The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but must live with a character.

— Peter De Vries

The most perspective Peter De Vries quotes to get the best of your day

Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.


I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.


We must love one another, yes, yes, that's all true enough, but nothing says we have to like each other. It may be the very recognition of all men as our brothers that accounts for the sibling rivalry, and even enmity, we have toward so many of them.


Murals in restaurants are on a par with the food in museums.


It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us.


You can make a sordid thing sound like a brilliant drawing-room comedy.

Probably a fear we have of facing up to the real issues. Could you say we were guilty of Noel Cowardice?


Life is a zoo in a jungle.


I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.


The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.


A hundred years ago Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter was given an A for adultery; today she would rate no better than a C-plus.


When I see a paragraph shrinking under my eyes like a strip of bacon in a skillet, I know I'm on the right track.


A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.


About Peter De Vries

Quotes 77 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

Sometimes I write drunk and revise sober, and sometimes I write sober and revise drunk. But you have to have both elements in creation — the Apollonian and the Dionysian, or spontaneity and restraint, emotion and discipline.


The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds - they mature slowly.


Celibacy is the worst form of self-abuse.


There are times when breakfast seems the one thing worth getting up for.


We must love one another, yes, yes, that's all true enough, but nothing says we have to like each other.


We know the human brain is a device to keep the ears from grating on one another.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.


The idea of a Supreme Being who creates a world in which one creature is designed to eat another in order to subsist, and then pass a law saying, "Thou shalt not kill," is so monstrously, immeasurably, bottomlessly absurd that I am at a loss to understand how mankind has entertained or given it house room all this long.


The satirist shoots to kill while the humorist brings his prey back alive and eventually releases him again for another chance.


The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination.

But the combination is locked up in the safe.


What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial - or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.


I was thinking that we all learn by experience, but some of us have to go to summer school.


Words fashioned with somewhat over precise diction are like shapes turned out by a cookie cutter.


We turned on one another deep, drowned gazes, and exchanged a kiss that reduced my bones to rubber and my brain to gruel.


The tuba is certainly the most intestinal of instruments, the very lower bowel of music.


There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.


My father hated radio and could not wait for television to be invented so he could hate that too.


When I can no longer bear to think of the victims of broken homes, I begin to think of the victims of intact ones.


I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments.

Of course they graduate the best -- it's all they'll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money -- provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don't need it.


The rich aren't like us, they pay less taxes.


Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff - it is a palliative rather than a remedy.


Do you believe in astrology? -I don't even believe in astronomy.


"You ought to be ashamed," a woman in an Easter bonnet told Stein.

"Your race gave us our religion..." "From ancient polytheism, the belief in lots of gods," the woman continued a little more eruditely, "the Hebrew nation led us on to the idea that there is only one." "Which is just a step from the truth," said Stein.


We are nothing but a string of gut on a stick of bone riding this piece of astral soot for one piteous splinter of eternity.


Let us hope, I prayed, that a kind Providence will put a speedy end to the acts of God under which we have been laboring.


Anyone informed that the universe is expanding and contracting in pulsations of eighty billion years has a right to ask. What's in it for me?


All couples must bear the strain of getting acquainted, having been, up to then, merely intimate.


Try the Lamentations of Jeremiah. They always pick me up.


This human nature is shabby stuff, as you may know from introspection.


Pain is the question mark turned like a fishhook in the human heart.


Exercise is an unnatural act.


I think people love each other a little more than they hate each other .

.. Love has a slim hold on the human corporation, like fifty-one per cent, but it's enough.


I tried to write worse but it was no good;

my generalizations came out as before, each more exquisite than the last. I grew discouraged.


Before the mind snaps, or the heart breaks, it gather itself like a clock about to strike. It might even be said one pulls himself together to disintegrate.


What we are assigned to bear is in a sense a measure of our stature.


If there's anything I hate it's the word humorist-I feel like countering with the word seriousist.


"You don't believe in God," I said to Stein.

"God is a word banging around in the human nervous system. He exists about as much as Santa Claus." "Santa Claus has had a tremendous influence, exist or not." "For children." "Lots of saints have died for God with a courage that's hardly childish." "That's part of the horror. It's all a fantasy. It's all for nothing."