Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Louis Kronenberger

American Critic, Essayist, Novelist, Editor and Author

"Humor simultaneously wounds and heals, indicts and pardons, diminishes and enlarges; it constitutes inner growth at the expense of outer gain, and those who possess and honestly practice it make themselves more through a willingness to make themselves less."

"Individualism is rather like innocence; there must be something unconscious about it."

"With intellectuals, moral thought is often less a tonic that quickens ethical action than a narcotic that deadens it."

"Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has actually become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its nonmystical methods; above all... of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth."

"If it is the great delusion of moralists to suppose that all previous ages were less sinful than their own, then it is the great delusion of intellectuals to supposed that all previous ages were less sick."

"The trouble with our age [twentieth century] is that it is all signpost and no destination."

"Along with being forever on the move, one is forever in a hurry, leaving things inadvertently behind - friend or fishing tackle, old raincoat or old allegiance."

"The test of interesting people is that subject matter doesn't matter."

"In art there are tears that lie too deep for thought."

"Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week."

"The closer and more confidential our relationship with someone, the less we are entitled to ask about what we are not voluntarily told."

"The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy."

"There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave."

"For tens of millions of people [television] has become habit-forming, brain-softening, taste-degrading."

"Many people today don't want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing, They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety."

"One of the misfortunes of our time is that in getting rid of false shame we have killed off so much real shame as well."

"In the history of mankind, fanaticism has caused more harm than vice."