Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

Brazilian Writer

"We kill time; time buries us."

"It’s the occasion that makes the revolution."

"Vanity is the beginning of corruption."

"Out of the sighs of one generation are kneaded the hopes of the next."

"He felt that there is a loose balance of good and evil, and that the art of living consists in getting the greatest good out of the greatest evil."

"Life…is an enormous lottery: the prizes are few, the failures innumerable. Out of the sighs of one generation are kneaded the hopes of the next. That's life."

"The greatest sin, after the initial sin, is its publication."

"Destiny is not only a dramatist, it is also its own stage manager. That is, it sets the entrances of the characters on scene, gives them letters and other objects, and produces the off-stage noises to go with the dialogue: thunder, a carriage, a shot."

"Some actions are even baser than the people who commit them."

"There is truly only one misfortune: that of not being born."

"Man is...a thinking erratum, that's what he is. Every season of life is an edition that corrects the one before and which will also be corrected itself until the definitive edition, which the publisher gives to the worms gratis."

"In woman sex corrects banality, in men it aggravates it."