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

— Rebecca West

The most inspiring Rebecca West quotes that will transform you to a better person

Motherhood is the strangest thing, it can be like being one's own Trojan horse.

72

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.

68

The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.

57

There is no logical reason why the camel of great art should pass through the needle of mob intelligence.

52

Behind it was that vast suspension bridge which always troubles me because it reminds me that in this mechanized age I am as little able to understand my environment as any primitive woman who thinks that a waterfall is inhabited by a spirit, and indeed less so, for her opinion might from a poetical point of view be correct.

31

Men must be capable of imagining and executing and insisting on social change if they are to reform or even maintain civilization, and capable too of furnishing the rebellion which is sometimes necessary if society is not to perish of immobility.

23

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

23

The trouble about man is twofold. He cannot learn truths which are too complicated; he forgets truths which are too simple.

21

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.

20

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

19

The mind is its own enemy, that fights itself with the innumerable pliant and ineluctable arms of the octopus.

18

He is every other inch a gentleman.

18

About Rebecca West

Quotes 215 sayings
Nationality Irish
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity.

17

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

17

It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.

16

Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul.

16

Whatever happens, never forget that people would rather be led to perdition by a man, than to victory by a woman.

16

Marriage had certain commercial advantages.

By it the man secures the exclusive right to the woman's body and by it, the woman binds the man to support her during the rest of her life.... A more disgraceful bargain was never struck.

15

Existence in itself, taken at its least miraculous, is a miracle.

14

[On Jane Austen:] To believe her limited in range because she was harmonious in method is as sensible as to imagine that when the Atlantic Ocean is as smooth as a mill-pond it shrinks to the size of a mill-pond.

12

Motherhood is neither a duty nor a privilege, but simply the way that humanity can satisfy the desire for physical immortality and triumph over the fear of death.

10

I find to my astonishment that an unhappy marriage goes on being unhappy when it is over.

8

Once a secret society establishes itself within an open society, there is no end to the hideous mistrust it must cause.

8

Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.

7

We all drew on the comfort which is given out by the major works of Mozart, which is as real and material as the warmth given up by a glass of brandy.

6

Time spent in a casino is time given to death, a foretaste of the hour when one's flesh will be diverted to the purposes of the worm and not of the will.

6

Idiocy is the female defect ... It is no worse than the male defect, which is lunacy.

6

Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.

5

Nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.

5

If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: 'It seemed like a good idea at the time.'

5

Now different races and nationalities cherish different ideals of society that stink in each other's nostrils with an offensiveness beyond the power of any but the most monstrous private deed.

5

In England and America, a beard usually means that its owner would rather be considered venerable than virile; on the continent of Europe, it often means that its owner makes a special claim to virility.

5

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.

5

I have no faith in the sense of comforting beliefs which persuade me that all my troubles are blessings in disguise.

4

Journalism: an ability to meet the challenge of filling the space.

4

the reward for total abstinence from alcohol seems, illogically enough, to be the capacity for becoming intoxicated without it.

4

Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy;

but after a war it seems more like astrology.

4

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.

4

Domesticity is essentially drama, for drama is conflict, and the home compels conflict by its concentration of active personalities in a small area. The real objection to domesticity is that it is too exciting.

4

Most works of art, like most wines, ought to be consumed in the district of their fabrication.

4

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

4

There is in every one of us an unending see-saw between the will to live and the will to die.

4

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

3

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

3

All good biography, as all good fiction, comes down to the study of original sin, of our inherent disposition to choose death when we ought to choose life.

3

The choice between law and justice is an easy one for courageous minds.

3

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

3

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

3

If ever peace is to be imposed on the world it will only be because a large number of men who could have taken part in the drill display by the Guards or Marines or at the Royal Tournament turn that strength and precision to the service of life.

3
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