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





It is restful, tragedy, because one knows that there is no more lousy hope left. You know you're caught, caught at last like a rat with all the world on its back. And the only thing left to do is shout -- not moan, or complain, but yell out at the top of your voice whatever it was you had to say. What you've never said before. What perhaps you don't even know till now.


Jean Anouilh (1910-1987, French playwright)


The true end of tragedy is to purify the passions.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Tragedy on the stage is no longer enough for me. I shall bring it into my own life.


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


Only a great mind that is overthrown yields tragedy.


Jacques Barzun (1907-, American scholar)


Only a great mind that is overthrown yields tragedy.


Jacques Barzun (1907-, American scholar)


I've never thought of my characters as being sad. On the contrary, they are full of life. They didn't choose tragedy. Tragedy chose them.


Juliette Binoche (1964-, French-born American actress)


What would be left of our tragedies if an insect were to present us his?


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


The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives -- the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.


Norman Cousins (1915-1990, American editor, humanitarian, author)


None but a poet can write a tragedy. For tragedy is nothing less than pain transmuted into exaltation by the alchemy of poetry.


Edith Hamilton (1867-1963, American classical scholar, translator)


What the American public wants in the theater is a tragedy with a happy ending.


William Dean Howells (1837-1920, American novelist, critic)


We participate in tragedy. At comedy we only look.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


I've come to realize that life is not a musical comedy, it's a Greek tragedy.


Billy Joel (1949-, American musician, piano man, singer, songwriter)


When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


There is nothing more tragic than to find an individual bogged down in the length of life, devoid of breadth.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.


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


Tragedy is like strong acid -- it dissolves away all but the very gold of truth.


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


Commonplace people dislike tragedy because they dare not suffer and cannot exult.


John Masefield (1878-1967, British poet and novelist)


The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism.


Arthur Miller (1915-, American dramatist)


It was no great tragedy being Judy Garland's daughter. I had tremendously interesting childhood years  -- except they had little to do with being a child.


Liza Minnelli (1946-, American actress, singer)


There are no tragedies, just facts not recognized in time.


William D. Montapert


A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes.


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


Laughter is ever young, whereas tragedy, except the very highest of all, quickly becomes haggard.


Margaret Sackville (1881-1963, British poet)


The little word is has its tragedies: it marries and identifies different things with the greatest innocence; and yet no two are ever identical, and if therein lies the charm of wedding them and calling them one, therein too lies the danger.


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


There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.


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


Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain.


Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822, British poet)


It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.


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


The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily. That is what tragedy means.


Tom Stoppard (1937-, Czech playwright)


When you close your eyes to tragedy, you close your eyes to greatness.


Stephen Vizinczey (1933-, Hungarian novelist, critic)


In this world there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. The last is much the worst.


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


You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.


Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)


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