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  • Every age has a keyhole to which its eye is pasted.

  • Every age, / Through being beheld too close, is ill-discerned / By those who have not lived past it.

  • The novelists of the nineteeth century had all the luck. They had a huge and easily pleased public and the world they surveyed had every appearance of permanence.

  • It would be difficult to determine whether the age is growing better or worse; for I think our plays are growing like sermons, and our sermons like plays.

  • The life of famous men was more glorious in antiquity; the life of obscure men is happier with the moderns.

    • Madame de Staël,
    • in J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël ()
  • The art of one period cannot be approached through the attitudes (emotional or intellectual) of another.

    • Louise Bogan,
    • "Reading Contemporary Poetry," in College English ()
  • [On the 1920s:] Hollywood was Grover's Corners compared with New York. The whole town had the DTs. Every boy had a flask at his hip and every girl a waist at her knees.