is the genius among nations.
If you can't get the very best in this world, take nothing.
stoicism is the fundamental characteristic of the French.
We never care to know new people unless we are sure we shall like them.
fiction is not only the historian of life but its apologist.
A little superstition is a good thing to keep in one's bag of precautions.
To put a tempting face aside when duty demands every faculty is a lesson which takes most men longest to learn.
No country can reach a high stage of civilization without a leisure class.
Oh, what is young love! The urge of the race. A blaze that ends in babies or ashes.
Men are not amusing during the shooting season;
but, after all, my dear, men were not especially designed to amuse women.