Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON DESIRE


He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.

One's very own free, unfettered desire, one's own whim, no matter how wild, one's own fantasy, even though sometimes roused to the point of madness—all this constitutes precisely that previously omitted, most advantageous advantage which isn't included under any classification and because of which all systems and theories are constantly smashed to smithereens.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the Underground

Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.

WILLIAM BLAKE, The Voice of the Devil

Subdue your appetites, my dears, and you've conquered human nature.

CHARLES DICKENS, Nicholas Nickleby

Who wants to want according to a little table?

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the Underground

It is when we try to grapple with another man's intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun.

JOSEPH CONRAD, Lord Jim

There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Man and Superman

Nought's had, all's spent
Where our desire is got without content.
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than, by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Macbeth

He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

WILLIAM BLAKE, Proverbs of Hell

That is the worst moment, when you feel you have lost
The desires for all that was most dersirable,
Before you are contented with what you can desire;
Before you know what is left to be desired;
And you go on wishing that you could desire
What desire has left behind. But you cannot understand.
How could you understand what it is to feel old?

T. S. ELIOT, The Cocktail Party

Love lends wings to our desires.

ALEXANDRE DUMAS, The Count of Monte Cristo

Man desires, woman is desired.

LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH, Venus in Furs

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.

RICHARD BACH, Illusions

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