Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing; nothing spoils a game more than those who take it seriously. Adultery? Phooey! You should never subjugate yourself to another nor seek the subjugation of someone else to yourself. If you follow that Crispian principle you will be able to say Phooey, too, instead of reaching for your gun when you fancy yourself betrayed.
View quote | Quotes about Adultery

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?
View quote | Quotes about Atheism

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
View quote | Quotes about Autobiography

Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.
View quote | Quotes about Character

The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.
View quote | Quotes about Control

Whenever we confront an unbridled desire we are surely in the presence of a tragedy-in-the-making.
View quote | Quotes about Desire

Nothing more rapidly inclines a person to go into a monastery than reading a book on etiquette. There are so many trivial ways in which it is possible to commit some social sin.
View quote | Quotes about Etiquette

This woman did not fly to extremes; she lived there.
View quote | Quotes about Extremes and Extremists

If Mr. Vincent Price were to be co-starred with Miss Bette Davis in a story by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe directed by Mr. Roger Corman, it could not fully express the pent-up violence and depravity of a single day in the life of the average family.
View quote | Quotes about Family

Is not the whole world a vast house of assignation of which the filing system has been lost?
View quote | Quotes about Flirting

I recommend limiting one's involvement in other people's lives to a pleasantly scant minimum. This may seem too stoical a position in these madly passionate times, but madly passionate people rarely make good on their madly passionate promises.
View quote | Quotes about Involvement

To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.
View quote | Quotes about Knowledge

The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.
View quote | Quotes about Law and Lawyers

Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically -- for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist -- but then what isn t?
View quote | Quotes about Lies and Lying

Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.
View quote | Quotes about Life and Living

Living en famille provides the strongest motives for rudeness combined with the maximum opportunity for displaying it.
View quote | Quotes about Living Together

Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.
View quote | Quotes about Love

Manners are love in a cool climate.
View quote | Quotes about Manners

Because it is in the nature of things that they become extreme, we have passed down from manliness to cruelty. If I had been told when I was 20 that there was a tavern in the town where the brave and the cruel were gathered together, I would have run all the way and I would have gone up to the largest and leatheriest of the denizens and said: If you truly love me, kill the bartender.
View quote | Quotes about Men

Keeping up with the Joneses was a full-time job with my mother and father. It was not until many years later when I lived alone that I realized how much cheaper it was to drag the Joneses down to my level.
View quote | Quotes about Neighbors

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
View quote | Quotes about Outcasts

My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.
View quote | Quotes about Parents and Parenting

However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.
View quote | Quotes about Police

The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as Soho poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent.
View quote | Quotes about Poverty and The Poor

It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
View quote | Quotes about Relationships

It is explained that all relationships require a little give and take. This is untrue. Any partnership demands that we give and give and give and at the last, as we flop into our graves exhausted, we are told that we didn't give enough.
View quote | Quotes about Relationships

Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.
View quote | Quotes about Respectability

Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.
View quote | Quotes about Rewards

A gentleman doesn't pounce he glides. If a woman sits on a piece of furniture which permits your sitting beside her, you are free to regard this as an invitation, though not an unequivocal one.
View quote | Quotes about Seduction

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.
View quote | Quotes about Self-image

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.
View quote | Quotes about Sex

Euphemisms are not, as many young people think, useless verbiage for that which can and should be said bluntly; they are like secret agents on a delicate mission, they must airily pass by a stinking mess with barely so much as a nod of the head, make their point of constructive criticism and continue on in calm forbearance. Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
View quote | Quotes about Tact and Tactfulness

If you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be a romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you will be thought of as a satirist.
View quote | Quotes about Writers and Writing

The young always have the same problem -- how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.
View quote | Quotes about Youth

Crisp, Quentin

No biography at present.

35 quotations