It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.

Anatole Broyard

Every man’s memory is his private literature.

Aldous Huxley

Literature becomes the living memory of a nation.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression.

Alfred North Whitehead

In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.

Andre Maurois

The thing about this festival that I love is that it brings people from all walks of life together for a common humanity and that’s literature,

Andrew Carroll

The writer studies literature, not the world. He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write.

Annie Dillard

Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.

Anton Chekhov

Literature is air, and I’m suffocating in mediocrity.

Armand Assante

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.

Barbara W. Tuchman

Environmental concern is now firmly embedded in public life: in education, medicine and law; in journalism, literature and art.

Barry Commoner

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

C.S. Lewis

Literature is the denunciation of the times in which one lives.

Camilo Jose Cela

Exciting literature after supper is not the best digestive.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Well, the oil, the oil spot, if you will, is a, is a term in counterinsurgency literature that connotes a peaceful area, secure area. So what you’re trying to do is to always extend that, to push that out.

David Petraeus

Literature is analysis after the event.

Doris Lessing

I don’t know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens.

E. B. White

Reverence is fatal to literature.

E. M. Forster

What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote.

E. M. Forster

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.

Elizabeth Drew

I attempt to write a good novel. Whether it is literature or not is something that will be decided by the ages, not by me and not by a pack of critics around the globe.

Elizabeth George

The knowledge of languages was very useful. I have a university degree in foreign languages and literature.

Emma Bonino

If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.

Ezra Pound

Literature is news that stays news.

Ezra Pound

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.

G. K. Chesterton

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Observing humans and observing oneself yields a clear-minded starting point for literature.

Gao Xingjian

Only the more rugged mortals should attempt to keep up with current literature.

George Ade

A losing trade, I assure you, sir: literature is a drug.

George Borrow

I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same kind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of literature and speech and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.

George Eliot

Literature nowadays is a trade. Putting aside men of genius, who may succeed by mere cosmic force, your successful man of letters is your skilful tradesman. He thinks first and foremost of the markets . . .

George Gissing

All good Literature rests primarily on insight.

George Henry Lewes

Literature delivers tidings of the world within and the world without.

George Henry Lewes

The object of Literature is to instruct, to animate, or to amuse.

George Henry Lewes

The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.

George Orwell

To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.

George Washington

Literature … is the rediscovery of childhood.

Georges Bataille

Hemingway’s remarks are not literature.

Gertrude Stein

Remarks are not literature.

Gertrude Stein

Few of the great works of ancient Greek literature are easy reading.

Gilbert Murray

For me, literature is a complex game, both mental and concrete, which is acted out in a physical manner on the page.

Guillermo Cabrera Infante

What is not in the open street is false, derived, that is to say, literature.

Henry Miller

And literature frequently rises to heights that make it international.

Irving Langmuir

I don’t think any novelist should be concerned with literature.

Jacqueline Susann

You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way … people look at reality, then you can change it.

James Arthur Baldwin

When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.

James Earl Jones

In all highly civilised communities Pretence is prominent, and sooner or later invades the regions of Literature.

James Payn

There are, it is true, at present no great prizes in literature such as are offered by the learned professions, but there are quite as many small ones – competences; while, on the other hand, it is not so much of a lottery.

James Payn

Our literature is in great shape.

James Welch

The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order.

Jean Cocteau

If literature isn’t everything, it’s not worth a single hour of someone’s trouble.

Jean-Paul Sartre

I’ve always loved films, always. I studied literature and I went to Columbia in New York and I went to Paris for part of one year and ended up staying there.

Jim Jarmusch

The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A great memory does not make a mind, any more than a dictionary is a piece of literature.

John Henry Newman

Literature, the most seductive, the most deceiving, the most dangerous of professions.

John Morley

I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.

John Steinbeck

I lived in a region in the northwestern province – the people there in general have a great love for the Taliban, so I started to read some of the literature of the scholars and the history of the movement. And my heart became attached to them.

John Walker Lindh

What makes literature interesting is that it does not survive its translation. The characters in a novel are made out of the sentences. That’s what their substance is.

Jonathan Miller

In French literature, you can choose a la carte; in Spanish literature, there is only the set meal.

Jose Bergamin

Bad literature is a form of treason.

Joseph Brodsky

Literature and Society in the First Modern Period, 321 B.C. – A.D. 235,

Joseph Farrell

He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it.

Joseph Heller

I am one of the writers who wish to create serious works of literature which dissociate themselves from those novels which are mere reflections of the vast consumer cultures of Tokyo and the subcultures of the world at large.

Kenzaburo Oe

All literature is political.

LeVar Burton

The amateur is very rare in French literature – as rare as he is common in our own.

Lytton Strachey

Tardiness in literature can make me nervous.

Manuel Puig

Given the devaluation of literature and of the study of foreign languages per se in the United States, as well as the preponderance of theory over text in graduate literature studies, creative writing programs keep literature courses populated.

Marilyn Hacker

Traditional therapy focuses on the individual, looking at our unconscious motivation, etc.. Then there are family-systems theories that focus on the family as a unit, a single organism. ‘Codes of Love’ integrates both. It’s a firm review of the literature and a new blending of very important skills.

Mark Bryan

Delicacy – a sad, sad false delicacy – robs literature of the two best things among its belongings: Family-circle narratives and obscene stories

Mark Twain

Facts are not science – as the dictionary is not literature.

Martin H. Fischer

Just why I sent it to the publishers would be hard to say, but when I had finished it I felt that it was literature, because it is real and because it was well written. And I know that the world wants such things.

Mary MacLane

Journalism is literature in a hurry.

Matthew Arnold

Literature is always trying to show other parts of this immense universe in which we live. It’s endless. I’m sure there will be other writers who will discover new worlds.

Nathalie Sarraute

The concept of industry domination of regulatory agencies was well known and documented in the literature by the 1960s.

Nick Johnson

Anybody can write a three-volume novel. It merely requires a complete ignorance of both life and literature.

Oscar Wilde – Read More Oscar Wilde Quotes Here

Literature always anticipates life. It does not copy it, but moulds it to its purpose. The nineteenth century, as we know it, is largely an invention of Balzac.

Oscar Wilde

We are trying to teach literature and literacy in a society which doesn’t value it any more.

Paul Thomson

Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature.

Paul Valery

A great speech is literature.

Peggy Noonan

Literature is about as unnecessarily necessarily as tableware or ironed shirts.

Peter Bichsel

SF is the literature of the theoretically possible, and F is the literature of the impossible.

Piers Anthony

Every man is a borrower and a mimic, life is theatrical and literature a quotation

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It seems to me that an author who has determined very new domains in literature is Gertrude Stein.

Raymond Queneau

Literature precedes genre.

Rick Moody

Don’t ask to live in tranquil times. Literature doesn’t grow there.

Rita Mae Brown

What hadn’t been realized in the literature until now is that merely to describe how severely something has been tested in the past itself embodies inductive assumptions, even as a statement about the past.

Robert Nozick

The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Literature is the question minus the answer.

Roland Barthes

Literature is without proofs. By which it must be understood that it cannot prove, not only what it says, but even that it is worth the trouble of saying it.

Roland Barthes

Studying literature at Harvard is like learning about women at the Mayo clinic.

Roy Blount Jr.

This is the most intimate relationship between literature and its readers: they treat the text as a part of themselves, as a possession.

Ryszard Kapuscinski

Underground literature only began in the ’70s, when technical developments made it possible. Before that, we were involved in a game with the censors. That was our struggle.

Ryszard Kapuscinski

Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination and of the heart.

Salman Rushdie

Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.

Samuel Butler

The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper – whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.

Sarah Orne Jewett

Postmodernism cost literature its audience.

Scott Turow

He taught me literature, and he actually taught me how to read. He was my personal mentor.

Shimon Peres

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man’s name live for thousands of years. But above this level, far above, separated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous.

Simone Weil

In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman

Sinclair Lewis

If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.

Spencer Silver

When you read the psychedelic literature, there is a distinction between the so-called natural psychedelics and synthetic psychedelics that are artificially produced.

Stanislav Grof

I think the writing of literature should give pleasure. What else should it be about? It is not nuclear physics. It actually has to give pleasure or it is worth nothing.

Stephen Greenblatt

There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature.

Stephen Stills

Amazon Shorts will help authors find new readers and help readers find and discover authors they’ll love. We hope that by making short-form literature widely and easily available, can help to fuel a revival of this kind of work.

Steve Kessel

All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool. The reader will like the book to the degree that he agrees with the writer about what’s cool.

Steven Brust

Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.

T. S. Eliot

There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write

Thomas Carlyle

Books are the money of Literature, but only the counters of Science.

Thomas Henry Huxley

Literature is the orchestration of platitudes.


I’ve been missing Japanese literature so much of late.

Utada Hikaru

The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it.

Vaclav Havel

It is the nature of the artist to mind excessively what is said about him. Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.

Virginia Woolf

This is not writing at all. Indeed, I could say that Shakespeare surpasses literature altogether, if I knew what I meant.

Virginia Woolf

The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper whether little or great, it belongs to Literature.

Willa Cather

Literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.

William O. Douglas

Take the sum of human achievement in action, in science, in art, in literature — subtract the work of the men above forty, and while we should miss great treasurers, even priceless treasures, we would practically be where we are today. . . . The effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of twenty-five and forty.

William Osler

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