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





Every European visitor to the United States is struck by the comparative rarity of what he would call a face, by the frequency of men and women who look like elderly babies. If he stays in the States for any length of time, he will learn that this cannot be put down to a lack of sensibility -- the American feels the joys and sufferings of human life as keenly as anybody else. The only plausible explanation I can find lies in his different attitude to the past. To have a face, in the European sense of the word, it would seem that one must not only enjoy and suffer but also desire to preserve the memory of even the most humiliating and unpleasant experiences of the past.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.


Lauren Bacall (1924-, American actress)


I have eyes like those of a dead pig.


Marlon Brando (1924-, American actor, director)


I have eyes like those of a dead pig.


Marlon Brando (1924-, American actor, director)


People remain what they are even if their faces fall apart.


Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, German dramatist, poet)


It has been said that a pretty face is a passport. But it's not, it's a visa, and it runs out fast.


Julie Burchill (British journalist, writer)


When matters are desperate we must put on a desperate face.


Robert Burn


A blank helpless sort of face, rather like a rose just before you drench it with D.D.T.


John Carey


The eyes those silent tongues of love.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


A strange and somewhat impassive physiognomy is often, perhaps, an advantage to an orator, or leader of any sort, because it helps to fix the eye and fascinate the mind.


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American sociologist)


A man finds room in the few square inches of the face for the traits of all his ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants.


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


As a beauty I'm not a great star. Others are handsomer far; but my face -- I don't mind it because I'm behind it; it the folks out in front that I jar.


A. H. Euwer


As a beauty I'm not a great star. Others are handsomer far; but my face -- I don't mind it because I'm behind it; it the folks out in front that I jar.


A. H. Euwer


The human face is the organic seat of beauty. It is the register of value in development, a record of Experience, whose legitimate office is to perfect the life, a legible language to those who will study it, of the majestic mistress, the soul.


Eliza Farnham (1815-1864, American author and social reformist)


The faces of most American women over thirty are relief maps of petulant and bewildered unhappiness.


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

Author's website:


Her face was her chaperone.


Rupert Hughes


The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.


Jack Handy


I am the family face; flesh perishes, I live on, projecting trait and trace through time to times anon, and leaping from place to place over oblivion.


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928, British novelist, poet)


Our masks, always in peril of smearing or cracking, in need of continuous check in the mirror or silverware, keep us in thrall to ourselves, concerned with our surfaces.


Carolyn Kizer


The serial number of a human specimen is the face, that accidental and unrepeatable combination of features. It reflects neither character nor soul, nor what we call the self. The face is only the serial number of a specimen.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ileum?


Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593, British dramatist, poet)


We can see nothing whatever of the soul unless it is visible in the expression of the countenance; one might call the faces at a large assembly of people a history of the human soul written in a kind of Chinese ideograms.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


Every man over forty is responsible for his face.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


A face is too slight a foundation for happiness.


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British society figure, letter writer)


That the public can grow accustomed to any face is proved by the increasing prevalence of Keith's ruined physiognomy on TV documentaries and chat shows, as familiar and homely a horror as Grandpa in The Munsters.


Philip Norman


What is your fortune, my pretty maid? "My face is my fortune, Sir," she said.


Nursery Rhyme


After a certain number of years our faces become our biographies. We get to be responsible for our faces.


Cynthia Ozick (1928-, American novelist, short-story writer)


What is a face, really? Its own photo? Its make-up? Or is it a face as painted by such or such painter? That which is in front? Inside? Behind? And the rest? Doesn't everyone look at himself in his own particular way? Deformations simply do not exist.


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish artist)


The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit made permanent. Nature, like the destruction of Pompeii, like the metamorphosis of a nymph into a tree, has arrested us in an accustomed movement.


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


A man's face as a rule says more, and more interesting things, than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this man's thoughts and aspirations.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


Wicked thoughts and worthless efforts gradually set their mark on the face, especially the eyes.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


The faces that have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.


Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832, British novelist, poet)


God had given you one face, and you make yourself another.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)

Source: Hamlet


The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Clowns wear a face that's painted intentionally on them so they appear to be happy or sad. What kind of mask are you wearing today?


Author Unknown


The face is the index of the mind.


Author Unknown


This face is a dog's snout sniffing for garbage, snakes nest in that mouth, I hear the sibilant threat.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892, American poet)


A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction.


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


Tom's great yellow bronze mask all draped upon an iron framework. An inhibited, nerve-drawn, dropped face -- as if hung on a scaffold of heavy private brooding and thought.


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


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