quote by Sergei Prokofiev

My chief virtue (or if you like, defect) has been a tireless lifelong search for an original, individual musical idiom. I detest imitation, I detest hackneyed devices.

— Sergei Prokofiev

Risky Hackney quotations

The British are so funny. It's like they can't believe I lived in Hackney. 'You could live in Bondi Beach. Why would you want to live in 'Ackney?' But Hackney's fantastic. I'm serious. There are so many artists there. I loved the markets, the parks, the pubs, the diversity. It was a cultural melting-pot.

My London constituency in Hackney has one of the highest levels of gun crime in the country. But the problem is no longer confined to inner city areas. Gun crime has spread to communities all over Britain.

I detest imitation, I detest hackneyed devices.

I strenuously object to the very word "grotesque" which has become hackneyed to the point of nausea...I would prefer my music to be described as "Scherzo-ish" in quality, or else by three words describing the various degrees of the Scherzo - whimsicality, laughter, mockery.


I never take any notice of reviews - unless a critic has thought up some new way of describing me. That old one about my lizard eyes and anteater nose and the way I sleep my way through pictures is so hackneyed now.

Hackney gets a bit of a bad rap, but it's the only place I've ever lived that felt like a community. I know my neighbours.

Air power speaks a strategic language so new that translation into the hackneyed idiom of the past is impossible.

That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...

I know not that there is anything in nature more soothing to the mind than the contemplation of the moon, sailing, like some planetary bark, amidst a sea of bright azure. The subject is certainly hackneyed; the moon has been sung by poet and poetaster. Is there any marvel that it should be so?


The stage I chose--a subject fair and free-- 'Tis yours--'tis mine--'tis public property. All common exhibitions open lie, For praise or censure, to the common eye. Hence are a thousand hackney writers fed; Hence monthly critics earn their daily bread. This is a general tax which all must pay, From those who scribble, down to those who play.

Fifty years," I hackneyed, "is a long time.

" "Not when you're looking back at them," she said. "You wonder how they vanished so quickly.

A man must serve his time to every trade, Save censure-critics all are ready made. Take hackney'd jokes from Miller, got by rote With just enough learning to misquote.

Yes, Hackney has got more expensive, but so has rest of London

The Americans who are the most efficient people on earth.

..have invented so wide a range of pithy and hackneyed phrases that they can carry on a...conversation without giving a moment's reflection to what they are saying and so leave their minds free to consider more important matters of big business and fornication.


No one can write a best seller by trying to.

He must write with complete sincerity; the clich?s that make you laugh, the hackneyed characters, the well-worn situations, the commonplace story that excites your derision, seem neither hackneyed, well worn nor commonplace to him. The conclusion is obvious: you cannot write anything that will convince unless you are yourself convinced. The best seller sells because he writes with his heart's blood.

As to Don Juan, confess that it is the sublime of that there sort of writing;

it may be bawdy, but is it not good English? It may be profligate, but is it not life, is it not the thing? Could any man have written it who has not lived in the world? and tooled in a post-chaise? in a hackney coach? in a Gondola? against a wall? in a court carriage? in a vis a vis? on a table? and under it?

I think if anything, the fact that it's popular right now makes me go: "Well, I guess I'm going to start doing something else then in the next few years." I dunno, it almost feels hackneyed at this point. To start a premise by saying, "I did this awkward thing." But then again, awkwardness and feeling alienated are always going to be a part of comedy. Alienation, I suppose, can't be hackneyed because it will always exist.

The great thing about London is the little pockets of culture, like Hackney, which has its panto and its great community. Of course there's also the West End with its brilliant theatres and thriving tourism but to also have areas like Hackney which are so community based but not exclusive, that remind you that those surrounding you are the most important, is what makes London what it is.

Cougar jokes are now as hackneyed as airplane food.


Anger has become one of the trendiest emotions of all.

In moderation it can be a righteous force for constructive change. But its hackneyed omnipresence means the vast majority of its outbreaks are trivial. The paucity of colorful obscenities is aggravated by an abundance of frivolous fury.

This London City, with all of its houses, palaces, steam-engines, cathedrals, and huge immeasurable traffic an tumult, what is it but a Thought, but millions of Thoughts made into One-a huge immeasurable Spirit of a Thought, embodied in brick, in iron, smoke, dust, Palaces, Parliaments, Hackney Coaches, Katherine Docks, and the rest of it! Not a brick was made but some man had to think of the making of that brick.

To go upon the Franciscans Hackney (i.e. on foot).

Nothing is more hackneyed than the liberal dogma that shock value confers automatic importance on an artwork.

Alienation, I suppose, can't be hackneyed because it will always exist.


I like the lad who, when his father thought To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase Of vagrant worm by early songster caught, Cried, "Served him right! it's not at all surprising; The worm was punished, sir, for early rising!

My coach once told me "there's no "I" in "team.

" I responded there's also no "I" in "hackneyed." Then I had to run 12 laps.

What woeful stuff this madrigal would be, In some starved hackney sonneteer, or me! But let a lord once own the happy lines, How the wit brightens! how the style refines!

What audiences end up with word-wise is a hackneyed, completely derivative copy of old Hollywood romances, a movie that reeks of phoniness and lacks even minimal originality.

There are no whys in a person's life, and very few hows.

In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite patience. Solomon and Lincoln: This too shall pass. Damn right it will. Or Chekhov: Nothing passes. Equally true.


Obsessing on evil is boring. Rousing fear is a hackneyed shtick. Wallowing is despair is a bad habit. Indulging in cynicism is akin to committing a copycat crime.

Boarding school in Tring was a bit of a bubble that burst when I went to Hackney to go to drama school.

There is no idea so stupid or hackneyed that a sufficiently-talented writer can't get a good story out of it.

Miss Tarabotti was not certain if he was objecting to the kick or the scream, so she issued both again— with interest. He seemed to be having a difficult time negotiating Alexia's multiple layers of skirts and ruffles, which formed a particularly efficacious barrier in the tight confines of the hackney.

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