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Dodie Smith

  • To the family — that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.

  • The one Bach piece I learnt made me feel I was being repeatedly hit on the head with a teaspoon.

  • Truthfulness so often goes with ruthlessness.

  • Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.

  • I am a restlessness inside a stillness inside a restlessness.

  • ... extreme happiness invites religion almost as much as extreme misery.

  • Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.

  • My imagination longs to dash ahead and plan developments; but I have noticed that when things happen in one's imaginings, they never happen in one's life, so I am curbing myself.

  • ... I don't like the sound of all those lists he's making — it's like taking too many notes at school; you feel you've achieved something when you haven't.

  • ... flat country seems to give the sky such a chance.

  • Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them.

  • Many people called him a wizard of finance — which is not the same thing as a wizard of magic, though sometimes fairly similar.

  • For though he had very little Latin beyond 'Cave canem,' he had, as a young dog, devoured Shakespeare (in a tasty leather binding).

  • ... many dogs can understand almost every word humans say, while humans seldom learn to recognize more than half a dozen barks, if that. And barks are only a small part of the dog language. A wagging tail can mean so many things. Humans know that it means a dog is pleased, but not what a dog is saying about his pleasedness. (Really, it is very clever of humans to understand a wagging tail at all, as they have no tails of their own.)

  • ... a loss of sensibility follows a loss of innocence, at once a penalty and a compensation.

  • I'm convinced England's overflowing with eccentric people, places, happenings. Indeed, you might say eccentricity's normal in England.

  • Perhaps what you call conventionality, I call decency.

  • One gets, he thought, not what one wants but what one is.

  • ... I found myself thinking it was a bit like my disappointment when I was confirmed. This may be blasphemous but I think not. For expecting to achieve union with God is similar to expecting to achieve it with man. Only I minded much more as regards man.

  • Sometimes [the expression] old age has a kind of harrowing beauty. But elderly — ugh!

  • I have heard that some faces look younger after death; in Rex's case it was a lack of life while still living which gave him a fictitious youth.

  • Death is too much to ask of the living.

  • I wanted to know more about the young ... strange that though they laughed so loud, they so seldom smiled. Perhaps laughter was involuntary whereas smiling was part of an attitude to life.

  • Was I the only woman in the world who, at my age—and after a lifetime of quite rampant independence—still did not quite feel grown up?

  • I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring.

    • Dodie Smith

Dodie Smith, English writer, playwright

(1896 - 1900)

Dorothy Gladys Beesley Smith also wrote under the name “C.L. Anthony.”