Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Style

"Propriety of thought and propriety of diction are commonly found together. Obscurity and affection are the two great faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affection in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasoning." -

"Style is the garb of thought." -

"Only great minds can afford a simple style...One can acquire everything in solitude-except character." - Stendhal, pen name of Marie Henn Beyle or Marie-Henri Beyle NULL

"Style supposes the reunion and the exercise of all the intellectual faculties. The style is the man." - Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon

"Generally speaking, an author's style is a faithful copy of his mind. If you would write a lucid style, let there first be light in your own mind; and if you would write a grand style, you ought to have a grand character." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"One of the characteristics of great drawing is the artist's wholehearted acceptance of his own style and character. It is as if the drawing says for the artist, "Here I am."" - Nathan Goldstein

"In taste and imagination, in the graces of style, in the arts of persuasion, in the magnificence of public works, the ancients were at least our equals." -

"Obscurity and affection are the two great faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affection in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasoning." -

"What is most difficult to render from one language to another is the tempo of its style." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"Dress covers the mortal body and adorns it, but style is the vehicle of the spirit." - Sydney Smith

"Unconsciousness is one of the most important conditions of a good style in speaking or in writing." - Richard Grant White

"Whatever is pure is also simple. It does not keep the eye on itself. The observer forgets the window in the landscape it displays. A fine style gives the view of fancy--its figures, its trees, or its palaces,--without a spot." - Robert Aris Willmott

"At the bottom, people tend to believe that class is defined by the amount of money you have. In the middle, people grant that money has something to do with it, but think education and the kind of work you do almost equally important. Nearer the top, people perceive that taste, values, ideas, style, and behavior are indispensable criteria of class, regardless of money or occupation or education." - Paul Fussell

"A hero… is not a hero until he is recognized as one. This means that the actualization of the hero is a two-way projection. First the hero must project by way of his deeds, his style, his character. When the projection registers, an imaginative process begins to remake the hero to fit as fully as possible the symbolic weight of his image. Legend and myth take over the historical personage, and through either an oral or a written tradition he is reborn in his heroic apotheosis." - Harold Lubin

"Start with a style and you are in chains, start with an idea and you are free." - Richard Avedon

"Men's manners have improved markedly since Genghis Khan's day. Harems went out of style centuries ago and even despots now disavow pillage and oppression as ideals. At heart, though, we're the same animals we were 800 years ago. Which is to say we are status seekers. We may talk of equality and fraternity. We may strive for classless societies. But we go right on building hierarchies and jockeying for status within them. Can we abandon the tendency? Probably not. For as scientists are now discovering, status seeking is not just a habit or cultural tradition. It's a design of the male psyche - a biological drive that is rooted in the nervous system and regulated by hormones and brain chemicals." -

"It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style." -

"Style is the physiognomy of the mind, and a safer index to character than the face." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"It is the fashion to style the present moment an extraordinary crisis." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"Modern culture is defined by this extraordinary freedom to ransack the world storehouse and to engorge any and every style it comes upon. Such freedom comes from the fact that the axial principle of modern culture is the expression and remaking of the “self” in order to achieve self-realization and self-fulfillment. And in its search, there is a denial of any limits or boundaries to experience. It is a reaching out for all experience; nothing is forbidden, all is to be explored." - Daniel Bell

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"With many readers, brilliancy of style passes for affluence of thought; they mistake buttercups in the grass for immeasurable gold mines under the ground." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"To live is not just to survive, but to thrive with passion, compassion, some humor and style." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God’s will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity - I meant he true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only an euphemism for folly?" - Plato NULL

"Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity — I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly." - Plato NULL

"Talent finds its models, and ends in society, exists for exhibition, and goes to the soul only for power to work. Genius is its own end, and draws its means and the style of its architecture from within." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

""Psychological modernism," an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising. This orientation toward life also tends toward a mechanistic and rationalistic understanding of matters of the heart." - Thomas Moore

"Cafeteria-style education, combined with the unwillingness of our schools to place demands on students, has resulted in a steady diminishment of commonly shared information between generations and between young people themselves." - E. D. Hirsch, Jr., fully Eric Donalid Hirsch, Jr.

"The essence of a free life is being able to choose the style of living you prefer free from exclusion and without the compulsion of conformity or law." - Eleanor Holmes Norton

"I discovered that what's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters." - Federico Fellini

"To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body. Both go together, they can't be separated. " - Jean-Luc Godard

"Beware you are not a fiery, persecuting enthusiast. Do not imagine that God has called you (just contrary to the spirit of Him you style your Master) to destroy men’s lives, and not to save them. Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love." - John Wesley

"I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man's destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth. I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish." - Marcel Marceau, born Marcel Mangel

"Whether or not we have hope depends on two dimensions of our explanatory style; pervasiveness and permanence. Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation. On the other hand, permanent causes produce helplessness far into the future, and universal causes spread helplessness through all your endeavors. Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair... The optimistic style of explaining good events is the opposite of that used for bad events: It's internal rather than external. People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances." - Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

"A man's style is intrinsic and private with him like his voice or his gesture, partly a matter of inheritance, partly of cultivation. It is the pattern of the soul." - Maurice Valency

"It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world’s progress toward peace … Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?" - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The entire style of thought in Reform bears the imprint of Protestant theology and philosophy. Jewish Orthodoxy, on the other hand, clearly reflects the style of thought characteristic of Catholic theology. That may explain in party why Orthodoxy attained its greatest strength in the Catholic part of Germany. The reaction of the Orthodox Jews against the modernist emphasis upon reason and the spirit of the times was very similar to that displayed by the Catholics among whom they lived. The spokesmen of Orthodoxy maintained that to recognise the primacy of reason was to place oneself outside of Judaism. They maintained that the authoritative character of traditional Judaism should be sufficient to validate whatever demands it makes on the Jew. Those demands, they argued, are intrinsically meant to be a challenge to whatever happens to be be the spirit of the times, rather than a concession to it. For (Rabbi) Samson Raphael Hirsch, the essence of modernity is the humanist assumption that salvation consists in the achievement of happiness and self-perfection. That assumption, according to him, is morally and spiritually untrue." - Mordecai Menaham Kaplan

"Whatever does not pretend at all has style enough." - Booth Tarkington, born Newton Booth Tarkington

"Every age has its pleasures, its style of wit, and its own ways." - Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux, sometimes Nicholas Desperaux or Nicolas Boileau

"Heaven is not somewhere else: it is a way of living. So is hell — a style of life. Hell is living unconsciously; heaven is living consciously. Hell is your own creation, so is heaven. If you go on living unconsciously, through your unconscious desires, instincts, motives — of which you are not the master but only the victim — then you create hell around yourself. But if you start living a conscious life, a life of bringing more and more light to the deep, dark corners of your being, if you start living full of light, your life is moment-to-moment ecstasy." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"The mathematic, then, is an art. As such it has its styles and style periods. It is not, as the layman and the philosopher (who is in this matter a layman too) imagine, substantially unalterable, but subject like every art to unnoticed changes form epoch to epoch. The development of the great arts ought never to be treated without an (assuredly not unprofitable) side-glance at contemporary mathematics." - Oswald Spengler, fully Oswald Manuel Arnold Gottfried Spengler

"We mostly feel fearful because we feel powerless. We feel powerless, I contend, because of a style of thinking that splits information in two poles that makes us lose all the operative information we need to solve the problem." - Patricia Sun

"It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new social vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization, and many other things of the same kind." - Pope Leo XIII, born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci NULL

"We take courage in Him Who strengthens Us; and setting Ourselves to work, relying on the power of God, We proclaim that we have no other program in the Supreme Pontificate… The desire for peace is harbored in every breast, and there is no one who does not ardently invoke it. But to want peace without God is an absurdity, seeing that where God is absent thence too justice flies, and when justice is taken away, it is vain to cherish the hope of peace. "Peace is the work of justice" (Is. 22:17). There are many, We are well aware, who, in their yearning for peace, that is, for the tranquility of order, band themselves into societies and parties, which they style parties of order. Hope and labor lost. For there is but one party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil, and that is the party of God. It is this party, therefore, that We must advance." - Pope Pius X, aka Saint Pope Pius X and Pope of the Eucharist, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto NULL

"Eclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear." - Ralph Ellison, fully Ralph Waldo Ellison

"The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off." - Raymond Chandler, fully Raymond Thornton Chandler

"Of metaphors, those generally conduce most to energy or vivacity of style which illustrate an intellectual by a sensible object." - Richard Whately