Art must be parochial in the beginning to be cosmopolitan in the end.
It does not matter how badly you paint so long as you don't paint badly like other people.
You will find in me a middle aged man with a career behind me sufficiently brilliant to enable me to talk about many things interestingly; and I am not an unkindly soul, I believe.
England produced Shakespeare, and the British Empire the six-shilling novel.
Some men spend their lives watching bees and ants, noting down the habits of these insects; my pleasure is to watch the human mind, noting how unselfish instincts rise to the surface and sink back again, making way for selfish instincts, each equally necessary, for the world would perish were it to become entirely selfish or entirely unselfish.
I have written 30,000 words in a month - think of it - 30,000! I hope I am putting the right number of naughts: an average of a thousand words a day! For thirty days!
To what better purpose can a man's energy be devoted, and his talents, than the resuscitation of his country's language?
The right I claim is that of every human being to speak what he believes to be the truth to whomever he may meet on his way.
The right of property holds good in all society; but in the West, ethics invade the personal life in a manner unknown to the East, so much so that the Oriental stands agape at our folly, knowing well that every man brings different instincts and ideas into the world with him.
'The Dublin Magazine' has been edited with good taste, and it is very agreeable reading, but to speak quite candidly, I do not believe in the future of any literary journal any more than I believe in the future of the Trinity.
An idea is so impersonal; it is yours today and the whole world's tomorrow.
A man of letters never objects to a slum. He sharpens his pen there.
Every race gets the religion it deserves, and only as policemen, pugilists, and priests have they succeeded, here and there a successful lawyer, but nothing more serious.
The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand.
I do not believe in a universal religion any more than I believe in a universal language. My feeling is that people have to make their own religion as they have to make their arts and their parishes, and that they must find their own salvation; the salvation mongers are of not much avail.
A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it. You and you alone make me feel that I am alive. Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough.
The mind petrifies if a circle be drawn around it, and it can hardly be that dogma draws a circle round the mind.
Reality can destroy the dream; why shouldn't the dream destroy reality?
An idea has been running in my head that books lose and gain qualities in the course of time, and I have worried over it a good deal, for what seemed to be a paradox, I felt to be a truth.
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.
Taking something from one man and making it worse is plagiarism.
Isn't it strange that religious prejudices - beliefs none possess, not even the saints, so they have lamented - divide brothers and sons from their fathers. You see, I except mothers and sisters; the female is not a religious animal. If she were, the world would have ceased long ago.
All moral laws are merely statements that certain kinds of actions will have good effects.
Dublin dwindles so beautifully; there is no harsh separation between it and the country. It fades away, whereas London seems to devour the country; an army of buildings come and take away a beautiful park, and you never seem to get quite out of sight of a row of houses.
Everybody sets out to do something, and everybody does something, but no one does what he sets out to do.
The truth is that I am in love with Dublin. I think it is the most beautiful town that I have ever seen, mountains at the back and the sea in front, and long roads winding through decaying suburbs and beautiful woods.