The idea that to make a man work you've got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We've done that for so long that we've forgotten there's any other way.
An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterwards.
The easiest way to get a reputation is to go outside the fold, shout around for a few years as a violent atheist or a dangerous radical, and then crawl back to the shelter.
Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues.
Trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement. Discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is different from a stiff joint.
Great art is the contempt of a great man for small art.
Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.
Genius goes around the world in its youth incessantly apologizing for having large feet. What wonder that later in life it should be inclined to raise those feet too swiftly to fools and bores.
It is in the thirties that we want friends. In the forties we know they won't save us any more than love did.
The faces of most American women over thirty are relief maps of petulant and bewildered unhappiness.
There are no second acts in American lives.
To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it all my life.
Though the Jazz Age continued it became less and less an affair of youth. The sequel was like a children's party taken over by the elders.
What'll we do with ourselves this afternoon? And the day after that, and the next thirty years?
After all, life hasn't much to offer except youth, and I suppose for older people, the love of youth in others.
I'm a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won't.
It is sadder to find the past again and find it inadequate to the present than it is to have it elude you and remain forever a harmonious conception of memory.
Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero.
Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.