Quotations about   imagination

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As the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking.

William Godwin (1756-1836) English journalist, political philosopher, novelist
The Enquirer, Essay 15 “Of Choice in Reading” (1797)
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Added on 2-Oct-17 | Last updated 2-Oct-17
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Ever since I had dinner with Lou Reed I’ve tried to avoid meeting the people who would make me feel starstruck. It was a great dinner but by the end of it Lou Reed was no longer my hero, and I don’t have many heroes. I resolutely avoided meeting David Bowie, which became harder when I became friends with Duncan Jones, his son, and then got even harder when I moved to Woodstock and he lived around the corner. But I love the fact that the Bowie that I have is the Bowie in my head: a strange, evolving, absolutely fictional Bowie who became my hero when I was 11.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
“This Much I Know,” The Guardian (5 Aug 2017)
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Added on 18-Sep-17 | Last updated 18-Sep-17
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You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into — the Twilight Zone.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator
Twilight Zone, Introduction, Seasons 4-5 (1963-1964)
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Added on 12-Jun-17 | Last updated 12-Jun-17
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When you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life.

Christopher Morley (1890-1957) American journalist, novelist, essayist, poet
Parnassus on Wheels, ch. 4 (1917)
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Added on 1-Jun-17 | Last updated 1-Jun-17
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You advise me, too, not to stray far from the ground of experience, as I become weak when I enter the region of fiction; and you say, “real experience is perennially interesting, and to all men.” I feel that this also is true; but, dear Sir, is not the real experience of each individual very limited? And, if a writer dwells upon that solely or principally, is he not in danger of repeating himself, and also of becoming an egotist? Then, too, imagination is a strong, restless faculty, which claims to be heard and exercised: are we to be quite deaf to her cry, and insensate to her struggles? When she shows us bright pictures, are we never to look at them, and try to reproduce them? And when she is eloquent, and speaks rapidly and urgently in our ear, are we not to write to her dictation?

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) British novelist [pseud. Currer Bell]
Letter to G. H. Lewes (6 Nov 1847)
Added on 15-Apr-17 | Last updated 15-Apr-17
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The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known.

Yoshida Kenkō (1284-1350) Japanese author and Buddhist monk [吉田 兼好]
Essays in Idleness [Tsurezuregusa] (c. 1330)
Added on 2-Feb-17 | Last updated 2-Feb-17
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I may look calm, but in my head I’ve killed you five times.

Sig Lines
~
Added on 24-Oct-16 | Last updated 24-Oct-16
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It must be added, lest we be reproached for leaving out details important to our readers’ understanding of subsequent events, that the lady seemed to have all the attributes of beauty, grace and charm that make a young man’s heart beat faster and cause his eyes to widen, lest they miss the least nuance of expression or gesture. It need hardly be added that Khaavren was just of the type to appreciate all of these qualities; that is to say, he was young and a man, and had, moreover, a vivid imagination which allowed his thoughts to penetrate, if not the mind of the lady opposite him, at least the folds and angles of her gown.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Phoenix Guards (1991)
Added on 21-Oct-16 | Last updated 21-Oct-16
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Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.

Verne - facts so romantic - wist_info quote

Jules Verne (1828-1905) French novelist, poet, playwright
The Fur Country (1873)
Added on 9-Sep-16 | Last updated 9-Sep-16
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Now, I’m an atheist. I really don’t believe for a moment that our moral sense comes from a God. […] It’s human, universal, [it’s] being able to think our way into the minds of others. As I said at the time, what those holy fools clearly lacked, or clearly were able to deny themselves, was the ability to enter into the minds of the people they were being so cruel to. Amongst their crimes, is, was, a failure of the imagination, of the moral imagination.

Ian McEwan (b. 1948) English novelist and screenwriter
“Faith and Doubt At Ground Zero,” Frontline (Feb 2002)
Added on 19-Jul-16 | Last updated 19-Jul-16
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Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“The Weight of Glory,” sermon, Oxford University Church of St Mary the Virgin (8 Jun 1941)
Added on 22-Jun-16 | Last updated 22-Jun-16
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Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.

Jules Verne (1828-1905) French novelist, poet, playwright
Around the World in Eighty Days (1873)
Added on 11-Jun-16 | Last updated 11-Jun-16
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I shut my eyes in order to see.

Gauguin - shut my eyes - wist_info quote

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) French painter [Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin]
(Attributed)
Added on 31-May-16 | Last updated 31-May-16
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Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956) English poet and playwright [Alan Alexander Milne]
House at Pooh Corner, ch. 10 (1928)
Added on 27-Jan-16 | Last updated 27-Jan-16
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Whenever you look at a piece of work and you think the fellow was crazy, then you want to pay some attention to that. One of you is likely to be, and you had better find out which one it is. It makes an awful lot of difference.

Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) American inventor, engineer, researcher, businessman
Comment (1930)
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As attributed by Francis Davis, inventor of power steering.
Added on 24-Jul-15 | Last updated 24-Jul-15
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Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip.

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
The Guns of August, ch. 2 (1962)
Added on 21-Jul-15 | Last updated 21-Jul-15
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Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
(Attributed)
Added on 8-Jul-15 | Last updated 8-Jul-15
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No state can be more destitute than that of a him who, when the delites of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Plays of William Shakespeare, “Cymbeline” (1765)
Added on 10-Apr-15 | Last updated 10-Apr-15
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Happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals [Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten] (1785)
Added on 9-Jan-14 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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The staircase that leads to God. What does it matter if it is make-believe, if we really climb it? What difference does it make who builds it, or if it is made of marble or word, of brick, stone, or mud? The essential thing is that it be solid and that in climbing it we feel the peace that is inaccessible to those who do not climb it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 12-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.

Tom Stoppard (b. 1937) Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
Artist Descending a Staircase (1972)
Added on 30-Jun-10 | Last updated 24-Jun-14
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Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet, wit, dramatist
(Attributed)

After Johnson.
Added on 8-Jun-09 | Last updated 21-Jun-16
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There are some things a chappie’s mind absolutely refuses to picture, and Aunt Julia singing ‘Rumpty-tiddley-umpty-ay’ is one of them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Man with Two Left Feet (1917)
Added on 8-Jun-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
Among My Books, “Dryden” (1870)
Added on 2-Feb-09 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
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There is nothing more fearful than imagination without taste.

[Es ist nichts furchterlicher als Einbildungskraft ohne Geschmack.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Spruche in Prosa [Proverbs in Prose], 3 (1819)
Added on 6-Jul-04 | Last updated 21-May-14
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I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Einstein - imagination is more important than knowlege - wist_info quote

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“What Life Means to Einstein,” Interview with G. Viereck, Saturday Evening Post (26 Oct 1929)

Quoted as "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world," in Viereck, "What Life Means to Einstein," Glimpses of the Great (1930).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Sep-19
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Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
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Lovers and madmen have seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 4 (1605)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-May-16
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