Evelyn Waugh Quotes

Most popular Evelyn Waugh Quotes

I put the words down and push them a bit.
— Evelyn Waugh

writing

Perhaps host and guest is really the happiest relation for father and son.

father

Words should be an intense pleasure just as leather should be to a shoemaker.

words

The great charm in argument is really finding one's own opinions, not other people's.
— Evelyn Waugh
Manners are especially the need of the plain.  The pretty can get away with anything.

beauty manners

We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us, but for our ability to amuse them.
— Evelyn Waugh

friendship

Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic.
— Evelyn Waugh

men and women

Cliché hunting is a cruel and mischievous hobby—the badger digging of the literary blood sports.
One forgets words as one forgets names.  One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.

vocabulary

Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography.
— Evelyn Waugh

autobiography

Style is not a seductive decoration added to a functional structure; it is of the essence of a work of art.

art

The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana Cigar.
— Evelyn Waugh

cigars Cigar

I regard writing not as an investigation of character but as an exercise in the use of language, and with this I am obsessed.

writing

I never can understand how two men can write a book together, to me that's like three people getting together to have a baby.
— Evelyn Waugh

cooperation

Properly understood, style is not a seductive decoration added to a functional structure; it is of the essence of a work of art.

style

One has to regard a man as a Master who can produce on average three uniquely brilliant and entirely original similes to every page.

simile

The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.

heaven

To see him fumbling with our rich and delicate language is to experience all the horror of seeing a Sèvres vase in the hands of a chimpanzee.
An artist must be a reactionary.  He has to stand out against the tenor of his age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition.

artists

I am not the least worried about the charge of using clichés.  I think to be oversensitive about cliches is like being oversensitive about table manners.
Those who are in the know can usually discern an embryo truth, a little grit of fact, like the core of a pearl round which have been deposited the delicate layers of ornament.

facts truth

Conversation should be like juggling; up go the balls and the plates, up and over, in and out, good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and fall with a bang if you miss them.

conversation

In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice.  No one would think of making an after-dinner speech without the help of poetry.  It used to be classics, now it's lyric verse.

oratory

In the dying world I come from a quotation is a national vice.  No one would think of making an after-dinner speech without the help of poetry.  It used to be the classics, now it's lyric verse.

quotations

Novel-writing is a highly skilled and laborious trade.  One does not just sit behind a screen jotting down other people's conversation.  One has for one's raw material every single thing one has ever seen or heard or felt, and one has to go over that vast, smoldering rubbish-heap of experience, half stifled by fumes and dust, scraping and delving until one finds a few discarded valuables.

novels