George Gissing, fully George Robert Gissing

George
Gissing, fully George Robert Gissing
1857
1903

English Novelist, Critic, Essayist

Author Quotes

It is because nations tend towards stupidity and baseness that mankind moves so slowly; it is because individuals have a capacity for better things that it moves at all.

The insult was thrown out with a peculiarly reckless air; it astounded the hearer, who sat for an instant with staring eyes and lips apart; then the blood rushed to his cheeks.

It is our duty never to speak ill of others, you know; least of all when we know that to do so will be the cause of much pain and trouble.

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.

It is the mind which creates the world about us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.

The misery of having no time to read a thousand glorious books.

Life is a huge farce, and the advantage of possessing a sense of humour is that it enables one to defy fate with mocking laughter.

The result will be something unutterably tedious.

He liked to feel the soft little hand clasping his own fingers, so big and coarse in comparison, and happily so strong. For in the child's weakness he felt an infinite pathos; a being so entirely helpless, so utterly dependent upon others' love, standing there amid a world of cruelties, smiling and trustful.

Life, I fancy, would very often be insupportable, but for the luxury of self-compassion.

The thought, however, of his girls having to work for money was so utterly repulsive to him that he could never seriously dwell upon it.

Honest winter, snow clad and with the frosted beard, I can welcome not uncordially; but that long deferment of the calendar's promise, that weeping loom of March and April, that bitter blast outraging the honor of May - how often has it robbed me of heart and hope.

Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skilful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets . . .

This writer, who is horribly perspicacious and vigorous, demonstrates the certainty of a great European war, and regards it with the peculiar satisfaction excited by such things in a certain order of mind. His phrases about "dire calamity" and so on mean nothing; the whole tenor of his writing proves that he represents, and consciously, one of the forces which go to bring war about; his part in the business is a fluent irresponsibility, which casts scorn on all who reluct at the "inevitable." Persistent prophecy is a familiar way of assuring the event.

How I envy those clerks who go by to their offices in the morning! There's the day's work cut out for them; no question of mood and feeling; they have just to work at something, and when the evening comes, they have earned their wages, and they are free to rest and enjoy themselves. What an insane thing it is to make literature one's only means of support! When the most trivial accident may at any time prove fatal to one's power of work for weeks or months. No, that is the unpardonable sin! To make a trade of an art! I am rightly served for attempting such a brutal folly.

Men are better companions before their success than after it, for they have so mach more leisure.

Time is money — says the vulgarest saw known to any age or people. Turn it round about, and you get a precious truth —money is time. I think of it on these dark, mist-blinded mornings, as I come down to find a glorious fire crackling and leaping in my study. Suppose I were so poor that I could not afford that heart-some blaze, how different the whole day would be! Have I not lost many and many a day of my life for lack of the material comfort which was necessary to put my mind in tune? Money is time. With money I buy for cheerful use the hours which otherwise would not in any sense be mine; nay, which would make me their miserable bondsman. Money is time, and, heaven be thanked, there needs so little of it for this sort of purchase. He who has overmuch is wont to be as badly off in regard to the true use of money, as he who has not enough. What are we doing all our lives but purchasing, or trying to purchase, time? And most of us, having grasped it with one hand, throw it away with the other.

I am learning my business. Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skillful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets; when one kind of goods begins to go off slackly, he is ready with something new and appetizing. He knows perfectly all the possible sources of income. Whatever he has to sell he'll get payment for it from all sorts of various quarters; none of your unpractical selling for a lump sum to a middleman who will make six distinct profits.

Money is time. With money I buy for cheerful use the hours which otherwise would not in any sense be mine; nay, which would make me their miserable bondsman.

Time is money says the proverb, but turn it around and you get a precious truth. Money is time.

I am much better employed from every point of view, when I live solely for my own satisfaction, than when I begin to worry about the world. The world frightens me, and a frightened man is no good for anything.

No, no; women, old or young, should never have to think about money.

To be at other people's orders brings out all the bad in me.

I don't advise. You mustn't give any weight to what I say, except in so far as your own judgment approves it.

Now he was indifferent to all "questions" save that prime solicitude of the human race, how to hold its own against the hostile forces everywhere leagued against it. Life was a perpetual struggle, and, let dreamers say what they might, could never be anything else; he, for one, perceived no right that he had to claim exemption from the doom of labour. Had he felt an impulse to any other kind of work, well and good, he would have turned to it; but nothing whatever called to him with imperative voice save this task of tilling his own acres. It might not always satisfy him; he took no vow of one sole vocation; he had no desire to let his mind rust whilst his hands grew horny. Enough that for the present he had an aim which he saw as a reality.

Author Picture
First Name
George
Last Name
Gissing, fully George Robert Gissing
Birth Date
1857
Death Date
1903
Bio

English Novelist, Critic, Essayist