Quotes Photo

QUOTES & APHORISMS

A diverse collection quotes and aphorisms that I find useful.

"This collection is an idiosyncratic miscellany amassed during my lifetime in publishing, published with the conceit that I have reasonable discrimination and that whatever instructs, enlightens, reinforces, amuses, titillates or solaces me has some value to the general book readership. We shall see.... I think there is wisdom in these pages but I know there is nonsense too. I can't resist the flippant phrase."

~ R.I. Fitzhenry, preface to The David & Charles Book of Quotations

Hippocrates Bust
Courtesy of Wikimedia

"ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS"

~ Hippocrates

Hippocrates was a medical doctor, but his quote is often used as a metaphor for art. The word "Ars" translates not the "art" specifically but to the English word "craft." In context, Hippocrates was speaking about the practice of medicine. He was referring to the work you perform lasting long beyond your lifetime. Therefore, one should work hard, be diligent and focus on learning and doing the best work possible. At least, that is my interpretation.

Read more about this quote in my essay "Craftsmanship is Key"

Van Gogh Portrait
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”

~ Vincent Van Gogh

Most artists, and possibly most people, can relate to this sentiment. We spend so much time attending to our passions and our lives that we fail to realize that we are alone in our endeavors most of the time. I know it perfectly reflects my perception of my life, creativity, and work.

Leo Tolstoy Portrait
U.S. Library of Congress

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”

~ Leo Tolstoy

I find great satisfaction in Tolstoy's concept of greatness in this quote. The idea that truth, goodness, and simplicity are the pinnacle of achievement is encouragement for the soul.