Taken from The Bedside Book of Bigheads by William Cole (1995)
I think I ought to have the O.M….They gave Hardy the O.M. and I think I am the greatest living writer in English, and they ought to give it to me.
I know everything. One has to, to write decently.
Roots is obviously great, ranking with the Bible and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey
I want to be remembered as the greatest writer of this century. I’ve been compared to Plato.
I‘m perhaps the most gifted actor of my generation.
Yes, the Jews have produced only three original geniuses: Christ, Spinoza and myself
I’ve given up reading books. I find it takes my mind off myself.
With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his….
I have astounded the whole world…I triumph not only over the moderns, but over the old masters as well
FRIEND: There are only two great painters; you and Velazquez.
WHISTLER: Why drag in Velazquez?
When you are as great as I am, it’s hard to be humble
I am an enormously talented man, after all it’s no use pretending that I am not, and I was bound to succeed.
I’ve outdone anyone you can name—Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss, Irving Berlin—he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500.
I can write better than anyone who can write faster, and I can write faster than anyone who can write bette
I’m—along with the Queen, you know—one of the best things England’s got. Me and the Queen.
Sir Michael Jagger.
Think of the Bible and Homer, think of Shakespeare and think of me.
Were I not too kind to laugh at the cruel disappointment and envy suffered by certain poor little unsuccessful writers I would be amused by the fact that although I am now seventy-seven years of age , the unsuccessful are still thrown into what is practically an epileptic fit brought on by envy and malice at the mere mention of my name.
Dame Edith Sitwell, DBE, D Litt., D. Litt, D.Litt.
I intend to become America’s black female Proust.
On my grave I want this epitaph: ‘Here lies one of the most intelligent animals ever to appear on the surface of the earth’.
Benito Mussolini in 1937.
I don’t mind how much my ministers talk– as long as they do what I say.
Do you know that I have often thought that I am the cleverest woman who ever lived and that others cannot be compared with me.
Empress Dowager Ci Xi of China (d. 1908)
You are an idiot. You are in the presence of one of the greatest academic feminists of your time, and you’re making as ass of yourself.
Camille Paglia ( to a student who questioned her scholarship)
If ever I felt inclined to be timid as I was going into a room full of people, I would say to myself, “ You’re the cleverest member of one of the cleverest families in the cleverest class of the cleverest nation in the world, why should you be frightened?’