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date: 22 February 2024


  1. I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
    John Adams 1735–1826 American Federalist statesman, 2nd President 1797–1801: letter to Abigail Adams, 12 May 1780
  2. The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.
    Matthew Arnold 1822–88 English poet and essayist: Culture and Anarchy (1869) ch. 1
  3. Sooner or later we must absorb Islam if our own culture is not to die of anaemia.
    Basil Bunting 1900–85 English poet: Omar Pound Arabic and Persian Poems (1970) foreword
  4. What are we waiting for, gathered in the market-place?
    The barbarians are to arrive today.
    Constantine Cavafy 1863–1933 Greek poet: ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ (1904) (tr. E. Keeley and P. Sherrard)
  5. Cultured people are merely the glittering scum which floats upon the deep river of production.
    on hearing his son Randolph criticize the lack of culture of the Calgary oil magnates, probably c.1929
    Winston Churchill 1874–1965 British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940–5, 1951–5: Martin Gilbert In Search of Churchill (1994)
  6. Culture may even be described simply as that which makes life worth living.
    T. S. Eliot 1888–1965 American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist: Notes Towards a Definition of Culture (1948)
  7. I hate all Boets and Bainters.
    George I 1660–1727 British monarch, King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1714: John Campbell Lives of the Chief Justices (1849) ‘Lord Mansfield’
  8. Whenever I hear the word culture…I release the safety-catch of my Browning!
    often attributed to Hermann Goering, and quoted as ‘Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my pistol!’
    Hanns Johst 1890–1978 German dramatist: Schlageter (1933) act 1, sc. 1
  9. Culture is worth a little risk.
    Norman Mailer 1923–2007 American novelist and essayist: press conference after testifying at the Jack Abbott trial, 18 January 1982; J. Michael Lennon Norman Mailer: A Double Life (2014)
  10. Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.
    Mao Zedong 1893–1976 Chinese statesman; de facto leader of the Communist Party: speech in Peking, 27 February 1957,
  11. A cultural Chernobyl.
    of Euro Disney
    Ariane Mnouchkine 1934–  French theatre director: in Harper's Magazine July 1992
  12. Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of the things of the mind does not make us soft.
    Pericles c.495–429 bc Greek statesman and Athenian general: Funeral Oration, Athens, 430 bc, in Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War bk. 2, ch. 40, sect. 1
  13. In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce…? The cuckoo clock.
    Orson Welles 1915–85 American actor and film director: The Third Man (1949 film); words added by Welles to Graham Greene's screenplay
  14. Mrs Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet it alone.
    Edith Wharton 1862–1937 American novelist: Xingu and Other Stories (1916)