Clifton Fadiman Quotes

Most popular Clifton Fadiman Quotes

Science fiction is a kind of archaeology of the future.

science fiction

The adjective is the banana peel of the parts of speech.

parts of speech

I don't want to be my child's pal, I want to be his father.
— Clifton Fadiman
Ennui, felt on the proper occasions, is a sign of intelligence.
— Clifton Fadiman


A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover.


It would seem that in youth we sow our wild oats, in old age our tame anedcotes.


To take wine into our mouths is to savor a droplet of the river of human history.


Mr. Faulkner, of course, is interested in making your mind rather than your flesh creep.
For most men, life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.


Reading is not an operation performed on something inert but a relationship entered into with another vital being.


When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.

reading classics re-reading

An ideologue may be defined as a mad intellectual.  He is not interested in ideas, but—almost the exact contrary—in one idea.


When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.
— Clifton Fadiman


A cheese may disappoint.  It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality.


Socrates called himself a midwife of ideas. A great book is often such a midwife, delivering to full existence what has been coiled like an embryo in the dark, silent depths of the brain.


What is a sense of humor?  Surely not the ability to understand a joke. It comes rather from a residing feeling of one's own absurdity.  It is the ability to understand a joke, and that the joke is on oneself.

sense of humor