quotations about life
The whole art of living consists in giving up existence in order to exist.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe
Life is a Shylock; always it demands
The fullest userer's interest for each pleasure.
Gifts are not freely scattered by its hands;
We make returns for every borrowed treasure.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, "The Law"
One's life should be sufficiently interesting to furnish entertainment in the record.
AMOS BRONSON ALCOTT, Table Talk
Life is a warfare against the malice of others.
BALTASAR GRACIAN, The Art of Worldly Wisdom
The realization that life is absurd and cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
ALBERT CAMUS, attributed, Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd
Behold the life at ease; it drifts,
The sharpened life commands its course.
GEORGE MEREDITH, "Hard Weather"
The life most of us live are lives we are forced to live by immediate needs, influences, and pressures.
WALTER MOSLEY, Black Genius
Life compulsively dangled the possibility of life. Life, the dramatist on speed. Life, that couldn't stop with its foreshadows and ironies and symbols and clues, its wretched jokes and false endings and twists. Life with its hopeless addiction to plot.
GLEN DUNCAN, Talulla Rising
We are meant to taste of life ... and drink the cup of it to the dregs, bitter and sweet alike.
JACQUELINE CAREY, Kushiel's Dart
How much more interesting life would be if only more people had the courage and skill to act themselves, instead of abjectly understudying some one else!
RICHARD LE GALLIENNE, "The Dramatic Art of Life", Prose Fancies
Life is not a bed of roses.
Flirting with death is the spice of life.
MARGARET LOCK, Twice Dead
Life is too transcendentally humorous for a man not to take it seriously. Compared with it, Death is but a shallow jest.
WILLIAM JOHN LOCKE, Simon the Jester
Life, in a sense, is living and surviving. And all that makes for living and surviving is good. He who follows the fact cannot go astray, while he who has no reverence for the fact wanders afar.
JACK LONDON, The Kempton-Wace Letters
I'd rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet.
JACK LONDON, The Turtles of Tasman
The one thing life has taught me is that most people spend their lives bottled up inside their houses doing the things they hate.
FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA, Yerma
Life is laughter amid a rosary of death.
FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA, attributed, Only Mystery: Federico García Lorca's Poetry in Word and Image
Though not a participant in the Business of life; I am, like the character of Addison and Steele, an impartial (or more or less impartial) Spectator, who finds not a little recreation in watching the antics of those strange and puny puppets called men.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, letter to Kleiner, Cole, and Moe, October 1916
All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, "The Silver Key"
As long as you live, keep learning how to live.
SENECA, Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales