English Novelist, Playwright, Critic and Essayist
Arnold Bennett, fully Enoch Thomas Arnold Bennett
English Novelist, Playwright, Critic and Essayist
If you've ever really been poor you remain poor at heart all your life. I've often walked when I could very well afford to take a taxi because I simply couldn't bring myself to waste the shilling it would cost.
Man, know thyself. I say it out loud. The phrase is one of those phrases with which everyone is familiar, of which everyone acknowledges the value, and which only the most sagacious put into practice. I don't know why.
Of all the inhabitants of the inferno, none but Lucifer knows that hell is hell, and the secret function of purgatory is to make of heaven an effective reality.
The chances are that you have already come to believe that happiness is unattainable. But men have attained it. And they have attained it by realizing that happiness does not spring from the procuring of physical or mental pleasure, but from the development of reason and the adjustment of conduct to principles.
The pleasure of doing a thing in the same way at the same time every day, and savoring it, should be noted.
Until an effort is made to satisfy that wish, the sense of uneasy waiting for something to start which has not started will remain to disturb the peace of the soul.
Imaginative poetry produces a far greater mental strain than novels. It produces probably the severest strain of any form of literature. It is the highest form of literature. It yields the highest form of pleasure, and teaches the highest form of wisdom. In a word, there is nothing to compare with it. I say this with sad consciousness of the fact that the majority of people do not read poetry.
Meat may go up in price ? it has done ? but books won?t. Admission to picture galleries and concerts and so forth will remain quite low. The views from Richmond Hill or Hindhead, or along Pall Mall at sunset, the smell of the earth, the taste of fruit and of kisses ? these things are unaffected by the machinations of trusts and the hysteria of stock exchanges.
Of course it is impossible, or at any rate very difficult, properly to study anything whatever without the aid of printed books. But if you desire to understand the deeper depths of bridge or of boat-sailing you would not be deterred by your lack of interest in literature from reading the best books on bridge or boat-sailing. We must, therefore, distinguish between literature, and books treating of subjects not literary.
The chief beauty about the constant supply of time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoilt, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your career.
The price of Justice is eternal publicity.
Waste the passing moment. You cannot waste to-morrow; it is kept for you. You cannot waste the next hour; it is kept for you. I said the affair was a miracle.
In search of ideas I spent yesterday morning in walking about, and went to the stores and bought things in four departments. A wonderful and delightful way of spending time. I think this sort of activity does stimulate creative ideas.
Mind control is the first element of a full existence.
One of the chief things which my typical man has to learn is that the mental faculties are capable of a continuous hard activity; they do not tire like an arm or a leg. All they want is change - not rest, except in sleep.
The danger of developing a policy of rush, of being gradually more and more obsessed by what one has to do next. In this way one may come to exist as in a prison, and one's life may cease to be one's own. One may take the dog out for a walk at eight o'clock, and meditate the whole time on the fact that one must begin to read at a quarter to nine, and that one must not be late.
The proper, wise balancing of one's whole life may depend upon the feasibility of a cup of tea at an unusual hour.
We are nearly all chancellors of the exchequer: it is the pride of the moment. Newspapers are full of articles explaining how to live on such-and-such a sum, and these articles provoke a correspondence whose violence proves the interest they excite. Recently, in a daily organ, a battle raged round the question whether a woman can exist nicely in the country on L85 a year. I have seen an essay, How to live on eight shillings a week. But I have never seen an essay, How to live on twenty-four hours a day. Yet it has been said that time is money. That proverb understates the case. Time is a great deal more than money. If you have time you can obtain money?usually. But though you have the wealth of a cloak-room attendant at the Carlton Hotel, you cannot buy yourself a minute more time than I have, or the cat by the fire has.
In the majority of instances he does not precisely feel a passion for his business; at best he does not dislike it. He begins his business functions with reluctance, as late as he can, and he ends them with joy, as early as he can. And his engines while he is engaged in his business are seldom at their full h.p.
Money is far commoner than time. When one reflects, one perceives that money is just about the commonest thing there is.
One-act [plays] are not strikingly remunerative, but, on the other hand, the veriest dullard could not spend more than a week in writing one.
The entire landscape was illuminated and transformed by these unique pyrotechnics of labour atoning for its grime, and dull, weird sounds, as of the breathings and sighings of gigantic nocturnal creatures, filled the enchanted air.
The public is a great actuality, like war. If you are a creative and creating artist, you cannot ignore it, though it can ignore you.
We need a sense of the value of time - that is, of the best way to divide one's time into one's various activities.
It is a fine thing to be a walking encyclopaedia of philosophy, but if you happen to have no liking for philosophy, and to have a like for the natural history of street-cries, much better leave philosophy alone, and take to street-cries.