Literary Birthday – 10 September – Cyril Connolly

Cyril Connolly was born 10 September 1903, and died  26 November 1974.

Nine Quotes

  1. Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
  2. Style is a relation between form and content. Where the content is less than the form, where the author pretends to emotion which he does not feel, the language will seem flamboyant. The more ignorant a writer feels, the more artificial becomes his style. A writer who thinks himself cleverer than his readers writes simply, one who is afraid they are cleverer than he, will make use of mystification: good style is arrived at when the chosen represents what the author requires of it without mystification.
  3. While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.
  4. Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice.
  5. Our memories are card-indexes consulted and then put back in disorder by authorities whom we do not control.
  6. There are only three things which make life worth living: to be writing a tolerably good book, to be in a dinner party of six, and to be travelling south with someone whom your conscience permits you to love.
  7. No education is worth having that does not teach the lesson of concentration on a task, however unattractive. These lessons, if not learnt early, will be learnt, if at all, with pain and grief in later life.
  8. Whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.
  9. A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.

Cyril Connolly was an English intellectual, literary critic, and writer. He was the editor of Horizon literary magazine from 1940 to 1949. He is known for writing Enemies of Promise.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 10th September 2014