quote by George Steiner

To many men... the miasma of peace seems more suffocating than the bracing air of war.

— George Steiner

Pioneering Miasma quotations

It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.


There is something about the literary life that repels me, all this desperate building of castles on cobwebs, the long-drawn acrimonious struggle to make something important which we all know will be gone forever in a few years, the miasma of failure which is to me almost as offensive as the cheap gaudiness of popular success.

There is tonic in the things that men do not love to hear.

Free speech is to a great people what the winds are to oceans ... and where free speech is stopped miasma is bred, and death comes fast.

The legends of fieldwork locate all important sites deep in inaccessible jungles inhabited by fierce beasts and restless natives, and surrounded by miasmas of putrefaction and swarms of tsetse flies.

Human beings may well be unable to break free of the dictatorship of greed that spreads like a miasma over the world, but no longer will we be an inarticulate and ignorant humanity, confused by our enslavement to superior cruelty and weaponry.


We often seem to be swimming through such a miasma of sexual violence - in advertising, television programming, heavy metal, rap, films, and worst of all, in the home - that even First Amendment absolutists sometimes daydream about how nice it would be to have government-as-nanny just outlaw all this effluent.

The individual who cultivates grievances, and who is perpetually exacting explanations of his assumed wrongs, can only be ignored, and left to the education of time and of development.... One does not argue or contend with the foul miasma that settles over stagnant water; one leaves it and climbs to a higher region, where the air is pure and the sunshine fair.

Rather than attend to a world considered as if it's out there, I have to start to attend to me. That led to some things that I never wanted it to lead to, person as a sort of psychological miasma. I started to get wrapped up in self, and then, for the first time, self did become an autobiographical self.

Clearly something had gone wrong, badly, only I wasn't quite sure what—apart from knowing that I was responsible somehow, in the generalized miasma of shame and unworthiness and being-a-burden that never quite left me.

Mr Earbrass stands on the terrace at twilight.

It is bleak; it is cold; and the virtue has gone out of everything. Words drift through his mind: anguish turnips conjunctions illness defeat string parties no parties urns desuetude disaffection claws loss Trebizond napkins shame stones distance fever Antipodes mush glaciers incoherence labels miasma amputation tides deceit mourning elsewards.


The night is full of stories. They float up like miasmas, as though the dead leave their dreams in the earth where you bury them, only to have them rise to meet you in sleep. Mostly the scenes are familiar, but sometimes everything is strange, the people unknown.

As a child, my idea of the West was that it was a miasma of poverty and misery, like that of the homeless 'Little Match Girl'in the Hans Christian Andersen story. When I was in the boarding nursery and did not want to finish my food, the teacher would say:'Think of all the starving children in the capitalist world!

There is to me about this place a smell of rot, the smell of rot that ripe fruit makes. Nowhere, ever, have the hideous mechanics of birth and copulation and death -those monstrous upheavals of life that the Greeks call miasma, defilement- been so brutal or been painted up to look so pretty; have so many people put so much faith in lies and mutability and death death death.

When we awake it is the animal, the plant, that thinks in us.

Primitive thought without the least disguise. We see a terrible universe, because we see clearly. A little later, intelligence introduces its impeding contrivances. It brings the little toys which man invents in order to hide the void. It is then that we think we are seeing clearly. We attribute our uneasiness to the miasmas of the brain as it passes from dream to reality.

There's always a miasma of misinformation emerging from the higher education sector as to which are the "best" courses to take. My advice would always be to ignore the perceived wisdom and look for the most reliable evidence on the ground.