George Jean Nathan

George Jean

American Drama Critic, Social Critic, Editor, Memorist

Author Quotes

The man who exercises his intelligence in the presence of a woman may gain a friend or a wife, but never a sweetheart.

The most poignantly personal autobiography of a biographer is the biography he has written of another man.

The path of sound credence is through the thick forest of skepticism.

The test of a real comedian is whether you laugh at him before he opens his mouth.

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.

There is something distinguished about even his failures; they sink not trivially, but with a certain air of majesty, like a great ship, its flags flying, full of holes.

Whenever a man encounters a woman in a mood he doesn't understand, he wants to know if she's tired.

Women can form a friendship with a man very well but to preserve it--to that end a slight physical antipathy must probably help.

A man may be said to love most truly that woman in whose company he can feel drowsy in comfort.

It is also said of me that I now and then contradict myself. Yes, I improve wonderfully as time goes on.

A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy.

It is only the cynicism that is born of success that is penetrating and valid.

A man's wife is his compromise with the illusion of his first sweetheart.

It may be said that artist and censor differ in this wise: that the first is a decent mind in an indecent body and that the second is an indecent mind in a decent body

A ready way to lose your friend is to lend him money. Another equally ready way to lose him is to refuse to lend him money. It is six of one and a half dozen of the other.

Like everybody else, when I don't know what else to do, I seem to go in for catching colds.

An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut

Love is an emotion experienced by the many and enjoyed by the few.

An optimist is a fellow who believes a housefly is looking for a way to get out.

Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote

Marriage is based on the theory that when man discovers a brand of beer exactly to his taste he should at once throw up his job and go work in the brewery.

Beauty makes idiots sad and wise men merry.

My code of life and conduct is simply this: work hard, play to the allowable limit, disregard equally the good and bad opinion of others, never do a friend a dirty trick, eat and drink what you feel like when you feel like, never grow indignant over anything, trust to tobacco for calm and serenity, bathe twice a day ... learn to play at least one musical instrument and then play it only in private, never allow one's self even a passing thought of death, never contradict anyone or seek to prove anything to anyone unless one gets paid for it in cold, hard coin, live the moment to the utmost of its possibilities, treat one's enemies with polite inconsideration, avoid persons who are chronically in need, and be satisfied with life always but never with one's self.

Common sense, in so far as it exists, is all for the bourgeoisie. Nonsense is the privilege of the aristocracy. The worries of the world are for the common people.

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George Jean
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American Drama Critic, Social Critic, Editor, Memorist