All experience is an arch to build on. Henry Brooks Adams The Education of Henry Adams, ch.6.
: When you're a kid you use the
cards as a substitute for a
real experience, and when you're older you use real
experience as a substitute for the fantasy. Edward Franklin, III Albee JERRY1958 On pornographic playing cards. The Zoo Story.
Your experience will be a lesson to all of us men to be careful not to
marry ladies in very high positions. Idi Amin (Dada) Unsolicited advice to Lord Snowdon on the ending of
his marriage to
Princess Margaret, quoted in A Barrow International Gossip
When a woman ceases to alter the fashion of her hair, you guess that she
has passed the crisis of her experience. Mary Hunter Austin The Land of Little Rain,'The Basket Maker'.
There are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely, by reasoning and
experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and
makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the
conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the
mind may rest on the intuition of truth unless the mind
discovers it by the path of experience. Roger known as Doctor Mirabilis Bacon Opus Majus (translated by Robert Belle Burke,1928).
You will think me lamentably crude: my experience of life has been drawn
from life itself. Sir (Henry) Max(imilian) Beerbohm Zuleika Dobson, ch.7.
The act of living had been enjoyable; at some point when I was not
paying attention, it had turned into a different sort of
experience, to whose grimness I had grown so
accustomed that I now took it for granted. Paul Frederick Bowles Without Stopping: An Autobiography, ch.17.
For, strictly considered, what is all knowledge too
experience, and a product of history; of which, therefore,
reasoning and belief, no less than action and passion
are essential materials? Thomas Carlyle Critical and Miscellaneous Essays,'History'.
History is philosophy teaching by experience. Thomas Carlyle Critical and Miscellaneous Essays,'History'.
'I've never been spoken to like this before in all my thirty years'experience,'she
wails.'You have not had thirty years'experience,Mrs
Grindle-Jones,' he says witheringly. 'You have had one
year's experience 30 times.' J(ames) L(loyd) Carr The Harpole Report, ch.21.
If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But
passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which
experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only
on the waves behind us! Samuel Taylor Coleridge Table Talk (published1835), entry for18 Dec.
Manhasthreeways ofacting wisely.First, onmeditation; that is the
noblest. Secondly, on imitation; that is the easiest. Thirdly,
on experience; that is the bitterest. 'The MasterK'ung' Confucius or K'ung Fu-tse c.479 BC The
Some by experience find those words mis-placed: At leisure married,
they repent in haste. William Congreve Setter to Sharper. The Old Bachelor, act 5, sc.1.
Ay, ay, I have experience: I have a wife, and so forth. William Congreve Fainall to Mirabell. The Way of the World, act1,
It is an axiom enforced by all the experience of the ages, that they who rule
industrially will rule politically. James Connolly Socialism Made Easy.
contrary, the mere fact of dealing with matters outside the general
run of everyday experience laid me under the
obligation of a more scrupulous fidelity to the truth of my own
sensations. The problem was to make unfamiliar things
credible. Constantinus Within the Tides, preface.
What makeswarinteresting forAmericansisthat wedon't fight
waronoursoil,we don't have directexperience of it, so there's an
openness about the meanings we give it. Robert Dallek In the NewYork Times, 24 Feb.
Mother of three; divorcee; American. Twenty years experience as an
actress in motion pictures. Mobile still and more affable than rumour would have
it.Wants steadyemployment in
Hollywood. (Has had Broadway). References upon
request. Bette originally Ruth Elizabeth Davis Davis Advertisement placed in the Hollywood trade
Experience is the child of Thought, and Thought is the child of Action.We
cannot learn men from books. Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield Disraeli ^7 Vivian Grey, bk.5, ch.1.
If there is a distinctive Irish experience, it is one of division,
exacerbated by the fact that division in a country so small
seems perverse.But the scale doesn't matter. Denis Donoghue We Irish.
It is my belief,Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and
vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful
record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful
countryside. SirArthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,'The Copper
I have very little experience of self-government. In fact, I am one of the most
governed people in the world. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh In the NewYork Times, 30 Dec.
The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding
an'objective correlative'such that when the external facts,
which must terminate in sensory experience, are
given, the emotion is immediately evoked. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot The Sacred Wood,'Hamlet and His Problems'.
When a poet's mind isperfectlyequipped for its work, it is constantly
amalgamating disparate experiencein the mind of the
poet these experiences are always forming new wholes.
T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Selected Essays (1932),'The Metaphysical Poets'.
There is, it seems to us, At best, only a
limited value In the knowledge
derived from experience. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'East Coker', pt.2.
We had the experience but missed the meaning, And approach to the
meaning restores the experience In a different
form, beyond any meaning We can assign to
happiness. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'The Dry Salvages', pt.2.
Experience shows that great enterprises seldom end with a tidy and
satisfactory flourish. Together, we are doingourbesttore-establishpeaceand
civil order inthe Gulf region, and to
help those members of civil and ethnic minorities
who continuetosuffer through no fault oftheirown.If
wesucceed,ourmilitarysuccesswill have achieved its true
objective. Elizabeth II Commenting on the aftermath of the Gulf War in the
first address by a
British monarch to Congress,16 May.
was bornwith ready-made parents and a sister and brother who had
already begun their store of experience,
inaccessible to me except through their language and the
record, always slightly different, of our mother and father,
and as each member of the family wasborn, each,ina
sensewithmemories onloan, began to supply the
individual furnishings of each Was-land, each Is-land, and
the hopes and dreams of the Future. Janet Paterson also known as Jean PatersonFrame Frame To the Is-land, ch.1,'In the Second Place'.
TechnikKniff, dieWelt so einzurichten, dass wir sie nicht erleben mu«
ssen. Technologythe knack
of so arranging the world that we don't have to
experience it. Max Rudolph Frisch Homo Faber, pt.2.
England's foreign policy should always be inspired by the love of
freedom. There should be a sympathy with freedom, a desire
to give it scope, founded not upon visionary ideas but
upon the long experience of many generations within
the shores of this happy isle, that in freedom one lays
the firmest foundations both of loyalty and order. W(illiam) E(wart) Gladstone Speech, West Calder, 27 Nov.
No matter how vital experiencemight be whileyou lived it, no sooner was
it ended and dead than it became as lifeless as the
piles of dry dust in a school history book. Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow In This Our Life, pt.3, ch.9.
Life should serve up its feast of experience in a series of courses. Sir William (Gerald) Golding Close Quarters.
The function of poetry is religious invocation of the Muse; its use is
the experience of mixed exaltation and horror that her
presence excites. Robert von Ranke Graves The White Goddess, foreword.
Experience and history teachthat nations and governments have
never learned anything from history, or acted
upon any lessons they might have drawn from it. Simon Heffer Lectures on the Philosophy of World History,
The mathematical is that evident aspect of things within which we are always
already moving and according to which we experience
them as things at all, and as such things. The
mathematical is this fundamental position we take toward
things by which we take up things as already given to
us, and as they must and should be given. Therefore,
the mathematical is the fundamental presupposition of
the knowledge of things. Martin Heidegger 'Modern Science,
Metaphysics and Mathematics', collected in Basic Writings
moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes ^8 The Professor at the Breakfast Table, ch.10.
Experience has taught me, when I am shaving of a morning, to keep
watch over my thoughts, because, if a line of poetry
strays into my memory, my skin bristles so that the razor
ceases to act. 416 A(lfred) E(dward) Housman 'The Name and Nature of Poetry', Lecture at
Cambridge, 9 May.
Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what
happens to him. Aldous Leonard Huxley Texts and Pretexts, introduction.
have spoken so far only of the blissful visionary experience But
visionary experience is not always blissful. It's
sometimes terrible. There is hell as well as heaven. Aldous Leonard Huxley Heaven and Hell.
Our reverence for the nobility of manhood will not be lessened by the
knowledge that man is in substance and in structure, one
with the brutes; for he alone possesses the marvellous
endowment of intelligible and rational speech wherebyhe has
slowlyaccumulated and organized the
experience which is almost wholly lost with the cessation
of individual life in other animals; so that he now stands
raised above it as on a mountain-top, far above the level
of his humble fellows, and transfigured from
his grosser nature by reflecting, here and there, a ray
from the infinite source of truth. T(homas) H(enry) Huxley Man's Place in Nature.
suppose one has a greater sense of intellectual degradation after
an interview with a doctor than from any human
experience. Alice James Diary entry, 27 Sep.
Experience isnever limited, and it isnever complete; it is an immense
sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken
threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and
catching everyair-borne particle in its tissue. Henry James 'The Art of Fiction', collected in Partial
You must bring out of each word its practical cash-value, set it at work
within the stream of your experience. William James Pragmatism, lecture 2.
It isrequisite from time to time to remind one generation of the experience
which led a former generation to important
legislative actions. William Stanley Jevons The State in Relation to Labour.
The triumph of hope over experience. Samuel known as Dr Johnson Johnson On a friend's second marriage shortly after the
death of his first, troublesome,
wife. Quoted in James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson
To charge all unmerited praise with the guilt of flattery, and to suppose that
the encomiast always knows and feels the falsehood
of his assertions, issurely to discover great ignorance of
human nature and human life. In determinations
depending not on rules, but on experience and comparison,
judgement is always to some degree subject
to affection.Very near to admiration is the
wish to admire. Samuel known as Dr Johnson Johnson ^81 Lives of the English Poets,'Halifax'.
Ist es schwer und kann es ein AuÞenseiter begreifen,dass man eine Geschichte
von ihrem Anfang in sich erlebt, vom fernen Punkt
bis zu der heranfahrenden Lokomotive aus Stahl, Kohl und
Dampf, sie aber auchjetzt noch nicht verl a« sst,
sondern von ihr gejagt wird und aus eigenem Schwung vor ihr l
a« uft, wohin sie nur st o« Þt und wohin man sie lockt. It is so difficult
and can an outsider understand that you experience a story
within yourself from its beginning, fromthe distant
point up to theapproaching locomotive of steel, coal and
steam, and you don't abandon it even now, but want to be
pursued by it and have time for it, therefore are
pursued by it and of your own volition run before it wherever
it may thrust and wherever you may lure it. Franz Kafka Diary entry, Aug. Collected in Max Brod (ed) The
Diaries of Franz
It is not a correct deduction from the Principles of Economics that
enlightened self-interest always operates in the
public interest Experience does not show that
individuals when they make up a social unit are always less
clear-sighted than when they act separately. John Maynard, 1st Baron Keynes (of Tilton) Essays in Persuasion.
It isnot oftenthat nationslearnfromthepastevenrarer that they draw the
correct conclusions from it. For the lessons of
historical experience, as of personal experience, are
contingent. They teach the consequences
ofcertain actions, but theycannot forcea recognition of
comparable situations. HenryAlfred Kissinger A World Restored: Castlereagh, Metternich and the Restoration of
Now mancannot live without somevisionof himself.But still less can he
live with a vision that is not true to his inner experience
and inner feeling. D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence 'The Risen Lord'.
Poetry can communicate the actual quality of experience with a
subtletyand precision unapproachable by
any other means. F(rank) R(aymond) Leavis New Bearings in English Poetry, ch.2.
We are volcanoes.When we women offer our experience as our
truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are
new mountains. Ursula ne e Kroeber Le Guin Address at Mills College. Collected as'A
Address' in Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989).
The social scientist is in a difficult, if not impossible position.On the one
hand there is the temptation to see all of societyas
one's autobiography writ large, surely not the path to
general truth.On the other hand, there is the attempt to be
general and objective by pretending that one knows
nothing about the experience of being human, forcing the
investigator to pretend that people usually know and
tell the truth about important issues, when we all know
from our own lives how impossible that is. Richard Charles Lewontin 'Sex, Lies, and Social Science', in the NewYork
Review of Books, 20 Apr.
Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white
paper, void of all
characters, without any ideas; how comes it to be
furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the
busyand boundless fancy of man has painted on it with
an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the
materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one
word, from experience. John Locke Essay Concerning Human Understanding, bk.2, pt.1, section 2.
an optimist is a guy that has never had much experience. Don(ald Robert Perry) Marquis archy and mehitabel,'certain maxims of archy'.
With equality of experience and of general faculties, a woman usually sees
much more than a man of what is immediately before
her. John Stuart Mill The Subjection of Women, ch.3.
The artist does not tinker with the universe; he recreates it out of his own
experience and understanding of life. Henry Valentine Miller The Cosmological Eye,'An Open Letter to Surrealists
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act
without benefit of experience. Henry Valentine Miller The Wisdom of the Heart,'The Absolute Collective'.
And may at last my weary age Find out the
peaceful hermitage, The hairy gown and
mossy cell, Where I may sit and
rightly spell Of every star that
heaven doth shew, And every herb that
sips the dew, Till old experience
to attain To something like
prophetic strain. John Milton c.1631 Il Penseroso, l.167^74.
The assaying of tea is an art and not a science. It is the man, and not his
instruments, which is the most important.There can
be no substitute for myexperience and intuited
knowledge. Timothy Mo An Insular Possession, ch.4.
Cashing in. That's what we all do. It's called experience. Lyn (Franklin) Nofziger In This Week, 31 Jul.
Holidays are the greatest learning experience unknown to man. Frank also known as 'DrTomorrow' Ogden Ogdenisms: The Frank Ogden Quote Book.
The oldlike childrentalk to themselves, for they have reached that
hopeless wisdom of experience which knows that though
one were to cry it in the streets to multitudes, or
whisper it in the kiss to one's beloved, the onlyears that can
ever hear one's secrets are one's own! Eugene Gladstone O'Neill Tiberius. Lazarus Laughed, act 4, sc.1.
When you have had a glimpse of such a disaster as thisthe result is
not necessarily disillusionment and cynicism.Curiously
enough, the whole experience has left me with not
less but more belief in the decency of human beings. George pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair Orwell Homage to Catalonia, ch.14.
good simulation, be it a religious myth or scientific theory, gives us a
sense of mastery over experience. To represent
something symbolically, as we do when we speak or write,
is somehow to capture it, thus making it one's
own. But with this appropriation comes the
realization that we have denied the immediacy of
reality and that in creating a substitute we have but spun
another thread in the web of our grand illusion. Heinz R(udolf) Pagels The Dreams of Reason.
There is no boundary line to art. Music is your own experience, your
thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't
come out of your horn. Charlie known as 'Bird' Parker Quoted in Ross Russell Bird Lives! (1972), pt.4,
It must be possible for an empirical system to be
refuted by experience. Sir Karl Raimund Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery.
Your mind now, moldering like wedding-cake, heavy with useless
experience, rich with suspicion,
rumour, fantasy, crumbling to pieces
under the knife-edge of mere fact. In
the prime of your life. Adrienne Cecile Rich Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law,'Snapshots of a
Experience is always larger than language. Adrienne Cecile Rich Interview in the American Poetry Review, Jan^Feb.
He took her
up in his arms in the way of a bachelor who has had amateur
experience of the carrying of nieces. W(illiam) Pett Ridge Lost Property, pt.1, ch.8.
Then old age and experience, hand in hand, Lead him to death,
and make him understand, After a search so
painful and so long, That all his life
he has been in the wrong. Huddled in dirt, the
reasoning engine lies, Who was so proud,
so witty, and so wise. JohnWilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester 'A SatyrAgainst Mankind', l.25^30 (published1679).
have come to the conclusion, after many years of sometimessad
experience, that you cannot cometoany conclusion at all. Vita (Victoria Mary) Sackville-West 'InYour Garden Again'.
Vous savez qu'on doit se sentir heureux.Tous les vrais e crivains ont
e prouve ce sentiment. Quand on ne l'e prouve pas,
je suis oblige de vous en avertir, c'est mauvais signe. You know that one
should feel happy. All thetrue writers have experienced
this feeling.When one does not experience it, I am
obliged to tell you that it is a bad sign. Nathalie Sarraute Entre la vie et la mort.
Das Ganze der Erfahrung gleicht einer Geheimschrift und die Philosophie
der Entzifferung derselben. The whole of
experience is like a cryptograph, and philosophy is like
the deciphering of it. « Arthur Schopenhauer DieWelt alsWille undVorstellung (TheWorld asWill
vol.2, ch.17 (translated by E F J Payne).
He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the
lakeside, He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to
us the same word: 'Follow thou me!' and setsustothetaskswhich
Hehastofulfil forour time. He commands. And to
those who obey Him, whether they be wise or
simple,He will reveal Himself inthetoils, the conflicts, the
sufferings which they shall pass through in His
fellowship, and, as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in
their own experience who He is. Albert Schweitzer Von Reimarus zuWrede (translated byW Montgomery as The Quest for the
There's almost as many different sorts of marriage as there's different
sorts of people. There's the young things that marry
for love, not knowing what they're doing, and the old
things that marry for moneyand comfort and
companionship. There's the people that marry for children.
There's the people that don't intend to have children
and that aren't fit to have them. There's the peoplethat
marry becausethey're so much run after by the other sex
that they have to put a stop to it somehow. There's
the people that want to trya new experience, and the
people that want to have done with experiences. George Bernard Shaw Bill Collins. Getting Married.
Cambodiawasnot a mistake; it was a crime.The world is diminished by the
experience. William Shawcross Sideshow, afterword.
cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees:
all times I have enjoyed Greatly, have
suffered greatly, both with those That loved me, and
alone; on shore, and when Through scudding
drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea: I
am become a name; For always roaming
with a hungry heart Much have I seen
and known; cities of men And manners,
climates, council, governments, Myself not least,
but honoured of them all; And drunk delight
of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing
plains of windyTroy. I am part of all
that I have met; Yet all experience
is an arch wherethrough Gleams that
untravelled world, whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move. How dull it is to
pause, to make an end, To rust
unburnished, not to shine in use! As though to
breathe were life. Tennyson Poems,'Ulysses' (published1842), l.6^24.
The dirty nurse, Experience, in her kind Hath fouled me. Tennyson Idylls of the King,'The LastTournment', l.317^18.
It had never occurred to Giles that there was
something perfectly sensible
about wanting to hold onto innocence. He had
alwaysgone in for the idea that since we only pass this
way once, experience counts for everything. A(ndrew) N(orman) Wilson WiseVirgins, ch.6.
L'expe rienced'une femme e crivain est comple' tement schizophre nique.
Il faut toujours faire coupure entre les deux: d'une part,
employer un langage qui n'est pas le no" t reet la
lutte qu'on me' ne sur un autre plan, qui tend 'a casser tout c°
a, a' essayer de faire a' travers et dans le langage autre
chose. The experienceof
the woman writer is completely schizophrenic.One
is always torn between two approaches: on the
one hand, to use a language that is not oursand on the
other, the battle one fights to break all this up,
in order to do something else through and in language. Monique Wittig Quoted inJean-Fran
c° ois Josselin'Lettre a' Sapho' in Le Nouvel Observateur (1973).