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Christina Stead

  • A self-made man is one who believes in luck and sends his son to Oxford.

  • All new money is made through the shifting of social classes and the dispossession of old classes.

  • Why, if all the rich men in the world divided up their money amongst themselves, there wouldn't be enough to go round.

  • If misery spelled revolt, we should have had nothing but revolt from the beginning of time. On the contrary, it is quite rare.

  • When people are collecting gold they aren't doing business. ... Gold is constipation: even bankruptcy is more fluid. Gold isn't wealth: positions in markets are wealth.

  • And gold has no name, it licks the hand of anyone who has it: good dog!

  • It's easy to make money. You put up the sign Bank and someone walks in and hands you his money. The façade is everything.

  • Here we are sitting in a shower of gold and nothing to hold up but a pitchfork!

  • Charm is a cunning self-forgetfulness.

  • Sell, he can. He can sell last week's bait for tomorrow's halibut.

  • I wouldn't mind being your partner if there were two of me.

  • A mother! What are we worth really? They all grow up whether you look after them or not.

  • ... all your fine officials debauch the young girls who are afraid to lose their jobs: that's as old as Washington.

  • Old age is perhaps life's decision about us ...

  • The Chinese are a knowing people; and I daresay that is why they once made a religious odor about old age; to prevent their sons from seeing their own future.

  • Each Australian is a Ulysses.

  • He could not read more than a few consecutive sentences in any book or newspaper unless they referred immediately to himself or his interests.

  • Money goes where money is, money yearns where money is.

  • Gentlemen are overestimated, that is my experience.

  • Money is a jealous mistress If you want money you must want only money. ... I must tell you the one secret of life, there is only one: everything is a jealous mistress, everything is terribly possessive, and, by God, we want to be terribly possessed if we want to get somewhere — and we want to be terribly possessed — anyhow; or what is life?

  • ... it's immoral to work to make money. There's something unlucky in it. You got to work for the work. You got to work on a farm, for the farm — then it makes money.

  • ... you were trained to live in a society which doesn't exist, because no society is the same between yesterday and tomorrow.

  • ... money that is in billions and monopolies isn't money at all, because the people have none, and money is democratic, everyone has to have some or there's none at all.

  • Loneliness is a terrible blindness.

  • To me, all the juice of a book is in an unpublished manuscript, and the published book is like a dead tree — just good for cutting up and building your house with.

  • She had the tough slangy local manner, the local obscenities, the curious American relative pronouns: what-the hell, why-the-hell, where-the-hell, who-the-hell, how-the-hell were the only ones she used.

Christina Stead, Australian novelist

(1902 - 1983)

Full name: Christina Ellen Stead.