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Robertson Davies Quotes

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Robertson Davies Quote: “Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.”

Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.

— Robertson Davies



Robertson Davies Quote: “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The great charm of cats is their rampant egotism, their devil-may-care attitude toward responsibility, their disinclination to earn an honest dollar...”

The great charm of cats is their rampant egotism, their devil-may-care attitude toward responsibility, their disinclination to earn an honest dollar...

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Everything matters. The Universe is approximately fifteen billion years old, and I swear that in all that time, nothing has ever happened that has not mattered, has not contributed in some way to the totality.”

Everything matters. The Universe is approximately fifteen billion years old, and I swear that in all that time, nothing has ever happened that has not mattered, has not contributed in some way to the totality.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “A Library goes on as far as thought can reach.”

A Library goes on as far as thought can reach.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “I don’t suppose God laughs at the people who think He doesn’t exist. He’s above jokes. But the devil isn’t. That’s one of his most endearing qualities.”

I don’t suppose God laughs at the people who think He doesn’t exist. He’s above jokes. But the devil isn’t. That’s one of his most endearing qualities.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Oh hearts! Nobody gets through life without a broken heart. The important thing is to break the heart so that when it mends it will be stronger than before.”

Oh hearts! Nobody gets through life without a broken heart. The important thing is to break the heart so that when it mends it will be stronger than before.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “It seemed to me as if the stones sang, in the strangest voices, in the language of Ultima Thule.”

It seemed to me as if the stones sang, in the strangest voices, in the language of Ultima Thule.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.”

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “After all, we are human beings, and not creatures of infinite possibilities.”

After all, we are human beings, and not creatures of infinite possibilities.

— Robertson Davies



Robertson Davies Quote: “Some countries you love. Some countries you hate. Canada is a country you worry about.”

Some countries you love. Some countries you hate. Canada is a country you worry about.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “There is absolutely no point in sitting down to write a book unless you feel that you must write that book, or else go mad, or die.”

There is absolutely no point in sitting down to write a book unless you feel that you must write that book, or else go mad, or die.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “This is the Great Theatre of Life. Admission is free, but the taxation is mortal. You come when you can, and leave when you must. The show is continuous. Goodnight.”

This is the Great Theatre of Life. Admission is free, but the taxation is mortal. You come when you can, and leave when you must. The show is continuous. Goodnight.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Too much traffic with a quotation book begets a conviction of ignorance in a sensitive reader. Not only is there a mass of quotable stuff he never quotes, but an even vaster realm of which he has never heard.”

Too much traffic with a quotation book begets a conviction of ignorance in a sensitive reader. Not only is there a mass of quotable stuff he never quotes, but an even vaster realm of which he has never heard.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “A big man is always accused of gluttony, whereas a wizened or osseous man can eat like a refugee at every meal, and no one ever notices his greed.”

A big man is always accused of gluttony, whereas a wizened or osseous man can eat like a refugee at every meal, and no one ever notices his greed.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.”

Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The most original thing a writer can do is write like himself. It is also his most difficult task.”

The most original thing a writer can do is write like himself. It is also his most difficult task.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them...”

Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them...

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “I think we’re living in an age which despises humanity and despises bravery and doesn’t need bravery because modern warfare has rather gone beyond bravery. It is a kind of warfare where people are fighting enemies they never see, killing people of whom they know nothing.”

I think we’re living in an age which despises humanity and despises bravery and doesn’t need bravery because modern warfare has rather gone beyond bravery. It is a kind of warfare where people are fighting enemies they never see, killing people of whom they know nothing.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “One can always tell it’s summer when one sees school teachers hanging about the streets idly, looking like cannibals during a shortage of missionaries.”

One can always tell it’s summer when one sees school teachers hanging about the streets idly, looking like cannibals during a shortage of missionaries.

— Robertson Davies



Robertson Davies Quote: “All art is holy. Not that it is all long-faced and miserable; it can be wild and wooly. But if it transforms you, it is art. And it is holy.”

All art is holy. Not that it is all long-faced and miserable; it can be wild and wooly. But if it transforms you, it is art. And it is holy.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won’t shut up.”

The love that dare not speak its name has become the love that won’t shut up.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “If you don’t hurry up and let life know what you want, life will damned soon show you what you’ll get.”

If you don’t hurry up and let life know what you want, life will damned soon show you what you’ll get.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Marriage is a framework to preserve friendship. It is valuable because it gives much more room to develop than just living together. It provides a base from which a person can work at understanding himself and another person.”

Marriage is a framework to preserve friendship. It is valuable because it gives much more room to develop than just living together. It provides a base from which a person can work at understanding himself and another person.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “No people in the world can make you feel so small as the English.”

No people in the world can make you feel so small as the English.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Love affairs are for emotional sprinters; the pleasures of love are for the emotional marathoners.”

Love affairs are for emotional sprinters; the pleasures of love are for the emotional marathoners.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Conversation in its true meaning isn’t all wagging the tongue; sometimes it is a deeply shared silence.”

Conversation in its true meaning isn’t all wagging the tongue; sometimes it is a deeply shared silence.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.”

There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Art is wine and experience is the brandy we distill from it.”

Art is wine and experience is the brandy we distill from it.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The people who fear humor – and they are many – are suspicious of its power to present things in unexpected lights, to question received opinions and to suggest unforeseen possibilities.”

The people who fear humor – and they are many – are suspicious of its power to present things in unexpected lights, to question received opinions and to suggest unforeseen possibilities.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “I was afraid and did not know what I feared, which is the worst kind of fear.”

I was afraid and did not know what I feared, which is the worst kind of fear.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “When irony first makes itself known in a young man’s life, it can be like his first experience of getting drunk; he has met with a powerful thing which he does not know how to handle.”

When irony first makes itself known in a young man’s life, it can be like his first experience of getting drunk; he has met with a powerful thing which he does not know how to handle.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “One learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence.”

One learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “On the whole, we treat the Devil shamefully, and the worse we treat Him the more He laughs at us.”

On the whole, we treat the Devil shamefully, and the worse we treat Him the more He laughs at us.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.”

The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to the idealized past.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “If you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”

If you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Every man makes his own summer. The season has no character of its own, unless one is a farmer with a professional concern for the weather.”

Every man makes his own summer. The season has no character of its own, unless one is a farmer with a professional concern for the weather.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Money, it is often said, does not bring happiness; it must be added, however, that it makes it possible to support unhappiness with exemplary fortitude.”

Money, it is often said, does not bring happiness; it must be added, however, that it makes it possible to support unhappiness with exemplary fortitude.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “It is lost, lovely child, somewhere in the ragbag that I laughingly refer to as my memory.”

It is lost, lovely child, somewhere in the ragbag that I laughingly refer to as my memory.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “It was as though she was an exile from a world that saw things her way.”

It was as though she was an exile from a world that saw things her way.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “There is more to marriage than four bare legs under a blanket.”

There is more to marriage than four bare legs under a blanket.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman.”

Many a promising career has been wrecked by marrying the wrong sort of woman.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater.”

The drama may be called that part of theatrical art which lends itself most readily to intellectual discussion: what is left is theater.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The dog is a yes-animal. Very popular with people who can’t afford a yes man.”

The dog is a yes-animal. Very popular with people who can’t afford a yes man.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “The division between art and deviousness and crime is sometimes as thin as a cigarette paper.”

The division between art and deviousness and crime is sometimes as thin as a cigarette paper.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “No one needs a word processor if he has an efficient secretary.”

No one needs a word processor if he has an efficient secretary.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Clarity is not a characteristic of the human spirit.”

Clarity is not a characteristic of the human spirit.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “Boredom and stupidity and patriotism, especially when combined, are three of the greatest evils of the world we live in.”

Boredom and stupidity and patriotism, especially when combined, are three of the greatest evils of the world we live in.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “May I make a suggestion, hoping it is not an impertinence? Write it down: write down what you feel. It is sometimes a wonderful help in misery.”

May I make a suggestion, hoping it is not an impertinence? Write it down: write down what you feel. It is sometimes a wonderful help in misery.

— Robertson Davies


Robertson Davies Quote: “A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life.”

A happy childhood has spoiled many a promising life.

— Robertson Davies

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