Halldór Laxness

Iceland
23 Apr 1902 // 8 Feb 1998
Writer [Nobel Prize in Literature 1955]

Quotes



It's a useful habit never to believe more than half of what people tell you, and not to concern yourself with the rest. Rather keep your mind free and your path your own.
The most remarkable thing about a man's dreams is that they will all come true; this has always been the case, though no one would care to admit it. And a peculiarity of man's behaviour is that he is not in the least surprised when his dreams come true; it is as if he expected nothing else. The goal to be reached and the determination to reach it are brother and sister, and slumber in the same heart.
A free man can live on fish.Independence is better than meat.
When a man has a flower in his life he builds a house.
Strange though it may seem, people rarely show such enthusiasm as when they are seeking the proof of a ghost story — the soul gathers all this sort of thing to its hungry bosom.
He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver; and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul.
The tyranny of mankind; it was like the obstinate drip of water falling on a stone and hollowing it little by little; and this drip continued, falling obstinately, falling without pause on the souls of the children.
The life of man is so short that ordinary people simply cannot afford to be born.
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays