Logan Pearsall Smith

Logan Pearsall

American-born English Essayist, Critic and Man of Letters

Author Quotes

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?

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.

All my life, as down an abyss without a bottom. I have been pouring van loads of information into that vacancy of oblivion I call my mind.

If you want to be thought a liar, always tell the truth.

Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income.

The wretchedness of being rich is that you live with rich people.... To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and stay sober.

What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!

All our lives we are putting pennies - our most golden pennies - into penny-in-the-slot machines that are almost always empty.

Isn't it odd that flowers are the reproductive organs of the plants they grow on.

Some people say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.

Then I thought of reading -- the nice and subtle happiness of reading ... this joy not dulled by age, this polite and unpunishable vice, this selfish, serene, lifelong intoxication.

What I like in a good author is not what he says but what he whispers.

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.

It is the dread of something happening, something unknown and dreadful, that makes us do anything to keep the flicker of talk from dying out.

Style is a magic wand, and turns everything to gold that it touches.

There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.

What is more enchanting than the voices of young people when you can't hear what they say.

An evil name -- a drawback at first -- sheds luster on old age.

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