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The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and that in the High School hall. ... The scales of sophistication are struck from your eyes and you see in the circus a gathering of men and women who are able to do things as a matter of course which you couldn’t do if your life depended on it.
Russian: Никанор Иванович налил лафитничек, выпил, налил второй, выпил, подхватил на вилку три куска селедки и в это время позвонили, а Пелагея Антоновна внесла дымящуюся кастрюлю, при одном взгляде на которую сразу можно было догадаться, что в ней, в гуще огненного борща, находится то, чего вкуснее нет в мире, – мозговая кость.
The English language may hold a more disagreeable combination of words than "The doctor will see you now." I am willing to concede something to the phrase "Have you anything to say before the current is turned on?" That may be worse for the moment, but it doesn't last so long. For continued, unmitigating depression, I know nothing to equal "The doctor will see you now." But I'm not narrow-minded about it. I'm willing to consider other possibilities.
At fifteen one is first beginning to realize that everything isn’t money and power in this world, and is casting about for joys that do not turn to dross in one’s hands.
I can’t quite define my aversion to asking questions of strangers. From snatches of family battles which I have heard drifting up from railway stations and street corners, I gather that there are a great many men who share my dislike for it, as well as an equal number of women who ... believe it to be the solution to most of this world’s problems.
Nine-tenths of the value of a sense of humor in writing is not in the things it makes one write but in the things it keeps one from writing. It is especially valuable in this respect in serious writing, and no one without a sense of humor should ever write seriously. For without knowing what is funny, one is constantly in danger of being funny without knowing it.
I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I think that the Younger Generation is up to something.... I base my apprehension on nothing more definite than the fact that they are always coming in and going out of the house, without any apparent reason.
The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself wouldn’t make any sense if quoted as it stands.
There is no such place as Budapest. Perhaps you are thinking of Bucharest, and there is no such place as Bucharest, either.
Anyone will be glad to admit that he knows nothing about beagling, or the Chinese stock market, or ballistics, but there is not a man or woman alive who does not claim to know how to cure hiccoughs.
I am more the inspirational type of speller. I work on hunches rather than mere facts, and the result is sometimes open to criticism by purists.
There seems to be no lengths to which humorless people will not go to analyze humor. It seems to worry them.
A great many people have come up to me and asked how I manage to get so much work done and still keep looking so dissipated.
It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it's compounding a felony.
Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author's soul. If that upheaval is not present then it must come from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted.
A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down.
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