Cleverness Quotes

Cleverness Quotes by Christopher Fowler, Quentin Tarantino, Wendell Berry, Tom Peters, Aleister Crowley, Douglas Adams and many others.

The queen of crime, Agatha Christie, was always more co

The queen of crime, Agatha Christie, was always more concerned about the clockwork cleverness of the plot, never the investigator.
Christopher Fowler
Emotion will always win over coolness and cleverness. It’s when a scene works emotionally and it’s cool and clever, then it’s great. That’s what you want.
Quentin Tarantino
I’d rather rely on mother nature’s wisdom than man’s cleverness
Wendell Berry
The winners stun us not by their cleverness, but by the fact that every tiny aspect of the business is just a touch better than the norm.
Tom Peters
Science is always discovering odd scraps of magical wisdom and making a tremendous fuss about its cleverness.
Aleister Crowley
It startled him even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Prize for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smart-ass.
Douglas Adams
No better love than love with no objective, no more satisfying work than work with no purpose. If you could give up tricks and cleverness, that would be the cleverest trick!
Rumi
One begins to mistrust very clever people when they become embarrassed.
Friedrich Nietzsche
The bold are helpless without cleverness.
Euripides
More than machinery, we need humanity.
Charlie Chaplin
Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else unless it is an enemy.
Albert Einstein
Never treat somebody’s cleverness as his life’s smartness. Cleverness is to hide the weakness and the smartness is to project the strength of his weakness.
Anuj
You don’t need a dead father to explain a character’s sadness. And impressing yourself with wit/cleverness often feels like what it is – authorial intrusion.
Mary J. Miller
A man who stops at nothing short of the law is very clever indeed!
Honore de Balzac
Remarkable trait in the American Character is the union, not very infrequent, of Yankee cleverness with spiritualism.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Clever people will recognize and tolerate nothing but cleverness.
Henri Frederic Amiel
I am firmly of the opinion that women who make a lot of effort to hang onto their looks in middle age (unless they are beauties, entertainers or prostitutes) are rather sad, as one should surely have something more substantial to recommend one by this time, such as kindness or cleverness.
Julie Burchill
The pun exists in a social and political void, caring nothing for the issues of its day, content merely to display itself in its small cleverness.
Arthur Smith
Did you measure to attain your height? Did you use geometry to radiate your limb? Did you lament storm-torn branches? Did you inventory your leaves for the sun? You did none of these things, yet man in his cleverness Cannot match your perfection.
Ming-Dao Deng
A hacker is someone who enjoys playful cleverness—not necessarily with computers. The programmers in the old MIT free software community of the 60s and 70s referred to themselves as hackers. Around 1980, journalists who discovered the hacker community mistakenly took the term to mean “security breaker.”
Richard Stallman
Where there is simplicity, there are a hundred Angels, but where there is cleverness – there are none.
Ambrose of Optina
Country people tend to consider that they have a corner on righteousness and to distrust most manifestations of cleverness, while people in the city are leery of righteousness but ascribe to themselves all manner of cleverness.
Edward Hoagland
Diplomacy is a disguised war, in which states seek to gain by barter and intrigue, by the cleverness of arts, the objectives which they would have to gain more clumsily by means of war.
Randolph Bourne
Patience and tenacity are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
Thomas Huxley
The doctrine of human equality reposes on this: that there is no man really clever who has not found that he is stupid.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
The ways in which Oscar Wilde was attacking the Romantics that preceded him, and the Romantic ideas that preceded him, were very similar to what the glam-rockers, particularly Bowie and Bryan Ferry, were attacking in the earnestness of ’60s culture. Trying to shock, but with wit, cleverness, and homosexuality.
Todd Haynes
The best substitute for money is ingenuity.
Patti Page
Cultivate truth, good faith, experience, cleverness, sociability, and industry.
Pittacus of Mytilene
The key is not money; organization, cleverness, or education. Are you and I seeing the results Peter saw? Are we bringing thousands of men and women to Christ the way he did? If not, we need to get back to His power source.
Jim Cymbala
Find enough clever things to say, and you’re a Prime Minister; write them down and you’re a Shakespeare.
George Bernard Shaw
The thing is, comedy’s gone in a weird direction. People are really into ironic comedy and fakeness and cleverness.
Louis C. K.
They [human beings] are unwilling to gamble that God made those people who are skilled at rational argumentation uniquely virtuous. They protect themselves and others from cleverness by obscuring their preferences.
James G. March
Cleverness becomes a public nuisance.
Oscar Wilde
People used to expect literary novels to deepen the experience of living; now they are happy with any sustained display of writerly cleverness.
Brian Reynolds Myers
I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays.
Oscar Wilde
The height of cleverness is in one’s ability to be very clever without seeming clever at all.
Criss Jami
Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.
Plato
The art of conversation consists far less in displaying much wit oneself than in helping others to be witty: the man who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own wit is very well pleased with you.
Jean de la Bruyere
A clever man commits no minor blunders.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
And you very soon find out, if you have not found it out before, that patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.
Thomas Huxley
Books are in no hurry. An act of creation is in no hurry; it reads us, it privileges us infinitely. The notion that it is the occasion for our cleverness fills me with baffled bitterness and anger.
George Steiner
The desire to seem clever often keeps us from being so.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
You want to make an impression. Being clever helps.
Leonard Maltin
If we fail to appreciate the soul that Easternism gives us, then what we have is a disconnected, Greco-Roman, Western, egocentric, compartmentalized, reductionist, fragmented, linear thought process that counts on cleverness.
Joel Salatin
We judge matters so superficially that ordinary acts and words, done and spoken with some flair and some knowledge of worldly matters, often succeed better than the greatest cleverness.
Madeleine de Souvre, marquise de Sable
A liar is a man who does now know how to deceive, a flatterer one who only deceives fools: he who knows how to make skilful use of the truth, and understands its eloquence, can alone pride himself in cleverness.
Luc de Clapiers
We learned to be patient observers like the owl. We learned cleverness from the crow, and courage from the jay, who will attack an owl ten times its size to drive it off its territory. But above all of them ranked the chickadee because of its indomitable spirit.
Tom Brown, Jr.
Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice.
Jeff Bezos
The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others. He who leaves your company pleased with himself and his own cleverness is perfectly well pleased with you.
Jean de la Bruyere
It’s really easy to play harmonics, anyone can do it. It’s another thing to be able to swing, to make to make a band swing, to create a groove. Harmonics ain’t everything. Being able to play harmonics certainly does not make you a good bass player. Cleverness is no substitute for true awareness.
Jaco Pastorius
I kept bugging them about making it more upscale, because I felt Abby, through her cleverness and business sense, was a character who would move up. And that’s what she did.
Donna Mills
A hero called Adin rose from the ranks of the people. He was an ordinary man, a blacksmith who made swords and armor and shoes for horses. But he had been blessed with strsngth, courage, and cleverness.
Emily Rodda
Do not put cleverness in front of the communication.
Paul Arden
Intelligence is a harder gift. For this you must work, you must practice it, challenge it, and maybe toward the end of your life you will master it. Cleverness is the shadow, whereas intelligence is the substance. -Doc
Bryce Courtenay
Abandon cleverness, discard profit, and thieves and robbers will disappear.
Laozi
A man likes his wife to be just clever enough to appreciate his cleverness, and just stupid enough to admire it.
Israel Zangwill
When the great Tao is forgotten, goodness and piety appear. When the body’s intelligence declines, cleverness and knowledge step forth. When there is no peace in the family, filial piety begins. When the country falls into chaos, patriotism is born.
Laozi
Peter would think her sentimental. So she was. For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying – what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.
Virginia Woolf
Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.
Henri Frederic Amiel
The disease having been caused by allowing cleverness to displace wisdom, no amount of clever research is likely to produce a cure.
E. F. Schumacher
The cleverness of avarice is but the cunning of imbecility.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
One man may be more cunning than another, but no one can be more cunning than all the world.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The fairies, as their custom, clapped their hands with delight over their cleverness, and they were so madly in love with the little house that they could not bear to think they had finished it.
James M. Barrie
Whoever possesses abundant joy must be a good man: but he is probably not the cleverest man, although he achieves exactly what it is that the cleverest man strives with all his cleverness to achieve.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Cleverness is not wisdom. And not to think mortal thoughts is to see few days.
Euripides
I think the cleverness is inadvertent.
Mike Birbiglia
Your toddler will be “good” if he feels like doing what you happen to want him to do and does not happen to feel like doing anything you would dislike. With a little cleverness you can organize life as a whole, and issues in particular, so that you both want the same thing most of the time.
Penelope Leach
Fight to escape from your own cleverness. If you do, then you will find salvation and uprightness through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John Climacus
Stupid — well, there are so many kinds of stupidity, and cleverness is one of the worst.
Thomas Mann
The more you know about somebody’s back story, the deeper you can delve into that well, and the more your comedic choices resonate full-body instead of just being quick, quippy one-liners that are just like a bunch of people trying to be clever. Because after a while, cleverness is just really obnoxious!
Constance Wu
Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.
John Steinbeck
The system itself has the mark of cleverness and ingenuity…. When you manipulate the menu system, you feel as though you are at the helm of the future…. The Xbox probably has the most raw potential for excellent games
Jerry Holkins
Too great cleverness is but deceptive delicacy, true delicacy is the most substantial cleverness.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Profits are not made by differential cleverness, but by differential stupidity.
David Ricardo
They tried to be too clever—and that was their undoing.
Agatha Christie
We in Ireland are gifted beyond most peoples with a talent for acting, and in Dublin especially, while scorning culture, which indeed we have not got, we are possessed of a most futile and diverting cleverness.
Susan Mitchell
How clever you are, my dear! You never mean a single word you say.
Oscar Wilde
On Update, the only real original thing was trying to take away the cleverness of the punchline and make it as blunt as possible.
Norm MacDonald
I am often surprised by the cleverness, and now and again by the stupidity, of my dog; and I have similar experiences with mankind.
Arthur Schopenhauer
In older science fiction stories, they had to rely on storytelling as opposed to spectacle. The old run of the ‘Twilight Zone,’ the star was the writing and the storytelling, and the characters and the twists and the cleverness in the setup and payoff and execution.
Josh Trank
If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.
Laozi
Oh, the cleverness of me!
James M. Barrie
No woman marries for money; they are all clever enough, before marrying a millionaire, to fall in love with him first.
Cesare Pavese
Many of the greatest men have owed their success to industry rather than to cleverness.
John Lubbock
The desire of appearing clever often prevents our becoming so.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
In late modernity we grow more and more accustomed to politicians and public figures who are indebted to their appetites for their “values,” to their intellectual sloth for their “principles,” to their rhetorical cleverness for their “conscience,” and to their regimented conformism for their “philosophy.”
Kenny Smith
We think too much and feel too little.
Charlie Chaplin
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion. Bewilderment brings intuitive knowledge.
Rumi
Revolutionary men with principles were not really different from the rest. They used their cleverness to get, in return for principles, what other men buy with their money.
Nawal El Saadawi
What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy – they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.
Jeff Bezos
If the EU and its 25 member states make a clever use of all policy instruments, broadband for all Europeans is certainly not out of reach by 2010.
Viviane Reding
Cleverness is a burden after that. You are supposed to settle down and be a good person, raise your children, and be good to your friends, which you may not have been back when you were clever.
Garrison Keillor
People used to expect literary novels to deepen the experience of living; now they are happy with any sustained display of writerly cleverness.
Brian Reynolds
If a diplomat says yes, he means perhaps. If he says perhaps he means no. And if he says no, he’s the hell of a diplomat.
Agnes Sligh Turnbull
I’m accused of cleverness as if it were a sin. She is merely clever, they say.
Jennifer Stone
An ounce of prudence is worth a pound of cleverness.
Baltasar Gracian
We are all these things […]. Pride, desire, compassion, cleverness, belligerence, fruitfulness, loyalty…and guilt. But above it all stands love. And if we desire to be more than human, that is the star by which we must set our sights.
Jacqueline Carey
Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy-they’re given after all. Choices can be hard.
Jeff Bezos
It is not strength, but art, obtains the prize, And to be swift is less than to be wise.
Homer
I am not clear that God manoeuvres physical things? After all, a conjuring trick with bones only proves that it is as clever as a conjuring trick with bones
David Jenkins
How clever of me. I have found such a pathway into hell that I can never get back out.
Orson Scott Card
Now that cleverness was the fashion most people were clever – even perfect fools; and cleverness after all was often only a bore: all head and no body
Walter de La Mare
The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Rumi
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
Charlie Chaplin
I’ve never been a big fan of improvisation, because I think you appreciate the process and the cleverness of it more than the actual comedy in most cases.
Alan Thicke
A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
Albert Einstein
Your normal Wall Street big-swinging Richard has enough of a lingering moral compass to at least tell himself that his wizardry benefits somebody or something besides himself. You know, his cleverness makes capital markets more efficient. It provides credit to productive enterprise. Whatever.
Tina Brown
A net set up to catch fish may snare a duck; a mantis hunting an insect may itself be set upon by a sparrow. Machinations are hidden within machinations; changes arise beyond changes. So how can wit and cleverness be relied upon?
Zicheng Hong
The White House is not being very clever in how it takes on our plan, .. In fact the White House is being sloppy. They are taking everything Bob Dole has ever said we ought to do regarding taxes and adding all of those things up and saying it will cost $800 billion.
Bob Dole
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Dan Quayle
Wit is often a mask. If you tear it you will find either genius irritated or cleverness juggling.
Khalil Gibran
So much interviewing these days is about the presenter – I?m a clever boy, I?m going to be smart with people; or it?s a trivial – how do you like your eggs boiled?
Michael Parkinson
You stand for nothing. You respect nobody. The music you dance to is devoid of beauty, its lyrics empty of humor or cleverness.
David Klass
Trade your cleverness for bewilderment.
Rumi
If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.
Elbert Hubbard
Major Strasser: You give him (Rick Blaine) credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he’s just another blundering American. Captain Renault: We musn’t underestimate American blundering. I was with them when they blundered into Berlin in 1918.
Humphrey Bogart
In the life of our organism, we are continually dealing with a development of force followed by a state of equilibrium. Of course, the human being has no conscious knowledge of what is really going on within him, but what takes place is so infinitely wise that the cleverness of the human ego is nothing by comparison.
Rudolf Steiner
A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell
Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal.
Plato
In science, modesty and genius do not coexist well together. (In Washington, modesty and cleverness don’t.) Einstein is perhaps the most famous exception to the rule.
Charles Krauthammer
All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.
Stendhal
It is the individual voice, present to itself, that needs to be heard. We need to hear the process of the musician working on himself. We don’t need to hear who is more clever with synthesizers. Our cleverness has created the world we live in, which in many ways, we’re sorry about.
Keith Jarrett
Limits have to be set on how far one can simply use the… cleverness that we have to make changes.
Leon Kass
I’m not original, but I strive toward it as much as possible. I tried really hard on Weekend Update to do something that I considered original, which was, I tried to cut all cleverness out of the joke.
Norm MacDonald
Peter: Oh, the cleverness of me. Wendy: Of course, I did nothing… Peter: You did a little. Wendy: Oh, the cleverness of you.
James M. Barrie
I try to think as little as possible, at least while working. I look at some of my early stories and can see the machination behind them, like a gear slowly moving. For example, sticking a dead father into the story to explain a character’s sadness and bad decisions, or trying to impress myself with my own cleverness.
Mary J. Miller
The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.
Claude Levi-Strauss
Money never can be well managed if sought solely through the greed of money for its own sake. In all meanness there is a defect of intellect as well as of heart. And even the cleverness of avarice is but the cunning of imbecility.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
Am I not sensitive, clever, well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming, as kind as I’m handsome and heir to a throne?
Stephen Sondheim
It is a great act of cleverness to be able to conceal one’s being clever.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
I always thought there was some cleverness to the joke diet in which you could eat as much as you want and as often as you want, but everything must be consumed naked in front of a full-length mirror. That would deter me!
Gene Weingarten
She breathed deeply of the scent of decaying fiction, disintegrating history, and forgotten verse, and she observed for the first time that a room full of books smelled like dessert: a sweet snack made of figs, vanilla, glue, and cleverness.
Joe Hill
The principal point of cleverness is to know how to value things just as they deserve.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The benefits of medical research are real – but so are the potential horrors of genetic engineering and embryo manipulation. We devise heart transplants, but do little for the 15 million who die annually of malnutrition and related diseases. Our cleverness has grown prodigiously – but not our wisdom.
Martin Ryle
Therefore the victories of good warriors are not noted for cleverness or bravery. Therefore their victories in battle are not flukes. Their victories are not flukes because they position themselves where they will surely win, prevailing over those wh.
Sun Tzu
People never will recollect that mere learning and mere cleverness are of next to no value in life, while energy and intellectual grip, the things that are inborn and cannot be taught, are everything.
Thomas Huxley
The obstinacy of cleverness and reason is nothing to the obstinacy of folly and inanity.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.
Lao Tzu
To be spontaneous means not to act out of the past, because out of the past is all cunningness, cleverness, calculation, arithmetic.
Rajneesh
The great thing about Twitter is, you get a lot back, and I read through a lot, and I want my fans to know that I do read a lot, and it’s why I do respond or retweet clever posts, and I’m constantly amazed by the cleverness of people on Twitter.
Elizabeth Banks
Deprived of the company of fools, a great wit does not seem half so clever.
Francois Alexandre Frederic, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt
Cleverness without wisdom: the most destructive force on Earth.
David Icke