Elizabeth Bowen Quotes

Most popular Elizabeth Bowen Quotes

Dogs are a habit, I think.


Life is a succession of readjustments.


Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.


Silences have a climax, when you have got to speak.


One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.

understanding ideas

Someone soon to start on a journey is always a little holy.


Jealousy is no more than feeling alone against smiling enemies.


When you love someone all your saved-up wishes start coming out.

wish love

When you love someone all your saved up wishes start coming out.
— Elizabeth Bowen
Art is the only thing that can go on mattering once it has stopped hurting.


Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms.


The passion of vanity has its own depths in the spirit, and is powerfully militant.


The heart may think it knows better: the senses know that absence blots people out.


Habit, of which passion must be wary, may all the same be the sweetest part of love.
— Elizabeth Bowen
Good general-purpose manners nowadays may be said to consist in knowing how much you can get away with.


Proust has pointed out that the predisposition to love creates its own objects: is this not true of fear?


Experience isn't interesting till it begins to repeat itself—in fact, till it does that it hardly is experience.


Intimacies between women often go backwards, beginning in revelations and ending in small talk without loss of esteem.


All your youth, you want to have your greatness taken for granted; when you find it taken for granted, you are unnerved.


The finer the nature, and the higher the level at which it seeks to live, the lower in grief it not only sinks but dives.


The charm, one might say the genius, of memory is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust.
— Elizabeth Bowen Vogue


For people who live on expectations, to face up to their realization is something of an ordeal.  Expectations are the most perilous form of dream, and when dreams do realize themselves it is in the waking world: the difference is subtly but often painfully felt.