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The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character. -Walter Scott, novelist and poet (1771-1832)
It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)
Every man possesses three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he really has, and that which he believes he has. -Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, novelist and journalist (1808-1890)
Only the good doubt their own goodness, which is what makes them good in the first place. The bad know they are good, but the good know nothing. They spend their lives forgiving others, but they can’t forgive themselves. -Paul Auster, novelist and poet (b. 1947)
Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (1918-2008)
Every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early and the human race come to an end. -Joseph Conrad, novelist (1857-1924)