Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.

— Robertson Davies

The most powerful Robertson Davies quotes you will be delighted to read

The little boy nodded at the peony and the peony seemed to nod back.

The little boy was neat, clean and pretty. The peony was unchaste, dishevelled as peonies must be, and at the height of its beauty.(...) Every hour is filled with such moments, big with significance for someone.

132

There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.

53

I cannot imagine any boy of spirit who would not be delighted to play a drunkard even to vomiting in front of his Sunday school. Indeed, the vomiting might be the chief attraction of the role.

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Robertson Davies quote Few people can see genius in someone who

Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.

18

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.

28

Art is wine and experience is the brandy we distill from it.

24

The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

24

Conversation in its true meaning isn't all wagging the tongue;

sometimes it is a deeply shared silence.

22

The dog is a yes-animal. Very popular with people who can't afford a yes man.

20

Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.

18

The love of truth lies at the root of much humor.

17

All mothers think their children are oaks, but the world never lacks for cabbages.

17

What we call luck is the inner man externalized. We make things happen to us.

16

About Robertson Davies

Quotes 230 sayings
Nationality Canadian
Profession Novelist
Birthday August 28, 1913

On the whole, we treat the Devil shamefully, and the worse we treat Him the more He laughs at us.

15

Love affairs are for emotional sprinters; the pleasures of love are for the emotional marathoners.

14

He types his labored column -- weary drudge! Senile fudge and solemn: spare, editor, to condemn these dry leaves of his autumn.

14

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.

13

Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.

13

Moderation, the Golden Mean, the Aristonmetron, is the secret of wisdom and of happiness. But it does not mean embracing an unadventurous mediocrity; rather it is an elaborate balancing act, a feat of intellectual skill demanding constant vigilance. Its aim is a reconciliation of opposites.

13

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.

12

It is odd how all men develop the notion, as they grow older, that their mothers were wonderful cooks. I have yet to meet a man who will admit that his mother was a kitchen assassin and nearly poisoned him.

11

If we seek the pleasures of love, passion should be occasional, and common sense continual.

11

The whole world is burdened with young fogies.

Old men with ossified minds are easily dealt with. But men who look young, act young, and everlastingly harp on the fact they are young, but who nevertheless think and act with a degree of caution which would be excessive in their grandfathers, are the curses of the world.

11

Pornography is rather like trying to find out about a Beethoven symphony by having somebody tell you about it and perhaps hum a few bars.

11

Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.

10

I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind... At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.

9

When irony first makes itself known in a young man's life, it can be like his first experience of getting drunk; he has met with a powerful thing which he does not know how to handle.

9

Students today are a pretty solemn lot.

One of the really notable achievements of the twentieth century has been to make the young old before their time.

8

The book forces itself into my mind when I am lugging furniture, or pulling weeds.

8

I do not really like vacations. I much prefer an occasional day off when I do not feel like working. When I am confronted with a whole week in which I have nothing to do but enjoy myself I do not know where to begin. To me, enjoyment comes fleetingly and unheralded; I cannot determinedly enjoy myself for a whole week at a time.

8

The Alexander Technique keeps the body alive, at ages when many people have resigned themselves to irreversible decline.

6

The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won't shut up.

6

We mistrust anything that too strongly challenges our ideal of mediocrity.

6

One of the things that puzzles me is that so few people want to look at life as a totality and to recognize that death is no more extraordinary than birth. When they say it's the end of everything they don't seem to recognize that we came from somewhere and it would be very, very strange indeed to suppose that we're not going somewhere.

6

There are times when I think that the reading I have done in the past has had no effect except to cloud my mind and make me indecisive

6

Never harbor grudges; they sour your stomach and do no harm to anyone else.

5

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.

5

You never see what you want to see, forever playing to the gallery.

5

The young are often accused of exaggerating their troubles;

they do so, very often, in the hope of making some impression upon the inertia and the immovability of the selfish old.

5

Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don't know what they are conserving.

4

To be apt in quotation is a splendid and dangerous gift.

Splendid, because it ornaments a man's speech with other men's jewels; dangerous, for the same reason.

4

A Librettist is a mere drudge in the world of opera.

4

The greatest gift that Oxford gives her sons is, I truly believe, a genial irreverence toward learning, and from that irreverence love may spring.

4

Only a fool expects to be happy all the time.

4

The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater.

4

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.

4

Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman.

4

Imagination is a good horse to carry you over the ground - not a flying carpet to set you free from probability.

4

Women say . . . that if men had to have babies there would soon be no babies in the world. . . . I have sometimes wished that some clever man would actually have a baby in some new labor-saving way; then all men could take it up, and one of the oldest taunts in the world would be stilled forever.

4

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.

4
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