T. S. Eliot
Quotations


Art never improves, but . . . the material of art is never quite the same.

I do not approve the extermination of the enemy; the policy of exterminating or, as it is barbarously said, liquidating enemies, is one of the most alarming developments of modern war and peace, from the point of view of those who desire the survival of culture. One needs the enemy.

I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

So far as we are human, what we do must be either evil or good: so far as we do evil or good, we are human: and it is better, in a paradoxical way, to do evil than to do nothing: at least we exist.

The bad poet is usually unconscious where he ought to be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious.

The progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.

There is no method but to be very intelligent.

We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worse for articulating what passes in our minds when we read a book and feel an emotion about it, for criticizing our own minds in their work of criticism.

Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.



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