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





It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.


Alan Alda (1936-, American actor)


How great are the dangers I face to win a good name in Athens.


Alexander The Great (352-323 BC, Alexander III, Macedonian King)


A celebrity is a person who works hard all of their life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.


Fred A. Allen (1894-1957, American radio comic)


The strongest poison ever known came from Caesar's laurel crown.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.


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


Fame is like a river that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Good fame is like fire: when you have kindled it you may easily preserve it; but if you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and lonely as the North Pole.


Vicki Baum (1888-1960, American writer)


Fame always brings loneliness. Success is as ice cold and lonely as the North Pole.


Vicki Baum (1888-1960, American writer)


Those who have known the famous are publicly debriefed of their memories, knowing as their own dusk falls that they will only be remembered for remembering someone else.


Alan Bennett (1934-, British playwright)


I must say, I don't feel very qualified to be a pop star. I feel very awkward at times in the role.


Edward De Bono (1933-, British writer on thinking process)


People should realize we're jerks just like them.


Edward De Bono (1933-, British writer on thinking process)


A sign of celebrity is often that their name is worth more than their services.


Daniel J. Boorstin (1914-2004, American historian)


Popular applause veers with the wind.


John Bright (1811-1889, British statesman, orator)


But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity.


Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682, British author, physician, philosopher)


Happy is the man who hath never known what it is to taste of fame -- to have it is a purgatory, to want it is a Hell!


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


Fame is the thirst of youth.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


Folly loves the martyrdom of fame.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


I awoke one morning and found myself famous.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


My great comfort is, that the temporary celebrity I have wrung from the world has been in the very teeth of all opinions and prejudices. I have flattered no ruling powers; I have never concealed a single thought that tempted me.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


To many fame comes too late.


Luis De Camoens (1524-1580, Portuguese poet)


If you are ambitious of climbing up to the difficult, and in a manner inaccessible, summit of the Temple of Fame, your surest way is to leave on one hand the narrow path of Poetry, and follow the narrower track of Knight-Errantry, which in a trice may raise you to an imperial throne.


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


Fame is only good for one thing -- they will cash your check in a small town.


Truman Capote (1942-, American author)


Fame, we may understand, is no sure test of merit, but only a probability of such; it is an accident, not a property of man.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


When you can do the common things in life in a uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.


George Washington Carver (1864-1943, American scientist)


After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.


Cato The Elder (BC 234-149, Roman statesman, orator)


I would much rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one.


Cato The Elder (BC 234-149, Roman statesman, orator)


It often happens that those of whom we speak least on earth are best known in heaven.


Nicolas Caussin


Celebrity is the advantage of being known to people who we don't know, and who don't know us.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


The present condition of fame is merely fashion.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


True glory takes root, and even spreads; all false pretences, like flowers, fall to the ground; nor can any counterfeit last long.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


To want fame is to prefer dying scorned than forgotten.


E. M. Cioran (1911-1995, Rumanian-born French philosopher)


Acquaintance lessens fame.


Claudius (10 BC-AD 54, Roman emperor)


Of present fame think little, and of future less; the praises that we receive after we are buried, like the flowers that are strewed over our grave, may be gratifying to the living, but they are nothing to the dead.


Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832, British sportsman writer)


I am not concerned that I am not known, I seek to be worthy to be known.


Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese ethical teacher, philosopher)


Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!


Davy Crockett (1786-1836, American backwoodsman)


It's discouraging to make a mistake, but it's humiliating when you find out you're so unimportant that nobody noticed it.


Chuck Daly (1930-, American basketball coach)


Worldly fame is but a breath of wind that blows now this way, and now that, and changes name as it changes direction.


Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321, Italian philosopher, poet)


We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.


Bette Davis (1908-1989, American actress, producer)


A legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do. I'm still doing it.


Miles Davis (1926-1991, American jazz musician)


Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.


Emily Dickinson (1830-1886, American poet)


Fame and power are the objects of all men. Even their partial fruition is gained by very few; and that, too, at the expense of social pleasure, health, conscience, life.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


There has never been a statue erected to the memory of someone who let well enough alone.


Jules Ellinger


Fame is proof that the people are gullible.


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


What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


I was the only one there I never heard of.


Barry J. Farber (American trainer, speaker, author)


If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


There have been as great souls unknown to fame as any of the most famous.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Fame is the echo of actions, resounding them to the world, save that the echo repeats only the last art, but fame relates all, and often more than all.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Fame sometimes hath created something of nothing.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


If I'm such a legend, then why am I so lonely? Let me tell you, legends are all very well if you've got somebody around who loves you.


Judy Garland (1922-1969, American actress, singer)


If you modestly enjoy your fame you are not unworthy to rank with the holy.


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


What life half gives a man, posterity gives entirely.


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


Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him.


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


Fame is the inheritance not of the dead, but of the living. It is we who look back with lofty pride to the great names of antiquity.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


The love of fame is almost another name for the love of excellence; or it is the ambition to attain the highest excellence, sanctioned by the highest authority, that of time.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


There are names written in her immortal scroll at which Fame blushes!


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


It is a mark of many famous people that they cannot part with their brightest hour.


Lillian Hellman (1905-1984, American playwright)


Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something else.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


How vain, without the merit, is the name.


Homer (c. 850 -? BC, Greek epic poet)


Once you become famous, there is nothing left to become but infamous.


Don Johnson (1949-, American actor, director, producer, singer)


Once you become famous, there is nothing left to become but infamous.


Don Johnson (1949-, American actor, director, producer, singer)


I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


To get a name can happen but to few; it is one of the few things that cannot be brought. It is the free gift of mankind, which must be deserved before it will be granted, and is at last unwillingly bestowed.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


It is a wretched thing to live on the fame of others.


(Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal (c.55-c.130, Roman satirical poet)


Who would wish to be among the commonplace crowd of the little famous -- who are each individually lost in a throng made up of themselves?


John Keats (1795-1821, British poet)


There is not in the world so toilsome a trade as the pursuit of fame; life concludes before you have so much as sketched your work.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


The fame of great men ought to be judged always by the means they used to acquire it.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


Throughout my life, I have seen narrow -- shouldered men, without a single exception, committing innumerable stupid acts, brutalizing their fellows and perverting souls by all means. They call the motive for their actions fame.


Isidore Ducasse, Comte De Lautreamont (1846-1870, French author, poet)


Some people obtain fame, others deserve it.


Doris Lessing (1919-, British novelist)


Fame comes only when deserved, and then is as inevitable as destiny, for it is destiny.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime. And, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


I won't be happy till I'm as famous as God.


Madonna (1958-, American musician, singer, actress,)


I had it all and blew it.


Mickey Mantle (1931-1995, American baseball player)


May the countryside and the gliding valley streams content me. Lost to fame, let me love river and woodland.


Virgil Publius Vergilius Maro


I do not like the man who squanders life for fame.  Give me the man who living makes a name.


Marcus Valerius Martial (40-104, Latin poet and epigrammatist)


If fame is to come only after death, I am in no hurry for it.


Marcus Valerius Martial (40-104, Latin poet and epigrammatist)


It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and then they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved.


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


A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.


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


Fame is an illusive thing -- here today, gone tomorrow. The fickle, shallow mob raises its heroes to the pinnacle of approval today and hurls them into oblivion tomorrow at the slightest whim; cheers today, hisses tomorrow; utter forgetfulness in a few months.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


In the world of the celebrity, the hierarchy of publicity has replaced the hierarchy of descent and even of great wealth.


Wright C. Mills (1916-1962, American sociologist)


The professional celebrity, male and female, is the crowning result of the star system of a society that makes a fetish of competition. In America, this system is carried to the point where a man who can knock a small white ball into a series of holes in the ground with more efficiency than anyone else thereby gains social access to the President of the United States.


Wright C. Mills (1916-1962, American sociologist)


Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil.


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


Not to know me argues yourselves unknown.


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


A sex symbol becomes a thing. I hate being a thing.


Marilyn Monroe (1926-, American actress)


Fame will go by and, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live.


Marilyn Monroe (1926-, American actress)


All the fame you should look for in life is to have lived it quietly.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


Being famous was extremely disappointing for me. When I became famous it was a complete drag and it is still a complete drag.


Van Morrison (1945-, British-born American singer, songwriter, musician)


It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot.


Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977, Russian-born American novelist, poet)


A star on a movie set is like a time bomb. That bomb has got to be defused so people can approach it without fear.


Jack Nicholson (1937-, American actor, director, producer, screenwriter)


In the past, one desired to acquire fame and to be talked about. But that is not sufficient anymore, because the market has grown too big -- nothing less than screaming will do.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


The love of glory gives an immense stimulus.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


It is better to be a has-been than a never-was.


Cecil Parkinson (1932-, British conservative politician)


Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


I want to be famous everywhere.


Luciano Pavarotti (1935-, Italian musician, opera singer)


Now there is fame! Of all -- hunger, misery, the incomprehension by the public -- fame is by far the worst. It is the castigation of God by the artist. It is sad. It is true.


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spanish artist)


Heartthrobs are a dime a dozen.


Brad Pitt (1963-, American actor)


True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier and better for our living in it.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


What's fame? a fancy'd life in other's breath. A thing beyond us, even before our death.


Alexander Pope (1688-1744, British poet, critic, translator)


It is foolish for someone to seek credit for his ancestor's achievements.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Riches: a dream in the night. Fame: a gull floating on water.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Few people rise to our esteem upon closer scrutiny.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Fame is a constant effort.


Jules Renard (1864-1910, French author, dramatist)


Oblivion is the rule and fame the exception, of humanity.


Antoine Rivarol (1753-1801, French journalist, epigrammatist)


Renown? I've already got more of it than those I respect, and will never have as much as those for whom I feel contempt..


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


To become a celebrity is to become a brand name. There is Ivory Soap, Rice Krispies, and Philip Roth. Ivory is the soap that floats; Rice Krispies the breakfast cereal that goes snap-crackle-pop; Philip Roth the Jew who masturbates with a piece of liver.


Philip Roth (1933-, American novelist)


Fame is but the breath of people, and that often unwholesome.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778, Swiss political philosopher, educationist, essayist)


Fame is the beginning of the fall of greatness.


V. V. Rozanov


The majority of pop stars are complete idiots in every respect.


Marquis De Sade (1740-1814, French author)


The highest form of vanity is love of fame.


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


Of all the possessions of this life fame is the noblest; when the body has sunk into the dust the great name still lives.


Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)


Fame is something that must be won. Honor is something that must not be lost.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


The longer a man's fame is likely to last, the longer it will be in coming.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


We always hear about the haves and the have-nots. Why don't we hear about the doers and the do-nots.


Thomas Sewell


Celebrity is never more admired than by the negligent.


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


Death makes no conquest of this conqueror.  For now he lives in fame, though not in life.


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


Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, till, by broad spreading, it disperse to naught.


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

Source: Henry VI, Part I


Time hath a wallet at his back, wherein he puts. Alms for oblivion, a great-sized monster of ingratitudes.


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


Because I have conducted my own operas and love sheep-dogs; because I generally dress in tweeds, and sometimes, at winter afternoon concerts, have even conducted in them; because I was a militant suffragette and seized a chance of beating time to "The March of the Women" from the window of my cell in Holloway Prison with a tooth-brush; because I have written books, spoken speeches, broadcast, and don't always make sure that my hat is on straight; for these and other equally pertinent reasons, in a certain sense I am well known.


Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944, British composer, feminist)


Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.


Socrates (BC 469-399, Greek philosopher of Athens)


The love of the famous, like all strong passions, is quite abstract. Its intensity can be measured mathematically, and it is independent of persons.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


Fame has also this great drawback, that if we pursue it, we must direct our lives so as to please the fancy of men.


Baruch Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677, Dutch philosopher and theologian)


What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little.


Leszczynski Stanislaus (1677-1766, Polish King)


Love of fame is the last thing even learned men can bear to be parted from.


Publius Cornelius Tacitus (55-117, Roman historian)


The love of fame is the last weakness which even the wise resign.


Publius Cornelius Tacitus (55-117, Roman historian)


Even the best things are not equal to their fame.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


The difference between great celebrities and the unknown is the former failed and yet went at it again; the latter gave up in despair.


Author Unknown


It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.


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


Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face. As soon as one is aware of being "somebody," to be watched and listened to with extra interest, input ceases.  The performer goes blind and deaf in his over-animation. One can either see or be seen.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


The fame you earn has a different taste from the fame that is forced upon you.


Gloria Vanderbilt


Men's fame is like their hair, which grows after they are dead, and with just as little use to them.


George Villiers (1628-1687, British wit, poet, statesman, Duke of Buckingham)


Each man has his appointed day: short and irreparable in the brief life of all, but to extend our fame by our deeds, this is the work of mankind.


Virgil (c. 70 - 19 BC, Roman poet)


Fame hides her head among the clouds.


Virgil (c. 70 - 19 BC, Roman poet)


What a heavy burden is a name that has become famous too soon.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


Sometimes I wish I weren't famous.


Tammy Wynette (1942-, American musician, singer)


The day will come when everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.


Andy Warhol (1930-, American artist, filmmaker)


Being a sex symbol was rather like being a convict.


Raquel Welch (1940-, American actress)


What desire for fame attends both great and small; better be damned than mentioned not at all!


John Wolcot


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking