celebrating 17 years online 1998-2015
Quotations for Curmudgeons
Quotations of and about sarcasm, cynicism, misanthropy, pessimism, misery, ennui, grumps, crankiness, apathy, melancholy, negativity, complaining, hermits, antisocial malcontents, and other curmudgeonesque themes... [Enjoy!
[T]he army of wrongness rampant in the world might as well march over me. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958
I see it all perfectly: there are two possibilities, one can either do this or do that. My honest opinion and friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it, you will regret both. ~Søren Kierkegaard
In fact, the author would seem affected with a chronic nausea of mankind... ~"Spiritual Jugglery: The Story of 'Perversion'" (critique of William John Conybeare's Perversion: or, The Causes and Consequences of Infidelity: A Tale for the Times, 1856), in Titan: A Monthly Magazine (conjoined series, continuation of Hogg's Instructor) (James Hogg), Vol. XXIII, September 1856
Comfort, or revelation: God owes us one of these, but surely not both. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Janie's a pretty typical teenager — angry, insecure, confused. I wish I could tell her that's all going to pass, but I don't want to lie to her. ~Alan Ball, American Beauty, 1999
I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me. ~Fred Allen
My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists. ~Jean Rostand
You're obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That's the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world. ~Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden
Youth is a blunder; Manhood a struggle; Old Age a regret. ~Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby
Fate stalks us with depressing monotony from womb to tomb, and, when we are least expecting it, deals us a series of crushing blows from behind. ~Hesketh Pearson, The Whispering Gallery
I would ask something more of this world, if it had something more. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Happy endings are only stories that haven't finished yet. ~Simon Kinberg, Mr. & Mrs. Smith
It must be admitted that there are some parts of the soul which we must entirely paralyze before we can live happily in this world. ~Nicolas Chamfort
To have seen better days, as who has not
Who has seen yesterday?
~George Gordon Byron
Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows. ~David T. Wolf
The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. ~Ernest Hemingway
That I could clamber to the frozen moon
And draw the ladder after me.
I do not believe in revealed religion — I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without speculating on another. ~Lord Byron, 1778-1824, letter to Rev. Francis Hodgson, 1811
Many of us go through life feeling as an actor might feel who does not like his part, and does not believe in the play. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Go by, go by, with all your din,
Your dust, your greed, your guile,
Your pomp, your gold; you cannot win
From her one smile....
Outlawed? Then hills and glens and streams
Are outlawed, too.
Proud world, from our immortal dreams,
We banish you.
~Alfred Noyes, "The Outlaw," The Century Magazine, January 1912
If there be a hell upon earth, it is to be found in a melancholy man's heart. ~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
The enthusiastic, to those who are not, are always something of a trial. ~Alban Goodier
All our lives we are putting pennies — our most golden pennies — into penny-in-the-slot machines that are almost always empty. ~Logan Pearsall Smith
I never knew whether to pity or congratulate a man on coming to his senses. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
But ah! disasters have their use;
And life might e'en be too sunshiny...
~Charles Stuart Calverley, "Disaster," Fly Leaves, 1872
Ever get the feeling that sometime early in your life there must have been a briefing that you missed? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth. ~Horace Walpole
Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother's wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women. ~Lemony Snicket
I grieve for life's bright promise, just shown and then withdrawn. ~William Cullen Bryant
Semyón Semyónovich Medvedénko: "Why do you always wear black?"
Máshenka: "I'm in mourning for my life...."
~Anton Chekhov, The Seagull
There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. ~Maya Angelou, PBS, 1988 March 28th
He had an astringent spirit, the sort of fellow who uses dehydrated onion when the recipe calls for fresh, not because he's out but solely on principle. ~Terri Guillemets
A satirist is a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about other people. ~Peter McArthur
God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through. ~Paul Valéry, Mauvaises pensées et autres, 1942
Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation. ~James Thurber, Further Fables for Our Time, 1956
This world is gradually becoming a place
Where I do not care to be any more.
Oftentimes, when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable, too. But it never helps. ~Lemony Snicket
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. ~Charles de Gaulle
All my joys to this are folly,
Naught so sweet as melancholy.
~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1651
You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Paradoxical as it sounds, many intellectuals prefer life in the mud to life in clear water. ~Martin H. Fischer
It's just life — wake up and smell the thorns. ~From the movie Meet Joe Black
I had a lover's quarrel with the world. ~Robert Frost, The Lesson for Today, 1942