May 20, 2018


11 best quotes by Alexander Pushkin: “Two fixed ideas can no more exist together in the moral world than two bodies can occupy one and the same place in the physical world.” ~ Alexander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades (1833)

“What grace could all your worldly power bring
To One whose crown of thorns has made him King,
The Christ who gave His body to the flails,
Who humbly bore the lance and piercing nails?
Or do you fear the rabble might disgrace The One.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Secular Power

“The heavy hanging chains shall fall,
The walls shall crumble at the word,
And Freedom greet you with the light
And brothers give you back the sword.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, The Decembrists

“Come purge my soul, Thou Master of my days,
Of vain and empty words, of idle ways,
Of base ambition and the urge to rule;
That hidden serpent that corrupts a fool;
and grant me, Lord, to see my sins alone.
That I not call my brother to atone;
Make chaste my heart and lend me from above
Thy fortitude, humility, and love.”
 ~ Alexander Pushkin, A Prayer

“‘Tis time, my friend, ‘tis time!
For rest the heart is aching;
Days follow days in flight, and every day is taking
Fragments of being, while together you and I
Make plans to live. Look, all is dust, and we shall die.”
~ Alexander Pushkin,  'Tis Time, My Friend, l. 1-5 (1834)

“Unforced, as conversation passed,
he had the talent of saluting
felicitously every theme,
of listening like a judge-supreme
while serious topics were disputing,
or, with an epigram-surprise,
of kindling smiles in ladies' eyes.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 1, st. 5.

“A man who's active and incisive
can yet keep nail-care much in mind:
why fight what's known to be decisive?
custom is despot of mankind.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 1, st. 25.

“The illness with which he'd been smitten
should have been analysed when caught,
something like spleen, that scourge of Britain,
or Russia's chondria, for short.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 1, st. 38.

“Love passed, the Muse appeared, the weather
of mind got clarity new-found;
now free, I once more weave together
emotion, thought, and magic sound.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 1, st. 59.

“The less we show our love to a woman,
Or please her less, and neglect our duty,
The more we trap and ruin her surely
In the flattering toils of philandery.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 4, st. 1.

“Sad that our finest aspiration
Our freshest dreams and meditations,
In swift succession should decay,
Like Autumn leaves that rot away.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin (1823), Ch. 8, st. 11.

“And thus He mused: "From here, indeed
Shall we strike terror in the Swede?
And here a city by our labor
Founded, shall gall our haughty neighbor;
"Here cut" - so Nature gives command -
Your window through on Europe; stand
Firm-footed by the sea, unchanging!”
~ Alexander Pushkin, The Bronze Horseman (1833).

“Two fixed ideas can no more exist together in the moral world than two bodies can occupy one and the same place in the physical world.”
~ Alexander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades (1833)

May 5, 2018


“Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.” ~Anton Chekhov, Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya (1897) act 1

If I were asked to chose between execution and life in prison I would, of course, chose the latter. It’s better to live somehow than not at all.

~Anton Chekhov, The Bet (1889)

 “By poeticizing love, we imagine in those we love virtues that they often do not possess; this then becomes the source of constant mistakes and constant distress.”
~Anton Chekhov, Ariadne (1895)

 “Only during hard times do people come to understand how difficult it is to be master of their feelings and thoughts.”
~Anton Chekhov, Misfortune (1886)

“Death can only be profitable: there’s no need to eat, drink, pay taxes, offend people, and since a person lies in a grave for hundreds or thousands of years, if you count it up the profit turns out to be enormous.”
~Anton Chekhov, Rothschild’s Fiddle (1894)

 “When a person is born, he can embark on only one of three roads of life: if you go right, the wolves will eat you; if you go left, you’ll eat the wolves; if you go straight, you’ll eat yourself.”
~Anton Chekhov, Fatherlessness or Platonov, Act I, sc. xiv (1878)

“By nature servile, people attempt at first glance to find signs of good breeding in the appearance of those who occupy more exalted stations.”
~Anton Chekhov, A Futile Occurrence or A Trivial Incident (1886)

“In two or three hundred years life on earth will be unimaginably beautiful, astounding. Man needs such a life and if it hasn’t yet appeared, he should begin to anticipate it, wait for it, dream about it, prepare for it. To achieve this, he has to see and know more than did his grandfather and father.”
~Anton Chekhov, The Three Sisters (1901)

“Once you’ve married, be strict but just with your wife, don’t allow her to forget herself, and when a misunderstanding arises, say: “Don’t forget that I made you happy.”
~Anton Chekhov, Guide for Those Wishing to Marry (1885)

“Probably nature itself gave man the ability to lie so that in difficult and tense moments he could protect his nest, just as do the vixen and wild duck.”

~Anton Chekhov, Difficult People (1886)

“Watching a woman make Russian pancakes, you might think that she was calling on the spirits or extracting from the batter the philosopher’s stone.”
~Anton Chekhov, Russian Pancakes or Bliny (1886)

“Silence accompanies the most significant expressions of happiness and unhappiness: those in love understand one another best when silent, while the most heated and impassioned speech at a graveside touches only outsiders, but seems cold and inconsequential to the widow and children of the deceased.”
~Anton Chekhov, Enemies (1887)

“Not everyone knows when to be silent and when to go. It not infrequently happens that even diplomatic persons of good worldly breeding fail to observe that their presence is arousing a feeling akin to hatred in their exhausted or busy host, and that this feeling is being concealed with an effort and disguised with a lie.”
~Anton Chekhov, The Letter (1887)

“No matter how corrupt and unjust a convict may be, he loves fairness more than anything else. If the people placed over him are unfair, from year to year he lapses into an embittered state characterized by an extreme lack of faith.”
~Anton Chekhov, A Journey to Sakhalin

“All of life and human relations have become so incomprehensibly complex that, when you think about it, it becomes terrifying and your heart stands still.”
~Anton Chekhov, In the Cart or A Journey by Cart or The Schoolmistress (1897)

“Do you know when you may concede your insignificance? Before God or, perhaps, before the intellect, beauty, or nature, but not before people. Among people, one must be conscious of one’s dignity.”
~Anton Chekhov, Letter to his brother, M.P. Chekhov (April 1879)

“An artist must pass judgment only on what he understands; his range is limited as that of any other specialist—that's what I keep repeating and insisting upon. Anyone who says that the artist's field is all answers and no questions has never done any writing or had any dealings with imagery. An artist observes, selects, guesses and synthesizes.”
~Anton Chekhov, Letter to A.S. Suvorin (October 27, 1888)

“A tree is beautiful, but what’s more, it has a right to life; like water, the sun and the stars, it is essential. Life on earth is inconceivable without trees. Forests create climate, climate influences peoples’ character, and so on and so forth. There can be neither civilization nor happiness if forests crash down under the axe, if the climate is harsh and severe, if people are also harsh and severe.... What a terrible future!”
~Anton Chekhov, Letter to A.S. Suvorin (October 18, 1888)

“Although you may tell lies, people will believe you, if only you speak with authority.”
~Anton Chekhov, Note-Book of Anton Chekhov (1921)

Death is terrible, but still more terrible is the feeling that you might live for ever and never die.
~Anton Chekhov, Note-Book of Anton Chekhov (1921)

It is unfortunate that we try to solve the simplest questions cleverly, and therefore make them unusually complicated. We should seek a simple solution.
~Anton Chekhov, Note-Book of Anton Chekhov (1921)

“Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.”
~Anton Chekhov, Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya (1897) act 1

May 1, 2018


“Quite often a man goes on for years imagining that the religious teaching that had been imparted to him since childhood is still intact, while all the time there is not a trace of it left in him.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, Confession (1882), Pt. I, ch. 1

 “Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, My Religion (1884), Ch. 12

“The hero of my tale, whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been, is, and will be beautiful, is Truth.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Sevastopol in May (1855), Ch. 16

“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)

“All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do. “
~ Leo Tolstoy, The Law of Love and the Law of Violence (1908)

“We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us. All conclusions and guidelines based on this consciousness should fully satisfy both our desire to know God as such as well as our desire to live a life based on this recognition.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Entry in Tolstoy's Diary (1 November 1910)

“Men think it right to eat animals, because they are led to believe that God sanctions it. This is untrue. No matter in what books it may be written that it is not sinful to slay animals and to eat them, it is more clearly written in the heart of man than in any books that animals are to be pitied and should not be slain any more than human beings. We all know this if we do not choke the voice of our conscience.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, The Pathway of Life: Teaching Love and Wisdom (posthumous), Part I, International Book Publishing Company, New York, 1919, p. 68

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Book IV, ch. 11

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Bk. X, ch. 16

“War is not a courtesy but the most horrible thing in life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war. We ought to accept this terrible necessity sternly and seriously. It all lies in that: get rid of falsehood and let war be war and not a game. As it is now, war is the favourite pastime of the idle and frivolous.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Bk. X, ch. 25

“Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869),  Thoughts of Prince Andrew Bk XII, Ch. 16

“To love life is to love God. Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Bk. XIV, ch. 15

“History is the life of nations and of humanity. To seize and put into words, to describe directly the life of humanity or even of a single nation, appears impossible.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869),  Epilogue II, ch. 1

“The peculiar and amusing nature of those answers stems from the fact that modern history is like a deaf person who is in the habit of answering questions that no one has put to them.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869),  Vol 2, pt 5, p 236 — Selected Works, Moscow, 1869

“My reason will still not understand why I pray, but I shall still pray, and my life, my whole life, independently of anything that may happen to me, is every moment of it no longer meaningless as it was before, but has an unquestionable meaning of goodness with which I have the power to invest it.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1875–1877; 1878), Pt. VIII, ch. 19

“Go — take the mother's soul, and learn three truths: Learn What dwells in man, What is not given to man, and What men live by. When thou hast learnt these things, thou shalt return to heaven.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, What Men Live By (1881), Ch. IV

“Quite often a man goes on for years imagining that the religious teaching that had been imparted to him since childhood is still intact, while all the time there is not a trace of it left in him.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Confession (1882), Pt. I, ch. 1

“Science has adapted itself entirely to the wealthy classes and accordingly has set itself to heal those who can afford everything, and it prescribes the same methods for those who have nothing to spare.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, What then must we do? (1886)

“The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You (1894)

“Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.”
~ Leo Tolstoy, What is Art? (1897), Ch. 8

April 25, 2018


17 famous quotes by Oscar Wilde about art, life, death, politics and many more. “As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.” ~ Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

One can survive everything nowadays except death.
 ~ Oscar Wilde, "Oscariana" (1907)

“People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.”
~ Oscar Wilde, Letter from Paris (May 1900)

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Portrait of Mr. W. H. (1889)

“The more we study Art, the less we care for Nature. What Art really reveals to us is Nature's lack of design, her curious crudities, her extraordinary monotony, her absolutely unfinished condition.”
~ Oscar Wilde, Intentions (1891)

“Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. She is a veil, rather than a mirror.”
~ Oscar Wilde, Intentions (1891)

“He is really not so ugly after all, provided, of course, that one shuts one's eyes, and does not look at him.”
~ Oscar Wilde, "The Birthday of the Infanta", The House of Pomegranates (1892)

‘Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event.”
~ Oscar Wilde,"A New Calendar," The Pall Mall Gazette (February 17, 1887)

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde, edited by Alvin Redman (1954)

“Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Epigrams of Oscar Wilde, edited by Alvin Redman (1954)

“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist – the problem is so entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one's vinegar.”
~ Oscar Wilde, Vera; or, The Nihilists (1880)

“To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.”
~ Oscar Wilde, "Hélas" (1881)

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying (1889)

“The final revelation is that Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.”
~ Oscar Wilde,The Decay of Lying (1889)

“There is no mode of action, no form of emotion, that we do not share with the lower animals. It is only by language that we rise above them, or above each other—by language, which is the parent, and not the child, of thought.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (1891)

“I am but too conscious of the fact that we are born in an age when only the dull are treated seriously, and I live in terror of not being misunderstood.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist (1891)

“As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.”
~ Oscar Wilde,The Critic as Artist (1891)

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
~ Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost (1887)

April 22, 2018


Quotations by Mark Twain

“Death, the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all — the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.”
~ Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebook (1935)

“Surely the test of a novel's characters is that you feel a strong interest in them and their affairs—the good to be successful, the bad to suffer failure. Well, in John Ward, you feel no divided interest, no discriminating interest—you want them all to land in hell together, and right away.”
~ Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebook (1935)

“I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo — that man who was great in poetry, painting, sculpture, architecture — great in every thing he undertook. But I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfast — for luncheon — for dinner — for tea — for supper — for between meals. I like a change, occasionally.”
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

“I wish Europe would let Russia annihilate Turkey a little--not much, but enough to make it difficult to find the place again without a divining-rod or a diving-bell.”
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

  “Virtue never has been as respectable as money.”
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

“The people of those foreign countries are very, very ignorant. They looked curiously at the costumes we had brought from the wilds of America. They observed that we talked loudly at table sometimes. They noticed that we looked out for expenses and got what we conveniently could out of a franc, and wondered where in the mischief we came from. In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

 “All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle — keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously-engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone in an out-of-the-way locality, the work of translating was equally a miracle, for the same reason.”
~ Mark Twain, Roughing It (1872)

“No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum, there as well as elsewhere in America.”
~ Mark Twain, Roughing It (1872)

“She makes me get up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to let any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for — well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat — I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell — everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it.”
~ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)

“There was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only "hooking," while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was plain simple stealing — and there was a command against that in the Bible. So they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business, their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing.”
~ Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)

“You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.”
~ Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

“There warn't anybody at the church, except maybe a hog or two, for there warn't any lock on the door, and hogs likes a puncheon floor in summer-time because it's cool. If you notice, most folks don't go to church only when they've got to; but a hog is different.”
~ Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

So there ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it and aint't agoing to no more. But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before.
~ Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

“The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth's political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal, he is a traitor. That he may be the only one who thinks he sees this decay, does not excuse him: it is his duty to agitate anyway, and it is the duty of others to vote him down if they do not see the matter as he does.”
~ Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)

“Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion — several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.”
~ Mark Twain,Man's Place in the Animal World" (1869)

April 10, 2018


“There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.” ~ Harold Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics, The Nobel Lecture

 “One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”
~ Harold Pinter, Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics

“There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.”
~ Harold Pinter, Old Times

“There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.”
~ Harold Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics, The Nobel Lecture

“There are places in my heart...where no living soul...has...or can ever...trespass.”
~ Harold Pinter, No Man's Land

“When you lead a life of scholarship you can't be bothered with the humorous realities, you know, tits, that kind of thing.”
~ Harold Pinter, Ashes to Ashes

“Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.”
~ Harold Pinter, Various Voices: Sixty Years of Prose, Poetry, Politics, 1948-2008

“I think we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else's life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility.”
~ Harold Pinter, Various Voices: Sixty Years of Prose, Poetry, Politics, 1948-2008

“You are in no man's land. Which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, but remains forever, icy and silent.”
~ Harold Pinter, No Man's Land

“The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, and anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its true place. When true silence falls we are left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”
~ Harold Pinter, Writing for the Theatre (1962)

“The majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lies. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”
~ Harold Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics: The Nobel Lecture

A writer's life is a highly vulnerable, almost naked activity. We don't have to weep about that. The writer makes his choice and is stuck with it. But it is true to say that you are open to all the winds, some of them icy indeed. You are out on your own, out on a limb. You find no shelter, no protection - unless you lie - in which case of course you have constructed your own protection and, it could be argued, become a politician.
~ Harold Pinter, Various Voices: Sixty Years of Prose, Poetry, Politics, 1948-2008

“EMMA It was never intended to be the same kind of home. Was it? Pause. You didn’t ever see it as a home, in any sense, did you? JERRY No, I saw it as a flat . . . you know. EMMA For fucking. JERRY No, for loving. EMMA Well, there’s not much of that left, is there? Silence. JERRY I don’t think we don’t love each other. Pause. EMMA”
~ Harold Pinter, Betrayal

"But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost."
~ Harold Pinter, Art, Truth & Politics (2005)

“Listen. You know what it's like when you're in a room with the light on and then suddenly the light goes out? I'll show you. It's like this."
He turns out the light.
~ Harold Pinter, No Man's Land

“But death permits you
To arrange your hours

While he sucks the honey
From your lovely flowers”
~ Harold Pinter, Death May Be Ageing

“The past is what you remember, imagine you remember, convince yourself you remember, or pretend you remember.”
~ Harold Pinter

April 5, 2018

Kingsley Amis, an English Novelist, Poet, Critic, and Teacher.

Kingsley Amis Quick Facts


  • Birth Name: Kingsley William Amis
  • AKA: Sir Kingsley William Amis
  • Date of Birth: April 16, 1922
  • Place of Birth: Clapham, London, Middlesex, England, UK
  • Zodiac Sign: Aries
  • Date of Death: October 22, 1995
  • Died at Age: 73
  • Place of Death: St. Pancras Hospital, Camden, London, Middlesex, England, UK
  • Place of Burial: Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London, UK
  • Cause of Death: Stroke
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Nationality: British
  • Father: William Robert Amis (1888-1963)
  • Mother: Rosa Annie, née Lucas (1891-1957)
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Spouse(s):
  1. Hilary Ann Bardwell (m. 1948–1965, divorced) (b. 1928-d. 2010)
  2. Elizabeth Jane Howard (m. 1965–1983, divorced) (b. 1923-d. 2014)
  • Children:
  1. Son - Philip Amis (b. 1948)
  2. Son-Martin Louis Amis (b. 1949)
  3. Daughter- Sally Amis (1954-2000)


“I thought to myself how much more welcome a faculty the imagination would be if we could tell when it was at work and when not.” - Kingsley Amis, The Green Man

Major Themes

  • Society and Class
  • Art and Culture
  • Injustice
  • Women
  • Alcohol and Drugs

Memorable Characters

  • Jim Dixon
  • John Lewis
  • Patrick Standish
  • Jenny Bunn
  • Roger Micheldene
  • Sir Roy Vandervane
  • Rhiannon Weaver
  • Muriel

Major Works

  • The Russian Girl (1992)
  • The Folks That Live on the Hill (1990)
  • The Old Devils (1986)
  • Russian Hide-and-Seek (1980)
  • The Alteration (1976)
  • The Riverside Villas Murder (1973)
  • Girl, 20 (1971)
  • The Anti-Death League (1966)
  • One Fat Englishman (1963)
  • The Green Man (1969)
  • Take A Girl Like You (1960)
  • Lucky Jim (1954)

Did You Know?

  • Amis’ father, William Robert Amis was a mustard manufacturer’s clerk.
  • Amis received his primary education from the City of London School.
  • In the year 1941 he enrolled into St. John’s College, Oxford but his education was interrupted during World War II by his service as a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals. After the end of the war in 1945, he returned to Oxford and resumed his studies and got a distinction in English.
  • In 1946, Kingsley Amis joined the Communist Party of Great Britain.
  • Amis was appointed as lecturer at the University of Wales Swansea in 1948.
  • He penned his first novel Lucky Jim while working as lecturer at the University of Wales Swansea.
  • Amis is labeled by many as a member of the Angry Young Men movement due to his mood and temperament reflected in Lucky Jim.
  • Although Lucky Jim was a best seller in the UK, the book was sold only two thousand copies in the US in its first two years.
  • He received the honorary title ‘Knight’ in 1990.
  • Amis was a non believer of God.
  • Amis had a close friendship with the poet Philip Larkin.
  • Kingsley had two marriages and was divorced twice.
  • He married his first wife Hilary Bardwell in 1948 and had three children with her.
  • Amis’ marriage tended towards divorce soon after Hilary discovered his love affair with Elizabeth Jane Howard in 1963.
  • After formal separation from Hilary in 1965, Amis married Jane in the same year. Again the marriage proved to be unsuccessful and they were divorced in 1983.
  • Amis had no children with Jane.
  • His eldest son Philip Amis is a collagist.
  • His other son, Martin Amis is a novelist.
  • Kingsley Amis suffered from a mild stroke in 1995 which worsened his already ill health.
  • In his last years Amis stayed in the same house where his first wife Hilary lived with her third husband so that he could be cared for until his death.
  • He won the Booker Prize in 1986 for The Old Devils.
  • After death his body was cremated and the ashes were given to family or friend.
  • Kingsley Amis was the key figure in postwar British culture as well as the greatest British comic novelist of his generation.

Media Gallery


Hilary Ann Bardwell and Kingsley Amis

Kinsley Amis with First Wife and Children

Kinsley Amis with First Wife and Children

Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard

Martin Amis and Kingsley Amis

Martin Amis

Sally Amis


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