How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Get black on white.
I keep six honest serving men. (They taught me all I know); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.
Agatha Christie has given more pleasure in bed than any other woman.
An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
Autobiography is a preemptive strike against biographers.
Begin with another's to end with your own.
Dr. Johnson's sayings would not appear so extraordinary were it not for his bow-wow way.
Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach.
I am being frank about myself in this book. I tell of my first mistake on page 850.
I am not learning definitions as established in even the latest dictionaries. I am not a dictionary-maker. I am a person a dictionary-maker has to contend with. I am a living evidence in the development of language.
I have this feeling of wending my way or plundering through a mysterious jungle of possibilities when I am writing. This jungle has not been explored by previous writers. It never will be explored. It's endlessly varying as we progress through the experience of time. These words that occur to me come out of my relation to the language which is developing even as I am using it.
I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.
In Ireland, a writer is looked upon as a failed conversationalist.
It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practising it.
Make'em laugh; make 'em cry; make 'em wait.
Many a fervid man writes books as cold and flat as graveyard stones.
Memoirs: the backstairs of history.
No tears and the writer, no tears and the reader.
The pen is mightier than the sword.