- 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
Whether we believe the Greek poet, “it is sometimes even pleasant to be mad”, or Plato, “he who is master of himself has knocked in vain at the doors of poetry”; or Aristotle, “no great genius was without a mixture of insanity”; the mind cannot express anything lofty and above the ordinary unless inspired. When it despises the common and the customary, and with sacred inspiration rises higher, then at length it sings something grander than that which can come from mortal lips. It cannot attain anything sublime and lofty so long as it is sane: it must depart from the customary, swing itself aloft, take the bit in its teeth, carry away its rider and bear him to a height whither he would have feared to ascend alone.
[Nam sive Graeco poetae credimus ‘aliquando et insanire iucundum est,’ sive Platoni ‘frustra poeticas fores compos sui pepulit,’ sive Aristoteli ‘nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit’: non potest grande aliquid et super ceteros loqui nisi mota mens. Cum vulgaria et solita contempsit instinctuque sacro surrexit excelsior, tunc demum aliquid cecinit grandius ore mortali. Non potest sublime quicquam et in arduo positum contingere, quam diu apud se est; desciscat oportet a solito et efferatur et mordeat frenos et rectorem rapiat suum eoque ferat, quo per se timuisset escendere.]
Added on 10-Aug-09 | Last updated 21-Jun-22
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