The Quotes Queue

Return to main article:

Alongside the March-April cover story, “Quotable Harvard,” compiled by Fred Shapiro, we asked readers to forward their own candidates for this informal canon. Selections from the resulting nominations appear here; read the full roll, and contribute to the conversation, at http://harvardmag.com/quotations.

~The Editors

 

“I know I asked the bartender for more ice, but this is ridiculous….”—Attributed to John Jacob Astor IV, class of 1888, aboard the Titanic

 

“It’s not easy getting up here and saying nothing. It takes a lot of preparation.”—Barry Toiv ’77, then serving as President Bill Clinton’s deputy press secretary

 

“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.”—Henry Adams, A.B. 1858, in The Education of Henry Adams

 

“In any battle between the literati and the philistines, the philistines invariably win.”—Harry T. Levin, professor of comparative literature, following the 1961 court ruling adverse to Grove Press, in the Boston censorship trial for having published Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer

 

“I am a professor of comparative literature, not of comparative lust.”—Harry T. Levin, testifying in the same trial, responding to the prosecutor’s question: “Professor Levin, which do you think would more excite lewd and libidinous desires in the mind of a young girl—Shakespeare’s ‘Rape of Lucrece’ or Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer?”

You might also like

Using the Law for Good

2024 Radcliffe Medalist Sonia Sotomayor on civic engagement and optimism

Equality and Justice

A Radcliffe Day panel discusses pluralism and progress. 

Close Call

Ending a tumultuous year, Harvard tradition is served in the 373rd Commencement—with plenty of thunder from the stage.

Most popular

Harvard Discloses Administrator and Investment Manager Compensation

The annual release on leaders’ most recent pay

Harvard Corporation Rules Thirteen Students Cannot Graduate

Faculty of Arts and Sciences May 20 vote on protestors’ status does not confer “good standing.”

AWOL from Academics

Behind students' increasing pull toward extracurriculars

More to explore

Bernini’s Model Masterpieces at the Harvard Art Museums

Thirteen sculptures from Gian Lorenzo Bernini at Harvard Art Museums.

Private Equity in Medicine and the Quality of Care

Hundreds of U.S. hospitals are owned by private equity firms—does monetizing medicine affect the quality of care?

Sasha the Harvard Police Dog

Sasha, the police dog of Harvard University