I love a good author quote. While books were my education, authors and playwrights, with their wise and often witty one-liners, were my teachers. I grew up in the olden days, before the internet, and back then, as dinosaurs roamed free, quotation books were popular. We had one in our home and I’d spend hours poring over what various authors had said on all different subjects, from quotes about children, to food, to religion. It was the way I learnt about the world, politics, social justice… and love.
Some writers were particular masters: Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde would have been social media superstars today with their polished one-liners, usually in 25 words or less. Other authors saved me the struggle of reading all their work, by summing up human experiences in a sentence or two.
By the time I was in high school I was the Queen of Quote and had mastered sounding way more educated than I was. Or perhaps just more obnoxious. I had a quote for every situation.
If my teacher asked why I hadn’t handed in an assignment, I’d say…
“I never let schooling interfere with my education.” Thank you, Mark Twain.
When explaining to my mother why I needed more pocket money … again…
“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” A nod to Oscar Wilde.
Or when a friend had been dumped…
“A broken heart in real life isn’t half as dreadful as it is in books. It’s a good deal like a bad tooth…” Clearly, I had as little experience as L.M. Montgomery on this subject.
Nowadays, rattling off a quote or two in conversation makes you sound like a walking meme. Quotes are commonplace online, and we share them freely, to motivate, to inspire and to support.
JK Rowling inspires us in times of adversity. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”
And Maya Angelou teaches us about humanity. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
While Thoreau reminds us, “There is no remedy for love, but to love more.”
The other oft quoted writer is Dorothy Parker who always liked to have the last word and is the recognised queen of some of the funniest put-downs, ever:
“As a source of entertainment, conviviality and good fun, she ranks somewhere between a sprig of parsley and a single ice-skate.”
Do you use quotes by famous authors? Have you ever shared any on social media? Tell us your favourite quote.
– Jane Tara is a blissed out bookworm, Better Reading writer, and author.