Logan Pearsall Smith

Logan Pearsall

American-born English Essayist, Critic and Man of Letters

Author Quotes

When people talk of Ghosts I don't mention the Apparition by which I am haunted, the Phantom that shadows me about the streets, the image or spectre, so familiar, so like myself, which lurks in the plate glass of shop-windows, or leaps out of mirrors.

When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, Idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.

Whiskey has killed more men than bullets, but most men would rather be full of whiskey than bullets. What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.

Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters - to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people.

You cannot be both fashionable and first-rate.

Youth is the time for adventures of the body, but age for the triumphs of the mind.

What pursuit is more elegant than that of collecting the ignominies of our nature and transfixing them for show, each on the bright pin of a polished phrase?

What things there are to write, if one could only write them! My mind is full of gleaming thought; gay moods and mysterious, moth-like meditations hover in my imagination, fanning their painted wings. But always the rarest, those streaked with azure and the deepest crimson, flutter away beyond my reach.

What's more enchanting than the voices of young people, when you can't hear what they say?

He who goes against the fashion is himself its slave.

One can be bored until boredom becomes a mystical experience.

The mere process of growing old together will make our slightest acquaintances seem like bosom friends.

Those who are contemptuous of everyone are more than anyone terrified of contempt

How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?

Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.

The newest books are those that never grow old.

Those who set out to serve both God and Mammon soon discover that there is no God.

I cannot forgive my friends for dying: I do not find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.

Only among people who think no evil can Evil monstrously flourish.

The notion of making money by popular work, and then retiring to do good work, is the most familiar of all the devil's traps for artists.

Those who talk on the razor-edge of double-meanings pluck the rarest blooms from the precipice on either side.

I hate Spiders - I dislike all kinds of Insects. Their cold intelligence, their empty, stereotyped, unremitted industry repel me. And I am not altogether happy about the future of the Human Race; when I think of the slow refrigeration of the Earth, the Sun's waning, and the ultimate, inevitable collapse of the Solar System, I have grave misgivings.

Only those who get into scrapes with their eyes open can find the safe way out.

The old know what they want; the young are sad and bewildered.

To become young again would seem to me an appalling prospect. Youth is a kind of delirium, which can be cured, if it is ever cured at all, by years of painful treatment.

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Logan Pearsall
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American-born English Essayist, Critic and Man of Letters