"Well-washed and well-combed domestic pets grow dull; they miss the stimulus of fleas."
Sir Francis Galton
("The Art of Travel")
"Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."
G. M. Trevelyan
("A Shortened History of England")
"His mind was like a Roquefort cheese, so ripe that it was palpably falling to pieces."
Van Wyck Brooks
US historian, critic
("Makers and Finders: A History of the Writer in America")
, on Ford Madox Ford
"What do you give a man who has everything? Penicillin." *
"Getting involved is so, so... involving."
US dancer, actor
"The writer in western civilization has become not a voice of his tribe, but of his individuality. This is a very narrow-minded situation."
"Don't cling to fame. You're just borrowing it. It's like money. You're going to die, and somebody else is going to get it."
US singer, congressman
(was married to Cher)
"Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do."
James Harvey Robinson
("The Human Comedy: As Devised and Directed by Mankind Itself")
"I've got a phone, answer machine, TV set, computer, hand grenadeeverything you need to run a business in Los Angeles."
US rapper, actor
"This taught me a lesson, but I'm not sure what it is."
US tennis ace
, on losing a championship
"I think you have to control the materials to an extent, but it's important to let the materials have a kind of power for themselves; like the natural power of gravity, if you are painting on a wall, it makes the paint trickle and it drips; there is no reason to fight that."
("Crack is Wack")
"Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them."
John W. Gardner
US writer, political theorist