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Eccentricity

  • You can't break the mould and also be consoled for breaking it, old fool!

  • It is to the eccentrics that the world owes most of its knowledge.

    • Rose Macaulay,
    • 1955, in Constance Babington-Smith, ed., Last Letters to a Friend ()
  • The surest way of being considered eccentric is just to be yourself. So few of us have the nerve.

  • I gave up being a conventional person a long time ago. Things have been so much more exciting since I did.

  • I have always noticed that when people consider others eccentric, it is because they are reveling in some form of enjoyment that their critics can neither compass nor share ...

  • ... like most people New Yorkers like to be thought a bit crazy. ... I know a business corporation in Manhattan — I dare not mention its name — which seems to me to be run entirely, top to bottom, by people off their balance. The minute I enter its offices, an uneasy suggestion of collective haywire assails me. Concealed and unapproachable behind his monumental mahogany doors sits the president of this corporation of nuts, mad as a hatter himself, and in hierarchy of psychosis his subordinates hiss and fiddle their days away below. Sometimes a whole department is fired: sometimes a surprised and hitherto unnoticed employee is plucked from obscurity and made the head of a division for a month or two; sometimes the company, which deals (let us say) in commodity shares, suddenly invests a few million dollars in a Chattanooga umbrella factory, or a grocery chain in Nicaragua.

    • Jan Morris,
    • "The Islanders" (1979), Among the Cities ()
  • ... I don't know anybody who isn't queer about something. Either stupid queer, or silly queer, or smart queer, or beautiful queer, or religious queer, or selfish queer, or some other kind.

  • ... my mother ... gave us a look that my father always seemed to interpret as 'How lucky you girls are to have such an adventurous father,' but which I always read as 'One of you will probably not survive your father's enthusiasm. Most likely it will be Lisa, since she's smaller and can't run as fast ... '

  • ... I couldn't help thinkin' if she was as far out o' town as she was out o' tune, she wouldn't get back in a day.

  • I am not an eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.

  • Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.

  • We all try to be alike in our youth, and individual in our middle age ... although we sometimes mistake eccentricity for individuality.

  • [Encountering a group from the Salvation Army and giving them a $50 bill:] Don't bother to thank me. I know what a perfectly ghastly season it's been for you Spanish dancers.

  • As a result of Auntie's standard nonconformity .... it is sometimes a little difficult to tell when her natural eccentricity crosses into territory better understood by the professionals.

  • I think, actually, everyone starts out with some strange in them. It's just, whether or not you decide to keep it.