Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is.

— James Branch Cabell

The most impressive James Branch Cabell quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

No lady is ever a gentleman.

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Why is the King of Hearts the only one that hasn't a moustache?

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There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted.

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Time changes all things and cultivates even in herself an appreciation of irony, and, therefore, why shouldn't I have changed a trifle?

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The optimist sees a light at the end of the tunnel, the realist sees a train entering the tunnel, the pessimist sees a train speeding at him, hell for leather, and the machinist sees three idiots sitting on the rail track. "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this is true."

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What is man that his welfare be considered? An ape who chatters of kinship with the archangels while he very filthily digs for groundnuts. And yet I perceive that this same man is a maimed God. He is condemned under penalty to measure eternity with an hourglass and infinity with a yardstick and what is more, he very nearly does it.

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The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this is true.

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Whatever pretended pessimists in search of notoriety may say, most people are naturally kind, at heart.

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Creeds matter very little... The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true. So I elect for neither label.

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But with man the case is otherwise, in that when logic leads to any humiliating conclusion, the sole effect is to discredit logic.

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The man was not merely very human; he was humanity. And I reflected that it is only by preserving faith in human dreams that we may, after all, perhaps some day make them come true.

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The realization that life is absurdand cannot be an end, but only abeginning.

This is a truth nearly allgreat minds have taken as their starting point.

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About James Branch Cabell

Quotes 61 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

In the beginning the Gods made man, and fashioned the sky and the sea, And the earth's fair face for man's dwelling-place, and this was the Gods' decree: "Lo, We have given to man five wits: he discerneth folly and sin; He is swift to deride all the world outside, and blind to the world within: So that man may make sport and amuse Us, in battling for phrases or pelf, Now that each may know what forebodeth woe to his neighbor, and not to himself.

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There is no gift more great than love.

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Life is very marvelous... and to the wonders of the earth there is no end appointed.

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Men have begun to observe and classify, they turn from creation to Criticism.

.. It is the Fashion to be a wit... one must be able to conceal indecency with elegant diction; manners are everything, morals nothing.

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The only way of rendering life endurable is to drink as much wine as one can come by.

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At all events, I do not mean to leave it unaltered.

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I ask of literature precisely those things of which I feel the lack in my own life.

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I have read that the secret of gallantry is to accept the pleasures of life leisurely, and its inconveniences with a shrug; as well as that, among other requisites, the gallant person will always consider the world with a smile of toleration, and his own doings with a smile of honest amusement, and Heaven with a smile which is not distrustful — being thoroughly persuaded that God is kindlier than the genteel would regard as rational.

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Every notion that any man, dead, living, or unborn, might form as to the universe will necessarily prove wrong

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If we assiduously cultivate our powers of exaggeration, perhaps we, too, shall obtain the Paradise of Liars. And there Raphael shall paint for us scores and scores of his manifestly impossible pictures... and Shakespeare will lie to us of fabulous islands far past 'the still-vex'd Bermoothes,' and bring us fresh tales from the coast of Bohemia. For no one will speak the truth there, and we shall all be perfectly happy.

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The touch of time does more than the club of Hercules.

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As it is, plain reasoning assures me I am not indispensable to the universe: but with this reasoning, somehow, does not travel my belief.

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American literature was enriched with Men Who Loved Allison .

... Of the actual and eventual worth of this romance I cannot pretend to be an unprejudiced judge. The tale seems to me one of those many books which have profited, very dubiously indeed, by having obtained, in one way of another, the repute of being indecent.

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I am willing to taste any drink once.

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And one would worship a woman whom all perfections dower, But the other smiles at transparent wiles; and he quotes from Schopenhauer . Thus two by two we wrangle and blunder about the earth, And that body we share we may not spare; but the Gods have need of mirth.

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For all men have but a little while to live and none knows his fate thereafter.

So that a man possesses nothing certainly save a brief loan of his body: and yet the body of man is capable of much curious pleasure.

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No person of quality ever remembers social restrictions save when considering how most piquantly to break them.

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What really matters is that there is so much faith and love and kindliness which we can share with and provoke in others, and that by cleanly, simple, generous living we approach perfection in the highest and most lovely of all arts. . . . But you, I think, have always comprehended this.

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What am I that I am called upon to have prejudices concerning the universe?

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Love, I take it, must look toward something not quite accessible, something not quite understood.

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Whatever there is to know, That shall we know one day.

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People never want to be told anything they do not believe already.

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Good and evil keep very exact accounts... and the face of every man is their ledger.

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The desire to write perfectly of beautiful happenings is, as the saying runs, old as the hills — and as immortal.

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Yet creeds mean very little, Coth answered the dark god, still speaking almost gently. The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.

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In religious matters a traveller loses nothing by civility.

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There are many of our so-called captains on industry who, if the truth were told, and a shorter and uglier word were not unpermissible, are little better than malefactors of great wealth.

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I am Manuel. I have lived in the loneliness which is common to all men, but the difference is that I have known it. Now it is necessary for me, as it is necessary for all men, to die in this same loneliness, and I know that there is no help for it.

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The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;

and the pessimist fears this is true.

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Some few there must be in every age and every land of whom life claims nothing very insistently save that they write perfectly of beautiful happenings.

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Thou shalt not offend against the notions of thy neighbor.

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Man alone of animals plays the ape to his dreams .

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I fear You and, yes, I love You: and yet I cannot believe.

Why could You not let me believe, where so many believed? Or else, why could You not let me deride, as the remainder derided so noisily? O God, why could You not let me have faith? for You gave me no faith in anything, not even in nothingness. It was not fair.

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I was born, I think, with the desire to make beautiful books — brave books that would preserve the glories of the Dream untarnished, and would re-create them for battered people, and re-awaken joy and magnanimity.

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People marry for a variety of reasons and with varying results.

But to marry for love is to invite inevitable tragedy.

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There is no escaping, at times, the gloomy suspicion that fiddling with pens and ink is, after all, no fit employment for a grown man.

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A manpossessesnothing certainlysavea brief loanof his own body.

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