- 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 19,626 quotations by 3,057 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… (9,996)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (6,674)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (6,259)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (5,637)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,969)
- “Tips for Teens,” Social Studies (1981) (4,816)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (4,634)
- Letter to Clara Rilke (1 Jan 1907) (4,628)
- “A Cult of Ignorance,” Newsweek (21 Jan 1980) (4,249)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (4,150)
- (Attributed) on
- Problems [Problemata], Book 30, Q. 1 / 953a [tr. @sentantiq (2018)] on
- Poetics [Περὶ ποιητικῆς, De Poetica], ch. 17 / 1455a.33 (c. 335 BC) [tr. Bywater (1909)] on
- Moral Essays, “On Tranquility of Mind [De Tranquillitate Animi],” 17.10 [tr. Langsdorf (1900)] on
- Interview by Marc Cooper, The Progressive (Jul 2001) on
- Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 12, epigram 13 (12.13) [tr. Michie (1972)] on
- Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 3, epigram 37 (3.37) [tr. McLean (2014)] on
- Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 2, ch. 5 (2.6.15-16) / 1106b.35 (c. 325 BC) [tr. Crisp (2000)] on
- Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 2, ch. 1 (2.1, 1103a.32ff) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Crisp (2000)] on
- Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 2, ch. 1 (2.1, 1103b.20ff) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Rackham (1934), sec. 7-8] on
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book, painting a picture, and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture. Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement.
The Passionate State of Mind, Aphorism 181 (1955)
Added on 28-May-15 | Last updated 24-Jun-22
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