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Adults who still derive childlike pleasure from hanging gifts of a ready-made education on the Christmas tree of a child waiting outside the door to life do not realize how unreceptive they are making the children to everything that constitutes the true surprise of life.
Experiences are savings which a miser puts aside. Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust.
He who does without the praise of the crowd will not deny himself an opportunity to be his own adherent.
How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read.
It is the style of idealism to console itself for the loss of something old with the ability to gape at something new.
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.
Progress celebrates victories over nature. Progress makes purses out of human skin. When people were traveling in mail coaches, the world got ahead better than it does now that salesmen fly through the air. What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way? How will the heirs of this age be taught the most basic motions that are necessary to activate the most complicated machines? Nature can rely on progress; it will avenge it for the outrage it has perpetrated on it.
Sexual enlightenment is justified insofar as girls cannot learn too soon how children do not come into the world.
The esthete stands in the same relation to beauty as the pornographer stands to love, and the politician stands to life.
The world has become uglier since it began to look into a mirror every day; so let us settle for the mirror image and do without an inspection of the original.
What torture, this life in society! Often someone is obliging enough to offer me a light, and in order to oblige him I have to fish a cigarette out of my pocket.