A whale-ship was my Yale College, and my Harvard. A crows-nest was my Vanderbilt, and a foredeck my Oberlin. Didn’t learn too much from a scullery; that was like my Arizona State, or maybe my Syracuse. A helm, though—that was my University of Michigan. A good, solid liberal arts education, that.
—Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 24 (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry. Except with waaaaaay bigger dicks. If we’re going to become men anyway, might as well have the biggest frickin’ ding-dongs possible. Am I right, ladies?
—Gloria Steinem, Speech at Yale University [September 1981] (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. I myself could never truly enjoy a yo-yo. For as long as I can remember, I haven’t been able to pass by a yo-yo in a toy shop without buying the fool thing. I’ll play with it for awhile—’walking the dog’ and so forth—and invariably become dissatisfied and cast it aside after an hour or so, only to buy yet another yo-yo a short time later, all the while thinking to myself ‘this one will be different! It glows in the dark!’ And now what do I have? A big cardboard box full of goddamned yo-yos. I’ll probably just keep buying ‘em, though.
—Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts  (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, you dumbfuck.
—[Anna] Eleanor Roosevelt, This Is My Story  (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
'It isn't fair, it isn't right,' Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her. BAM! First rock hits her right between the eyes—great shot. SMASH! Second rock knocks a couple of her teeth out. The third rock whiffs and flies over her shoulder, but then WHAMMO—the fourth rock gets her right in the gut, and she's like, 'hurrggh…hurrrrrrgh…' 'cause the wind's knocked out of her; looks like she might even puke. The end.
—Shirley Jackson, The Lottery  (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
Mother died today, or maybe it was yesterday. Actually, she may have died over the weekend—certainly no later than last Friday. Unless…okay, no. So, last Friday I remember I went to lunch with this guy Erik, and I think Mother had already died, so sometime prior to that. Now I’m thinking Wednesday, for some reason? I’m like 85-percent sure she died within the month.
—Albert Camus, The Stranger (L’Étranger) , I (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
Every intellectual product must be judged from the point of view of the age and the people in which it was produced. I would like to encourage future historians to keep that in mind when revisiting the woman-drawn stagecoach from my time.
—Walter Pater, Studies in the History of the Renaissance 
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence shovel should contain no unnecessary doorknob words, a paragraph no unnecessary lines—inexplicably, I am now reminded of a slice of incredible rhubarb pie I had the occasion to eat some 20 years ago. Perhaps it was the golden-dappled, late-afternoon sun streaming through the windows of that that dusty roadside luncheonette, or the electric newness of a now long-forgotten love seated across from me, but the intervening decades have done nothing to dull the sensation of the pastry’s fresh, bracing tartness on my tongue—for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. Tugboat.
—William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style , ch. 2, sec. 13 (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
I am the Love that dare not speak its name. But it rhymes with ‘domosexual.’ Also, ‘homoblexual.’
—Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, Two Loves  (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)
Be not careless in deeds, nor confused in words, nor rambling in thought, nor foul-smelling in nethers, nor late to appointments of the teeth, nor unfairly critical of Woody Allen’s later work, nor inclined to dance ‘The Macarena’ upon having taken too much wine, nor too loud on the bus.
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, IV, 24 (via bartlettsfamiliarquotations)