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Cyril Connolly
1903 - 1974

British writer and critic, columnist in the Sunday Times, one-time editor of Horizon Magazine, author of The Unquiet Grave (1945) and Enemies of Promise (1938)


Civilization is an active deposit which is formed by the combustion of the Present with the Past. Neither in countries without a Present or in those without a Past is it to be discovered.

1945 - from The Unquiet Grave
The disasters of the world are due to its inhabitants not being able to grow old simultaneously. There is always a raw and intolerant nation eager to destroy the tolerant and mellow.

1945 - from The Unquiet Grave
Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.

1938 - from Enemies of Promise
The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet.

1974 - from Journal and Memoir
Slums may well be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.

1945 - from The Unquiet Grave
When in doubt, choose greatness.