William Robertson Davies, CC, FRSC, FRSL (born August 28, 1913, at Thamesville, Ontario, and died December 2, 1995 at Orangeville, Ontario) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best-known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is sometimes said to have detested.
Let this list of 46 quotations by the Canadian novelist Robertson Davies lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational people, books, book sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
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We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is Robertson Davies 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.
Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
The people of the United States, perhaps more than any other nation in history, love to abase themselves and proclaim their unworthiness, and seem to find refreshment in doing so... That is a dark frivolity, but still frivolity.
I never heard of anyone who was really literate or who ever really loved books who wanted to suppress any of them. Censors only read a book with great difficulty, moving their lips as they puzzle out each syllable, when someone tells them that the book is unfit to read.
Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.
If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you. This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language.
May I make a suggestion, hoping it is not an impertinence? Write it down: write down what you feel. It is sometimes a wonderful help in misery.
My lifelong involvement with Mrs Dempster began at 5:58 o'clock p.
m. on 27 December 1908, at which time I was ten years and seven months old.
A Librettist is a mere drudge in the world of opera.
The pleasures of love are for those who are hopelessly addicted to another living creature.
He types his labored column -- weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.
The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater.
The division between art and deviousness and crime is sometimes as thin as a cigarette paper.
"There is no disputing about tastes," says the old saw. In my experience there is little else.
It is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity - the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension - can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion...
The great book for you is the book that has the most to say to you at the moment when you are reading. I do not mean the book that is most instructive, but the book that feeds your spirit. And that depends on your age, your experience, your psychological and spiritual need.
Too much traffic with a quotation book begets a conviction of ignorance in a sensitive reader. Not only is there a mass of quotable stuff he never quotes, but an even vaster realm of which he has never heard.
Comparatively few people know what a million dollars actually is.
To the majority it is a gaseous concept, swelling or decreasing as the occasion suggests. In the minds of politicians, perhaps more than anywhere, the notion of a million dollars has this accordion-like ability to expand or contract; if they are disposing of it, the million is a pleasing sum, reflecting warmly upon themselves; if somebody else wants it, it becomes a figure of inordinate size, not to be compassed by the rational mind.
Very often when I am introduced to women, I think, What is she really like behind the disguise which she wears? And very often I discover that she is pleasant enough, and probably would expand and glow if she received enough affection.
Literary critics, however, frequently suffer from a curious belief that every author longs to extend the boundaries of literary art, wants to explore new dimensions of the human spirit, and if he doesn't, he should be ashamed of himself.
Canada has one of the highest rates of insanity in any civilized country and one reason might be that life in many places is so desperately dull.
My dear fellow, my whole life is moved by the principle that the one thing which is more important than peace is music. It is because I believe that I am poor.
Wisdom is a variable possession. Every man is wise when pursued by a mad dog, fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.
Only a fool expects to be happy all the time.
I just am a Canadian. It is not a thing which you can escape from. It is like having blue eyes
No, it's the musicians and I must say they are an accomplished bunch, but odd, as musicians tend to be. Is it the vibration from their instruments, do you suppose, working on the brain? All that fraught buzzing?
No one needs a word processor if he has an efficient secretary.
To this day I am indulgent toward orchestras that are trying to lift themselves in the world, while critics are busy assuring them that they are not the Vienna Philharmonic and never will be.
The greatest gift that Oxford gives her sons is, I truly believe, a genial irreverence toward learning, and from that irreverence love may spring.
The result of a single action may spread like the circles that expand when a stone is thrown into a pond, until they touch places and people unguessed at by the person who threw the stone.
The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealised past.
The clerisy are those who seek, and find, delight and enlargement of life in books. The clerisy are those for whom reading is a personal art.
Do not suppose, however, that I intend to urge a diet of classics on anybody.
I have seen such diets at work. I have known people who have actually read all, or almost all, the guaranteed Hundred Best Books. God save us from reading nothing but the best.
Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman.
The right sort of woman can distinguish between Creative Lassitude and plain shiftlessness.
Did you know that Puritanism went hand in hand with dirt, that Oliver Cromwell put a 100 per cent tax on soap and that the repeal of the soap tax was one of the most popular acts of Charles II at his Restoration?