An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





To be sure, nothing is more important to the integrity of the universities than a rigorously enforced divorce from war-oriented research and all connected enterprises.


Hannah Arendt (1906-1975, German-born American political philosopher)


Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!


Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, British poet, critic)


The race of prophets is extinct. Europe is becoming set in its ways, slowly embalming itself beneath the wrappings of its borders, its factories, its law-courts and its universities. The frozen Mind cracks between the mineral staves which close upon it. The fault lies with your moldy systems, your logic of 2 + 2 = 4. The fault lies with you, Chancellors, caught in the net of syllogisms. You manufacture engineers, magistrates, doctors, who know nothing of the true mysteries of the body or the cosmic laws of existence. False scholars blind outside this world, philosophers who pretend to reconstruct the mind. The least act of spontaneous creation is a more complex and revealing world than any metaphysics.


Antonin Artaud (1896-1948, French theater producer, actor, theorist)


I was a modest, good-humored boy. It is Oxford that has made me insufferable.


Max Beerbohm (1872-1956, British actor)


The most important function of the university in an age of reason is to protect reason from itself.


Allan Bloom (1930-1992, American educator, author)


What poor education I have received has been gained in the University of Life.


Horatio Bottomley (1860-1946, American politician)


This place is the Devil, or at least his principal residence, they call it the University, but any other appellation would have suited it much better, for study is the last pursuit of the society; the Master eats, drinks, and sleeps, the Fellows drink, dispute and pun, the employments of the undergraduates you will probably conjecture without my description.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.


John Ciardi (1916-1986, American teacher, poet, writer)


'Tis well enough for a servant to be bred at an University. But the education is a little too pedantic for a gentleman.


William Congreve (1670-1729, British dramatist)


Within the university... you can study without waiting for any efficient or immediate result. You may search, just for the sake of searching, and try for the sake of trying. So there is a possibility of what I would call playing. It's perhaps the only place within society where play is possible to such an extent.


Jacques Derrida


A college education should equip one to entertain three things: a friend, an idea and oneself.


Thomas Ehrlich


One of the benefits of a college education is to show the boy its little avail.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The colleges, while they provide us with libraries, furnish no professors of books; and I think no chair is so much needed.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Universities are of course hostile to geniuses, which, seeing and using ways of their own, discredit the routine as churches and monasteries persecute youthful saints.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Looking back over a decade one sees the ideal of a university become a myth, a vision, a meadow lark among the smoke stacks. Yet perhaps it is there at Princeton, only more elusive than under the skies of the Prussian Rhineland or Oxfordshire; or perhaps some men come upon it suddenly and possess it, while others wander forever outside. Even these seek in vain through middle age for any corner of the republic that preserves so much of what is fair, gracious, charming and honorable in American life.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Scratch a Yale man with both hands and you'll be lucky to find a coastguard. Usually you find nothing at all.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


The men -- the undergraduates of Yale and Princeton are cleaner, healthier, better-looking, better dressed, wealthier and more attractive than any undergraduate body in the country.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


Oxford is -- Oxford: not a mere receptacle for youth, like Cambridge. Perhaps it wants its inmates to love it rather than to love one another.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


Master and Doctor are my titles; for ten years now, without repose, I held my erudite recitals and led my pupils by the nose.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


I had always imagined that cliche was a suburb of Paris until I discovered it to be a street in Oxford.


Philip Guedalla (1889-1944, British writer)


I had always imagined that cliche was a suburb of Paris until I discovered it to be a street in Oxford.


Philip Guedalla (1889-1944, British writer)


I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford.


Edward F. Halifax (1881-1959, British conservative statesman)


Towery city and branching between towers; cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook-racked, river-rounded.


Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889, British poet)


The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge. The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.


Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895, British biologist, educator)


University degrees are a bit like adultery: you may not want to get involved with that sort of thing, but you don't want to be thought incapable.


Sir Peter Imbert


Colleges are places where pebbles are polished and diamonds are dimmed.


Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899, American orator, lawyer)


College isn't the place to go for ideas.


Helen Keller (1880-1968, American blind/deaf author, lecturer, amorist)


It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds: a Harvard education and a Yale degree.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


While formal schooling is an important advantage, it is not a guarantee of success nor is its absence a fatal handicap.


Ray Kroc (1902-1984, American businessman, founder of McDonalds)


They were evidently small men, all wind and quibbles, flinging out their chuffy grain to us with far less interest than a farm-wife feels as she scatters corn to her fowls.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


I am willing to admit that some people might live there for years, or even a lifetime, so protected that they never sense the sweet stench of corruption that is all around them -- the keen, thin scent of decay that pervades everything and accuses with a terrible accusation the superficial youthfulness, the abounding undergraduate noise, that fills those ancient buildings.


Thomas Merton (1915-1968, American religious writer, poet)


In university they don't tell you that the greater part of the law is learning to tolerate fools.


Doris Lessing (1919-, British novelist)


I am told that today rather more than 60 per cent of the men who go to university go on a Government grant. This is a new class that has entered upon the scene. It is the white-collar proletariat. They do not go to university to acquire culture but to get a job, and when they have got one, scamp it. They have no manners and are woefully unable to deal with any social predicament. Their idea of a celebration is to go to a public house and drink six beers. They are mean, malicious and envious . They are scum.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


Let's not burn the universities yet. After all, the damage they do might be worse.


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


American universities are organized on the principle of the nuclear rather than the extended family. Graduate students are grimly trained to be technicians rather than connoisseurs. The old German style of universal scholarship has gone.


Camille Paglia (1947-, American author, critic, educator)


Our major universities are now stuck with an army of pedestrian, toadying careerists, Fifties types who wave around Sixties banners to conceal their record of ruthless, beaver-like tunneling to the top.


Camille Paglia (1947-, American author, critic, educator)


Apparently, the most difficult feat for a Cambridge male is to accept a woman not merely as feeling, not merely as thinking, but as managing a complex, vital interweaving of both.


Sylvia Plath (1932-1963, American poet)


It is dangerous sending a young man who is beautiful to Oxford.


Dudley Ryder


Oxford, the paradise of dead philosophies.


George Santayana (1863-1952, American philosopher, poet)


Socrates gave no diplomas or degrees, and would have subjected any disciple who demanded one to a disconcerting catechism on the nature of true knowledge.


G. M. Trevelyan (1876-1962, British historian)


College-bred is a four-year loaf, using dad's dough, coming out half-baked, with a lot of crust.


Author Unknown


I am not impressed by the Ivy League establishments. Of course they graduate the best -- it's all they'll take, leaving to others the problem of educating the country. They will give you an education the way the banks will give you money -- provided you can prove to their satisfaction that you don't need it.


Peter De Vries (1910-1993, American author)


In spite of the roaring of the young lions at the Union, and the screaming of the rabbits in the home of the vivisect, in spite of Keble College, and the tramways, and the sporting prints, Oxford still remains the most beautiful thing in England, and nowhere else are life and art so exquisitely blended, so perfectly made one.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


They teach anything in universities today. You can major in mud pies.


Orson Welles (1915-1985, American film maker)


The exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


If we help an educated man's daughter to go to Cambridge, are we not forcing her to think not about education but about war? -- not how she can learn, but how she can fight in order that she might win the same advantages as her brothers?


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941, British novelist, essayist)


I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking. It is all like an opera.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939, Irish poet, playwright.)


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