categorized under:


“Off I go, rummaging about in books for sayings which please me.”

more info

source: The Essays of Michel de Montaigne (London: Allen Lane, 1991).

category: , , , ,

medium: Essay

“In a real sense, we are what we quote—and what can any of us hope to be but a tiny component of that hubbub of voices distilled by books of quotations and epigrams? I have always found such volumes the most irresistible reading. They make it possible to channel-surf millenniums of cultural history, moving forward or backward at will, and plucking out whatever perfectly formed fragment turns out to be precisely what you were looking for. The endlessness of it all is enough to make your head spin, but that dizziness is arrested by the steadying compactness and solidity of the ideal quote—the one that stands there bare and isolated and unencumbered, tiny enough to be grasped all at once, yet unfathomably wide and deep.”

more info

source: “We Are What We Quote,” Opinionator, New York Times, March 2, 2013.

category: , , ,

medium: Op-Ed

“Nor do apothegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge-tools of speech—which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs.”

more info

source: Advancement in Learning, ed. by Joseph Devey (New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1902), 114.

view on Google Books

category: , , , ,

medium: Philosophy

“We cannot, I maintain, no matter how we try, pick out anything from so great a multitude of things equally good—‘Only the poor man counts his flock.’ Whenever you direct your gaze, you will meet with something that might stand out from the rest, if the context in which you read it were not equally notable. For this reason, give over hoping that you can skim, by means of epitomes, the wisdom of distinguished men. Look into their wisdom as a whole; study it as a whole. They are working out a plan and weaving it together, line upon line, a masterpiece, from which nothing can be taken away without injury to the whole. Examine the separate parts, if you like, provided you examine them as parts of the man himself. She is not a beautiful woman whose ankle or arm is praised, but she whose general appearance makes you forget to admire her single attributes.”

more info

source: “On the Futility of Learning Maxims,” Epistle XXXIII, in Seneca in Ten Volumes (Freeman Press, 2008), reissue of classic texts, 235–237.

buy on Amazon
view on Google Books

category: , , , , ,

medium: letter

via: Neil Steinberg
Quality Quote Collecting