Aphorisms by Elia Peattie

Posted on April 18, 2016
Filed Under Aphorisms, metaphor, wit | Comments Off on Aphorisms by Elia Peattie

Another aphoristic discovery from the incomparable Jim Finnegan, proprietor of the ursprache blog and genius loci of Tramp Freighter

It’s wonderful to stumble upon an unknown aphorist. Doubly good when it turns out to be a woman. Because it seems there are fewer female aphorists. It was by chance I happened upon the writings of Elia Peattie (1862-1935). It happened because I saw a quote I liked by the man of letters Charles Eliot Norton regarding poetry. The quote appeared in the introduction written by Elia Peattie to a poetry anthology she edited called Poems You Ought to Know. This, of course, prompted me to Web-search Peattie’s name. I didn’t expect to find much, but there was an entire website devoted to this journalist, poet, playwright, anthologist, essayist, and author. Her writings are marked by many insightful statements. A large number of her assertions have been collected on the website under the heading “Quotables.” Here are some samples:

 

There is never any use in trying to conceal the truth. Truth is like water and flows through the tiniest cracks.

 

Carry no umbrellas. Umbrellas are an illusion and a distinct snare to the traveler. They torment the spirit more than a scolding husband, get lost oftener than a baby, and are always where they should not be and never where they should.

 

Love is, of course, an illusion—all the really important things are.

 

Really it is quite a distinction to be in the minority. Because the minority is the advance of progress. It forms the majority in the next generation.

 

All really interesting occasions of a social nature are more or less associated with good coffee.

 

The American Aristocracy is, in the very nature of things, ephemeral.

 

There is a mistake in supposing that women wish to acquire the independence of the other sex. It is merely independence they wish to acquire—and independence is not a matter of sex.

 

The time of men is not so important as they think it is.

 

If there is one offense greater than another in literature, it is a book which explains a book.

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