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Quotations by Subject
- Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.
- David T. Wolf (1943 - )
- The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
- A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
- H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
- My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.
- Jean Rostand (1894 - 1977), Journal of a Character, 1931
- Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.
- Lillian Hellman (1905 - 1984), The Little Foxes, 1939
- No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.
- Lily Tomlin (1939 - )
- What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
- Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act III
- Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try.
- Peggy Noonan (1950 - ), in Good Housekeeping
- Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.
- Robert Anton Wilson
- A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
- Sidney J. Harris
- Never be a cynic, even a gentle one. Never help out a sneer, even at the devil.
- Vachel Lindsay (1879 - 1931)