Everyone has taste, yet it is more of a taboo subject than sex or money. The reason for this is simple: claims about your attitudes to or achievements in the carnal and financial arenas can be disputed only by your lover and your financial advisers, whereas by making statements about your taste you expose body and soul to terrible scrutiny. Taste is a merciless betrayer of social and cultural attitudes. Thus, while anybody will tell you as much (and perhaps more than) you want to know about their triumphs in bed and at the bank, it is taste that gets people's nerves tingling.
View quote | Bayley, Stephen quotes
Without taste genius is only a sublime kind of folly. That sure touch which the lyre gives back the right note and nothing more, is even a rarer gift than the creative faculty itself.
View quote | Chateaubriand, Vicomte De quotes
The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.
View quote | Chesterton, Gilbert K. quotes
A man is known by the books he reads, by the company he keeps, by the praise he gives, by his dress, by his tastes, by his distastes, by the stories he tells, by his gait, by the notion of his eye, by the look of his house, of his chamber; for nothing on earth is solitary but every thing hath affinities infinite.
View quote | Emerson, Ralph Waldo quotes
I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines; and, I believe, Dorothy, you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.
View quote | Goldsmith, Oliver quotes
One of the surest evidences of an elevated taste is the power of enjoying works of impassioned terrorism, in poetry, and painting. The man who can look at impassioned subjects of terror with a feeling of exultation may be certain he has an elevated taste.
View quote | Haydon, Benjamin quotes
Taste is the fundamental quality which sums up all the other qualities. It is the nec plus ultra of the intelligence. Through this alone is genius the supreme health and balance of all the faculties.
View quote | Lautreamont, Isidore Ducasse, Comte De quotes
Good taste is either that which agrees with my taste or that which subjects itself to the rule of reason. From this we can see how useful it is to employ reason in seeking out the laws of taste.
View quote | Lichtenberg, Georg C. quotes
For a long time I found the celebrities of modern painting and poetry ridiculous. I loved absurd pictures, fanlights, stage scenery, mountebanks backcloths, inn-signs, cheap colored prints; unfashionable literature, church Latin, pornographic books badly spelt, grandmothers novels, fairy stories, little books for children, old operas, empty refrains, simple rhythms.
View quote | Rimbaud, Arthur quotes
The discovery of the good taste of bad taste can be very liberating. The man who insists on high and serious pleasures is depriving himself of pleasure; he continually restricts what he can enjoy; in the constant exercise of his good taste he will eventually price himself out of the market, so to speak. Here Camp taste supervenes upon good taste as a daring and witty hedonism. It makes the man of good taste cheerful, where before he ran the risk of being chronically frustrated. It is good for the digestion.
View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes
The hard truth is that what may be acceptable in elite culture may not be acceptable in mass culture, that tastes which pose only innocent ethical issues as the property of a minority become corrupting when they become more established. Taste is context, and the context has changed.
View quote | Sontag, Susan quotes
I think taste is a social concept and not an artistic one. I'm willing to show good taste, if I can, in somebody else's living room, but our reading life is too short for a writer to be in any way polite. Since his words enter into another's brain in silence and intimacy, he should be as honest and explicit as we are with ourselves.
View quote | Updike, John quotes