- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.
WIST currently holds 19,637 quotations by 3,058 authors. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
Author CloudAristotle • Asimov, Isaac • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterfield (Lord) • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Cicero, Marcus Tullius • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Homer • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Martial • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Sophocles • Tolkien, J.R.R. • Twain, Mark • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
Most Quoted Authors
Topic Cloudaction age America author beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego error evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history human nature humanity integrity liberty life love morality perspective politics power progress reality religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (10,018)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,677)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,260)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,641)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,970)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,823)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,636)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,630)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,253)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,151)
- Dead Poets Society (1989) on
- Walden, ch. 1 “Economy” (1854) on
- (Attributed) on
- Twelfth Night, Act 2, Sc. 5, l. 147ff [Malvolio] (1601) on
- “Caesar,” Lives [tr. Dryden (1693)] on
- Shakespeare Up-to-Date on
- First Principles, Pt. I “The Unknowable,” ch. 1 “Religion and Science”” (1862) on
- Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 366ff [Rosencrantz] (c. 1600) on
- Letter to the Danbury Baptists (1 Jan 1802) on
- Letter to the Synod of the Reformed Church of North America (12 Jun 1832) on
There is no great genius without a touch of madness.
[Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.]
Attributed to Aristotle in Seneca the Younger, "On Tranquility of Mind [De Tranquillitate Animi]" (17.10) (c. AD 60). (Source (Latin)).
This quotation as such is not found in surviving Aristotle. It may either represent something from Aristotle that has been lost since Seneca, or else Seneca fabricating a quote, quoting something spurious, or paraphrasing something Aristotle did write, e.g., his comments about madness/melancholy and poets/prominent talents (here and here). See also the Pseudo-Aristotle, Problemata, Book 30, ch. 1:
- "There is no great genius without a mixture of madness." [Example (1851)]
- "No great genius was without a mixture of insanity." [tr. Langsdorf (1900)]
- "No great genius has ever been without a touch of insanity." [tr. Stewart (1900), "On Peace of Mind"]
- "No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness." [Example (1906)]
- "No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness." [tr. Basore (1932)]
- "No great genius has ever existed without a dash of lunacy." [tr. Davie (2007)]
- "There was never any great genius without a tincture of insanity." [tr. @sentantiq (2018)]
- "There was never a genius without a tincture of madness."
- "No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness."
Why is it that all those who have become eminent in philosophy or politics or poetry or the arts are clearly of an atrabilious temperament, and some of them to such an extent as to be affected by diseases caused by black bile, as is said to have happened to Heracles among the heroes? [tr. Forster (1927)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Jun-22
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