Elias Canetti Quotes

Books by Elias Canetti


Best 74 Quotes by Elias Canetti – Page 1 of 3

“A child... opens and closes like a blossom.”

“A person often falls very ill in order to become someone else and then returns to health much disappointed.”

“Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.”

“As if one could know the good a person is capable of, when one doesn't know the bad he might do.”

“Beauty always has something remote.”

“Each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good.”

“Every decision is liberating, even if it leads to disaster. Otherwise, why do so many people walk upright and with open eyes into their misfortune?”

“Everything one records contains a grain of hope, no matter how deeply it may come from despair.”

“Explain nothing. Put it there. Say it. Leave.”

“He who is obsessed by death is made guilty by it.”

“He would like to start from scratch. Where is scratch?”

“His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations.”

“History portrays everything as if it could not have come otherwise. History is on the side of what happened.”

“I try to imagine someone saying to Shakespeare, 'Relax!”

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“I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”

“In eternity everything is just beginning.”

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“Unless you're completely exploded, there's always something to be grateful for.”

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“It doesn't matter how new an idea is: what matters is how new it becomes.”

“It is important to say all the great thoughts again, without knowing that they have already been said.”

“It is important what a man still plans at the end. It shows the measure of injustice in his death.”

“Of all the words in all languages I know, the greatest concentration is in the English word 'I'.”

“One has a prejudice wherever one fears a transformation.”

“One lives in the naïve notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”

“One should not confuse the craving for life with endorsement of it.”

“One should use praise to recognize what one is not.”

“People love as self-recognition what they hate as an accusation.”

“People's fates are simplified by their names.”

“Pessimists are not boring. Pessimists are right. Pessimists are superfluous.”

“Speak as though it were the last sentence allowed you.”

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“Success is the space one occupies in the newspaper. Success is one day's insolence.”

“Success listens only to applause. To all else it is deaf.”

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“Then as to churches, they are good, I suppose, else wouldn't good men uphold' em. But they are not altogether necessary. They call 'em the temples of the Lord; but, Judith, the whole 'arth is a temple of the Lord to such as have the right mind.

Neither forts nor churches make people happier of themselves. Moreover, all is contradiction in the settlements, while all is concord in the woods. Forts and churches almost always go together, and yet they're downright contradictions; churches being for peace, and forts for war.

No, no – give me the strong places of the wilderness, which is the trees, and the churches, too, which are arbors raised by the hand of nature.”

More quotes by James Fenimore Cooper