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





No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea, shining in his head, frightened people, and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.


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


Sanity is the lot of those who are most obtuse, for lucidity destroys one's equilibrium: it is unhealthy to honestly endure the labors of the mind which incessantly contradict what they have just established.


Georges Bataille (1897-1962, French novelist, critic)


We are all born mad. Some remain so.


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989, Irish dramatist, novelist)


No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one's designs to one's means.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


Man disavows, and Deity disowns me: hell might afford my miseries a shelter; therefore hell keeps her ever-hungry mouths all bolted against me.


William Cowper (1731-1800, British poet)


Where does one go from a world of insanity? Somewhere on the other side of despair.


T. S. Eliot (1888-1965, American-born British poet, critic)


Insanity destroys reason, but not wit.


Nathaniel Emmons


I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.


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


How strange to have failed as a social creature -- even criminals do not fail that way -- they are the law's "Loyal Opposition," so to speak. But the insane are always mere guests on earth, eternal strangers carrying around broken decalogues that they cannot read.


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

Author's website:


What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


What frightens us most in a madman is his sane conversation.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them; they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.


Allen Ginsberg (1926-, American poet)


Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone.


Baltasar Gracian (1601-1658, Spanish philosopher, writer)


Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked.


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


I teach that all men are mad.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


I may be crazy but it keeps me from going insane.


Waylon Jennings


Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.


Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)


Everyone is more or less mad on one point.


Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936, British author of Prose, Verse)


In a mad world, only the mad are sane.


Akiro Kurosawa


What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?


Ursula K. LeGuin


There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.


Oscar Levant (1906-1972, American pianist, actor)


Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your children.


Samuel Levenson


I'm a nut, but not just a nut.


Bill Murray (1950-, American comedian, actor, writer)


If you commit a big crime then you are crazy, and the more heinous the crime the crazier you must be. Therefore you are not responsible, and nothing is your fault.


Peggy Noonan (1950-, American author, presidential speechwriter)


I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845, American poet, critic, short-story writer)


For virtue's self may too much zeal be had; the worst of madmen is a saint run mad.


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


Insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a different outcome.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


All of us are crazy in one way or another.


Yiddish Proverb (Sayings of Yiddish origin)


What is madness but nobility of soul. At odds with circumstance?


Theodore Roethke (1908-1963, American poet)


Sanity is a madness put to good uses; waking life is a dream controlled.


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


Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.


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

Source: Hamlet


An asylum for the sane would be empty in America.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


The way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people but if we tried to shut up the insane we would run out of building materials.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Only the insane have strength enough to survive. Only the survivors determine what is sane.


Author Unknown


Whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.


Author Unknown


There is no insanity so devastating in man's life as utter sanity.


William Allen White (1868-1944, American editor, writer)


You must always be puzzled by mental illness. The thing I would dread most, if I became mentally ill, would be your adopting a common sense attitude; that you could take it for granted that I was deluded.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


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