Critic's delight: scolding the Mighty Dead.

The aim of literary ambition is to demonstrate one's greatness of soul.

Rereading, we find a new book.

In every death, a busy world comes to an end.

Most reputations are not ruined but forgotten.

Fantasy mirrors desire. Imagination reshapes it.

Conscious thought is the tidying up at the end.

I know that I am what I am. But I am not sure what I am.

Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.

Sloth, not ill-will, makes me unjust.

Mistakes are the only universal form of originality.

The higher the moral tone, the more suspect the speaker.

I read less and less. I have not forgiven books for their failure to tell me the truth and make me happy.

Psychology keeps trying to vindicate human nature. History keeps undermining the effort.

Rescue someone unwilling to look after himself, and he will cling to you like a dangerous illness.

Faith moves mountains, but you have to keep pushing while you are praying.

The passion for money is never fickle.

Faith of the bore: everything is worth saying.

Even the most fickle are faithful to a few bad habits.

My parents wanted me to solace them for sorrows they denied having had.

Office politics are bloody-minded, but weak on content.

Mind and body obstruct one another's pleasures.

Reason enables us to get around in the world of ideas, but cannot prescribe our thoughts.

Humor does not rescue us from unhappiness, but enables us to move back from it a little.

Every path to a new understanding begins in confusion.

Writers mean more than they say and say more than they mean.

Sincerity: willingness to spend one's own money.

Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.

Money: power at its most liquid.

Complainers change their complaints, but they never reduce the amount of time spent in complaining.

Flattery and insults raise the same question: What do you want?

Old age: I fall asleep during the funerals of my friends.

Philosophy likes to keen common sense on the run.

Totem poles and wooden masks no longer suggest tribal villages but fashionable drawing rooms in New York and Paris.

Logic teaches rules for presentation, not thinking.

Self-hatred and self-love are equally self-centered.

Proverbial wisdom counsels against risk and change. But sitting ducks fare worst of all.

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has more threat than comfort.

My regimen is lust and avarice for exercise, gluttony and sloth for relaxation.

Ideology has shaped the very sofa on which I sit.

Even cats grow lonely and anxious.

Every literary critic believes he will outwit history and have the last word.

Poor but happy is not a phrase invented by a poor person.

Reality is the name we give to our disappointments.

At sixty, I know little more about wisdom than I did at thirty, but I know a great deal more about folly.

Self-reform is the only kind that works.

Death is frightening, and so is Eternal Life.

Prudence suspects that happiness is a bait set by risk.

In love, we worry more about the meaning of silences than the meaning of words.