None think the great unhappy but the great.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.
—Groucho Marx (1890–1977) American Actor, Comedian, Singer
Try as we may, none of us can be free of conflict and woe. Even the greatest men have had to accept disappointments as their daily bread…. The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them. Man and society must grow together. Each individual’s efforts to discipline himself must be matched by society’s struggle to enforce the rules of law and of justice under the law.
—Bernard M. Baruch (1870–1965) American Financier, Economic Consultant
Our intention creates our reality.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
What happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality breaks and the glass begins to fly?
Art must take reality by surprise.
—Francoise Sagan (1935–2004) French Novelist, Playwright, Short-Story Writer
Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Realism, whether it be socialist or not, falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination.
—Eugene Ionesco (1909–94) Romanian-born French Dramatist
Ambition, having reached the summit, longs to descend.
—Pierre Corneille (1606–84) French Poet, Dramatist
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.
—Montesquieu (1689–1755) French Political Philosopher, Jurist
The unreal is natural, so natural that it makes of unreality the most natural of anything natural. That is what America does, and that is what America is.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
May the dreams of your past be the reality of your future
We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what we imagine might have been.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
I never admired another’s fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
There are occasions when it is undoubtedly better to incur loss than to make gain.
—Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus) (c.250–184 BCE) Roman Comic Playwright
What you can’t get is just what suits you.
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
—Tupac Shakur (1971–96) American Rapper, Actor
Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.
—Hubert Humphrey (1911–78) American Head of State, Politician
How to achieve such anomalies, such alterations and re-fashionings of reality so what comes out of it are lies, if you like, but lies that are more than literal truth.
—Vincent van Gogh (1853–90) Dutch Painter
One fine day in the middle of the night
Two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other
One was blind and the other couldn’t see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play
A dumb man went to shout hooray!
A paralysed donkey passing by
Kicked the blind man in the eye
Knocked him through a nine inch wall
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all
A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came to arrest the two dead boys
If you don’t believe this story
True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing.
—Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) French Poet, Playwright, Film Director
It is my conviction that pure mathematical construction enables us to discover the concepts and the laws connecting them, which gives us the key to the understanding of nature … In a certain sense, therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
It must be hard to be a model, because you’d want to be like the photograph of you, and you can’t ever look that way.
—Andy Warhol (1928–87) American Painter, Printmaker, Film Personality
If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover these precious values: that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
Reality is a sliding door.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher