Twenty Quotes

His Comoedies will remaine witt as long as the English tongue is understood, for that he handles mores hominum [the ways of mankind]. Now our present writers reflect so much on particular persons and coxcombeities that twenty yeares hence they will not be understood.

John Aubrey

Like all twenty-one-year-old poets, I thought I would be dead by thirty, and Sylvia Plath had not set a helpful example. For a while there, you were made to feel that, if a poet and female, you could not really be serious about it unless you'd made a least one suicide attempt. So I felt I was running out of time.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

I don't want a fortnight on the Costa del Sol Don't wanna go to Bognor it's a plague-ridden hole and it don't fit in with my ideology... Down the Adriatic to the Vlora bay Twenty pints of Fosters and I'm away 'Cos now I know just where I wanna be: Albania that's the place for me!

Attila the Stockbroker

The odd thing is not that we are in the business of overthrowing other people's governments, but that we can still be surprised when somebody reminds us of it. In Asia, in Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East we have been propping up and knocking down governments more or less openly for the past twenty-five years. It is an established policy. Everybody knows it. It is supposed to be done covertly, which is only sensible if you hope to succeed since publicity in matters of this sort can only make the natives restless and defeat the project. Imagine the chauvinistic rallying around President Nixon that would have occurred if Canada, say, had announced that her agents were going to destabilize United States society so that discontented Americans could heave the Nixon Administration out of office.

Russell Baker

Twenty years ago no one could have imagined the effects the Internet would have: entire relationships flourish, friendships prospertheres a vast new intimacy and accidental poetry, not to mention the weirdest porn. The entire human experience seems to unveil itself like the surface of a new planet.

James Graham Ballard

During my slumber I had a dream. I thought I was once more by the side of the Sphere, whose lustrous hue betokened that he had exchanged his wrath against me for perfect placability. We were moving together towards a bright but infinitesimally small Point, to which my Master directed my attention. As we approached, methought there issued from it a slight humming noise as from one of your Spaceland bluebottles, only less resonant by far, so slight indeed that even in the perfect stillness of the Vacuum through which we soared, the sound reached not our ears till we checked our flight at a distance from it of something under twenty human diagonals. "Look yonder," said my Guide, "in Flatland thou hast lived; of Lineland thou hast received a vision; thou hast soared with me to the heights of Spaceland; now, in order to complete the range of thy experience, I conduct thee downward to the lowest depth of existence, even to the realm of Pointland, the Abyss of No dimensions.

Edwin Abbott

...as one reads more and more and more you get more fathers in your hierarchy of fathers. And then, after summoning twenty or thirty fathers, perhaps you are born, or perhaps you are not born.

Donald Barthelme

Those who know the joys and miseries of celebrity when they have passed the age of forty know how to defend themselves. They are at the beginning of a series of small worries, thunderbolts hidden under flowers, but they know how to hold in check that monster advertisement. It is a sort of octopus with innumerable tentacles. It throws out to right and left, in front and behind, its clammy arms, and gathers in, through its thousand little suckers, all the gossip and slander and praise afloat, to spit out again at the public when it is vomiting its black gall. But those who are caught in the clutches of celebrity at the age of twenty two know nothing.

Sarah Bernhardt

I knew I had to be sure-footed about the issues I was talking about. When you're twenty-nine years old, who the hell is going to think you're credible? It wasn't enough to have ideas; I had to know my facts. I had to demonstrate command from the minute I started running. I understood that was the test I had to pass.

Joseph Robinette

Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.

Irving Berlin

Film has dream, film has music. No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul. A little twitch in our optic nerve, a shock effect: twenty-four illuminated frames in a second, darkness in between, the optic nerve incapable of registering darkness. At the editing table, when I run the trip of film through, frame by frame, I still feel that dizzy sense of magic of my childhood: in the darkness of the wardrobe, I slowly wind one frame after another, see almost imperceptible changes, wind faster a movement.

Ingmar Bergman

Michael made his debut in John Carpenter's 1978 horror classic, Halloween, possibly the best scare movie to come along in the last twenty-five years. ... [W]ith the release of the sixth (and hopefully final) movie to bear the Halloween moniker, we see how far the mighty have fallen. ... In the final analysis, The Curse of Michael Myers is a horrific motion picture just not in the way the film makers intended.

James Berardinelli

I believe in markets, but I don't believe in markets understood as private monopolies. I believe in open global, national and regional civic markets. If everybody owns and trades, and there wasn't just an exclusive, dispossessed class, there wouldn't be a radically insecure bottom twenty or thirty percent of society that causes problems for everybody else.

Phillip Blond

I had to pull about twenty pieces of broken glass out of my hand using tweezers and antiseptic cream. I'm never going to have a game of arm wrestling with Michael Howard again.

Gyles Brandreth

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