"A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness."
"A New York divorce is in itself a diploma of virtue."
"After all, one knows one's weak points so well, that it's rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others."
"Another unsettling element in modern art is that common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before."
"Art is on the side of the oppressed. Think before you shudder at the simplistic dictum and its heretical definition of the freedom of art. For if art is freedom of the spirit, how can it exist within the oppressors?"
"Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive."
"How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be ''American'' before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, and having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries?"
"I have never known a novel that was good enough to be good in spite of its being adapted to the author's political views."
"I wonder, among all the tangles of this mortal coil, which one contains tighter knots to undo, and consequently suggests more tugging, and pain, and diversified elements of misery, than the marriage tie."
"If we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time."
"In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive log past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."
"Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope."
"Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue."
"Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone."
"Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe, old age flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death."
"The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it."
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."
"When people ask for time, it's always for time to say no. Yes has one more letter in it, but it doesn't take half as long to say."