Great Throughts Treasury

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

Marya Mannes

American Essayist, Journalist and Critic

"It is not enough to show people how to live better: there is a mandate for any group with enormous powers of communication to show people how to be better."

"Minds are cluttered from the age of six with the values of others - values which bear little relation to their own private capacities, needs and desires."

"All really great loves are articulate, and verbal seduction is the surest road to actual seduction."

"Borders are scratched across the hearts of men by strangers with a calm, judicial pen, and when the borders bleed we watch with dread the lines of ink along the map turn red."

"Good-fellowship, unflagging, is the prime requisite for success in our society, and the man or woman who smiles only for reasons of humor or pleasure is a deviate."

"The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future."

"The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space free from outside pressure which is the incubator of the spirit."

"The suppression of civil liberties is to many less a matter for horror than the curtailment of the freedom to profit."

"To be at peace with self, to find company and nourishment in self - this would be the test of the free and productive psyche."

"It is television’s primary damage that it provides ten million children with the same fantasy, ready-made and on a platter."

"The real demon is success – the anxieties engendered by this quest are relentless, degrading, corroding. What is worse, there is no end to this escalation of desire."

"The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason."

"The world of sight is still limitless. It is the artist who limits vision to the cramped dimensions of his own ego."

"For every five well-adjusted and smoothly functioning Americans, there are two who never had the chance to discover themselves. It may well be because they have never been alone with themselves."

"It's never what you say, but how you make it sound sincere."

"Timing and arrogance are decisive factors in the successful use of talent."

"Art can excite, titillate, please, entertain, and sometimes shock; but its ultimate function is to ennoble."

"By the age of fifty, you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth."

"Generosity with strings is not generosity; It is a deal."

"I don't think the advertisers have any real idea of their power not only to reflect but to mold society."

"If American men are obsessed with money, American women are obsessed with weight. The men talk of gain, the women talk of loss, and I do not know which talk is the more boring."

"A high standard of living is usually accompanied by a low standard of thinking."

"In aid, the proper attitude is one omitting gratitude."

"In our society those who are in reality superior in intelligence can be accepted by their fellows only if"

"Is there no end to this escalation of desire?"

"It is privilege of living to be ... acutely, agonizingly conscious of the moment that is always present and always passing."

"Lie down and listen to the crabgrass grow The faucet leak, and learn to leave them so."

"Money is not an aphrodisiac: the desire it may kindle in the female eye is more for the cash than the carrier."

"Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive."

"One is as one is, and the love that can't encompass both is a poor sort of love."

"People on horses look better than they are. People in cars look worse than they are."

"The curse of the romantic is a greed for dreams, an intensity of expectation that, in the end, diminishes the reality."

"The faucet leaks, and learn to leave them so."

"The great omission in American life is solitude... that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incinerator of the spirit."

"The more people are reached by mass communication, the less they communicate with each other."

"The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty, you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth."

"Those who are in reality superior in intelligence can be accepted by their fellows only if they pretend they are not."

"To lead means to direct and to exact, and no man dares do either - he might be unpopular. What authority we are given now is a trinity: the grin, the generality, and God (the Word)."

"Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them."

"You cannot know what you cannot feel."