Favourite Quotations

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” (Pablo Picasso, 1959)

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” (Pablo Picasso, 1935)


“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” (Philip Roth, 1979)


« Se rappeler qu’un tableau, avant d’être un cheval de bataille, une femme nue ou une quelconque anecdote, est essentiellement une surface plane recouverte de couleurs en un certain ordre assemblées. »

“Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” (Maurice Denis, 1890)


“That most logical of nineteenth-century aesthetes, Mallarmé, said that everything exists in the world in order to end in a book. Today, everything exists to end in a photograph.” (Susan Sontag, On Photography, p24, 1971)


“You shall know a word by the company it keeps.” (Firth, ‘on collocations’, 1957)


“The meaning of a word is its use in the language.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations)


“Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.” (Immanuel Kant)


“The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar’, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.” (Victor Shklovsky, on ‘defamiliarisation’, 1925)


“The true religion of America has always been America.” (Norman Mailer)


“It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.” (Franz Kafka, The Trial, 1925)


“Texts, like dead men, have no rights.” (Robert Morgan, Bible critic)


“We’re waiting for Godot.” (Samuel Beckett)


“There is no money in poetry, neither is there poetry in money.” (Robert Graves)

“To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.” (Robert Graves)