Theodore Dreiser quotes

  • Assure a man that he has a soul and then frighten him with old wives' tales as to what is to become of him afterward, and you have hooked a fish, a mental slave.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Men #Wife #Scary

  • The thing that impressed me then as now about New York… was the sharp, and at the same time immense, contrast it showed between the dull and the shrewd, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the wise and the ignorant… the strong, or those who ultimately dominated, were so very strong, and the weak so very, very weak - and so very, very many.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Wise #Strong #New York

  • I believe in the compelling power of love. I do not understand it. I believe it to be the most fragrant blossom of all this thorny existence.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Love #Believe #Existence

  • Life is a God-damned, stinking, treacherous game and nine hundred and ninety-nine men out of a thousand are bastards.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Men #Games #Nine

  • How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Mean #Shadow #Volume

  • In order to have wisdom we must have ignorance.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Ignorance #Order

  • Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Mean #Feelings #Together

  • Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Art #Sadness #Wings

  • Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Civilization #Intuition #Beast

  • Let no one underestimate the need of pity. We live in a stony universe whose hard, brilliant forces rage fiercely.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Needs #Brilliant #Underestimate

  • People in general attach too much importance to words. They are under the illusion that talking effects great results. As a matter of fact, words are, as a rule, the shallowest portion of all the argument. They but dimly represent the great surging feelings and desires which lie behind. When the distraction of the tongue is removed, the heart listens.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Lying #Heart #Talking

  • Love is the only thing you can really give in all this world. When you give love, you give everything.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Love You #Love Is #Giving

  • Life is made for the strong. There is no mercy in it for the weak– none...Such is the tragedy of desire.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Strong #Desire #Tragedy

  • I believe in the compelling power of love.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Believe #Power Of Love #Compelling

  • Why must women torment me so?
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Women #Torment

  • You walk into a room, see a woman, and something happens. It's chemical. What are you going to do about it?
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Love #Rooms #Chemicals

  • It isn't myself that's important in this transaction apparently; the individual doesn't count much in the situation...all of us are more or less pawns. We're moved about like chessmen by circumstances over which we have no control.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Important #Pawns #Individual

  • Innate sensuousness rarely has any desire for accuracy, no desire for precise information. It basks in sunshine, bathes in color, dwells in a sense of the impressive and the gorgeous, and rests there. Accuracy is not necessary except in the case of aggressive, acquisitive natures, when it manifests itself in a desire to seize. True controlling sensuousness cannot be manifested in the most active dispositions, nor again in the most accurate.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Sunshine #Color #Desire

  • The mystery of life--its inexplicability, beauty, cruelty, tenderness, folly . . . has occupied the greater part of my waking thoughts; and in reverence or rage or irony, as the moment or situation might dictate, I have pondered and even demanded of cosmic energy to know Why.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Might #Waking #Energy

  • If we are to extract any joy out of our span, we must think and plan and make things better not only for ourselves but for others, since joy for ourselves depends upon our joy in others and theirs in us.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Thinking #Joy #Plans

  • The true meaning of money yet remains to be popularly explained and comprehended.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Remains

  • To the untraveled, territory other than their own familiar heath is invariably fascinating. Next to love it is the one thing that solaces and delights.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Territory #Next #Delight

  • If you have that unconquerable urge to write, nothing will stop you from writing.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Writing #Unconquerable

  • All forms of dogmatic religion should go. The world did without them in the past and can do so again.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Past #Atheism #World

  • Dreiser wanted to write the next great American novel, and his desperation pervades [ Sister Carrie ] like an unsavory pit stain.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Writing #Next #Pits

  • Theodore Dreiser Should ought to write nicer.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Writing #Should #Theodore

  • I acknowledge the Furies. I believe in them. I have heard the disastrous beating of their wings.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Believe #Wings #Fury

  • The Irish are a philosophic as well as a practical race. Their first and strongest impulse is to make the best of a bad situation to put a better face on evil than it normally wears.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Race #Evil #Faces

  • Oh, the moon is fair tonight along the Wabash, From the fields there comes the breath of new-mown hay; Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming On the banks of the Wabash, far away.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Moon #Light #Hay

  • Depend upon it; from every condition of distress or evil, there is a great reaction, and the greater the distress or evil, the greater the reaction.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Evil #Reactions #Distress

  • A thought will color a world for us.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Color #World

  • When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Girl #Fall #Home

  • It is a sad thing to want for happiness, but it is a terrible thing to see another groping about blindly for it, when it is almost within the grasp.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Want #Terrible

  • Remember, love is all a woman has to give, but it is the only thing which God permits us to carry beyond the grave.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Love Is #Giving #Remember

  • And then he sank back and tried, as usual, not to think. He must succeed. That's what the world was made for. That's what he was made for. That was what he would have to do.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Thinking #World #Succeed

  • The most futile thing in this world is any attempt, perhaps, at exact definition of character. All individuals are a bundle of contradictions - none more so than the most capable.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Honesty #Character #World

  • A real flame of love is a subtle thing. It burns as a will-o'-the-wisp, dancing onward to fairy lands of delight. It roars as a furnace. Too often jealousy is the quality upon which it feeds.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Real #Love Is #Flames

  • When a man, however passively, becomes an obstacle to the fulfillment of a woman's desires, he becomes an odious thing in her eyes, - or will, given time enough.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Eye #Men #Desire

  • I will kneel and strike my breast, then touch the dust with my forehead; I will, I will. Only do not forsake me, oh god of beauty.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Beauty #Dust #Strikes

  • We are to have no pictures which the puritan and the narrow, animated by an obsolete dogma, cannot approve of. We are to have no theaters no motion pictures, no books, no public exhibitions of any kind, no speech even which will anyway contravene his limited view of life.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Book #Views #Exhibitions

  • The strong man wants to be allowed to DO; the little man wants to stop him.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Strong #Business #Men

  • Morality and ethics are nothing but footballs, wherewith people, strong people play to win points.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Football #Strong #Winning

  • We who feel that justice is not being done have but one thing to do: that is fight, by argument, by example, by insistence on fair play wherever we have the power to do so. The rest is in the hands of the Lord, or nature, which swings, apparently, from one extreme to another.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Fighting #Swings #Hands

  • Nature, machine-like, works definitely and heartlessly, if in the main beautifully. Hence, if we, as individuals, do not make this dream of a god or what he stands for us real in our thoughts and deeds, then he is not real or true.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Dream #Nature #Real

  • Your writer, your scientist, your chief official, all have lost the power to revive the early illusion concerning fame and high place. Their beauty and delight is like the mirage in the heavens, only plain to the eye outside; within is nothing.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Eye #Power #Heaven

  • I have seen youths bright eyed and fair groping after bubbles in rapture, and conceiving them diamonds and the glitter of fine jewels, until their hand closed over a something that was not to be felt nor longer seen, mere colored air.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Success #Air #Hands

  • If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circustance.
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Men #Soul #Religion

  • Shakespeare, I come !
    -- Theodore Dreiser

    #Last Words

  • Nothing is proved, all is permitted.
    -- Theodore Dreiser