Provocation Quotes

Provocation Quotes by Michel Houellebecq, Lars von Trier, Filipp Golikov, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Draper, Tariq Ramadan and many others.

I admit that invective is one of my pleasures. This onl

I admit that invective is one of my pleasures. This only brings me problems in life, but that’s it. I attack, I insult. I have a gift for that, for insults, for provocation. So I am tempted to use it.
Michel Houellebecq
I’m very proud of being persona non grata. I’ve never been that before in my life, and that suits me extremely wellI’m known for provocations, but I like provocations when they have a purpose. And this had no purpose whatsoever. Because I’m not Mel Gibson. I’m definitely not Mel Gibson.
Lars von Trier
There are also many instances where people hostile to the Soviet state are attempting by means of deceit and provocation to poison the minds of our citizens and compel them to believe in monstrous lies.
Filipp Golikov
Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is.
C. S. Lewis
I don’t believe anything can do as much for a room as a glowing fire in an attractive fireplace. Men and dogs love an open fire – they show good sense. It is the heart of any room and should be kindled on the slightest provocation.
Dorothy Draper
I am talking about anything that is a provocation – ignore it. When something falls under freedom of expression, you can read it and take a critical distance.
Tariq Ramadan
A skittish motorbike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth, because of its logical extension of our faculties, and the hint, the provocation, to excess conferred by its honeyed untiring smoothness.
T. E. Lawrence
Trump’s election is generally bad news…. In international policy, one can imagine that if Trump were foolish enough to go ahead with his pledge to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it would be widely experienced throughout the Islamic world as a provocation.
Richard A. Falk
She was on edge, feeling that she might snap or cry at the smallest provocation.
J. K. Rowling
Frankly, the idea that exposed legs are some sort of sexual provocation is an argument one would expect to hear from a religious fundamentalist, not a feminist.
Kirsten Powers
Freedom includes the right to say what others may object to and resent… The essence of citizenship is to be tolerant of strong and provocative words.
John Diefenbaker
People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.
Sarah Palin
Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.
Dalai Lama
When I’m at my best, I’m trying to destabilize myself and figure out new ways of approaching art as a provocation. I think I am at my best when I push myself into a place where I don’t have all the answers.
Kehinde Wiley
One of the tragedies of modern times is that people have come to believe that something said by someone in the past, perhaps for illustrative or provocation purposes, actually represents that person’s beliefs at the time.
Idries Shah
I think the Eritrean government is aware that any full-scale invasion of Ethiopia along the lines of 1998 could turn out to be suicidal… And we will not respond to any provocation short of all-out invasion. We are already engaged in a much more fruitful war – against poverty.
Meles Zenawi
You cannot hurt animals, so what do I do? I kill the dog first. Then I do it with the boy. You’re not supposed to break the illusion of this being a film, so I make the actor talk to the audience. Provocation is the principle of the whole film [ Funny Games]. It is very ironic.
Michael Haneke
Love, to the inferior man, remains almost wholly a physical matter. The heroine he most admires is the one who offers the grossest sexual provocation; the hero who makes his wife roll her eyes is a perambulating phallus.
H. L. Mencken
Some felt as if ‘Charlie Hebdo’ was obsessed with its ‘Screw Allah’ stance. It’s a sort of provocation that caused a lot of debates.
Patrick Chappatte
A film is not a documentary. And what’s wonderful about film is that it’s a real provocation for people. I never, ever see film as being an absolute version of the truth.
Cate Blanchett
The chief aim of Interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.
Freeman Tilden
For the most part, editors no longer view ‘Doonesbury’ as a rolling provocation, which is fine by me. It makes no sense to intentionally antagonize the very people on whose support you most depend.
Garry Trudeau
Education is the food of youth, the delight of old age, the ornament of prosperity, the refuge and comfort of adversity, and the provocation to grace in the soul.
Saint Augustine
Anything that can hurt the convictions of another, particularly religious convictions, must be avoided. Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility. I condemn all manifest provocation that might dangerously fan passions.
Jacques Chirac
Through music I either tame my demons or unleash them and allow them to be what they are. I don’t want the music to be about provocation, I want the music to bring you to a place where you feel at home
Michael Franti
Art is the provocation for talking about enigma and the search for sense in human life. One can do that by telling a story or writing about a fresco by Giotto or studying how a snail climbs up a wall.
John Berger
Ask you what provocation I have had? The strong antipathy of good to bad.
Alexander Pope
By his provocations to good-natured merriment, a humorist of the first water contributes as much to the sum of happiness as the gravest philosopher.
Christian Nestell Bovee
Every great artist has the sense of provocation.
Arthur Cravan
Those wars are unjust which are undertaken without provocation. For only a war waged for revenge or defense can be just.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
It seems to me probably that any one who has a series of intolerable positions to put up with must have been responsible for them to some extent… they have contributed to it by impatience or intolerance, or brusqueness-or some provocation.
Robert Hugh Benson
Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. What he announces, I must find true in me, or reject; and on his word, or as his second, be he who he may, I can accept nothing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Never was sin seen to be more abominably sinful and full of provocation than when the burden of it was upon the shoulders of the Son of God…Would you, then, see the true demerit of sin?-take the measure of it from the mediation of Christ, especially his cross.
John Owen
There are few who would not rather be taken in adultery than in provocation.
Aldous Huxley
Funnily enough, it is the subject one dreads talking about at length one ends up talking about at length, often without the slightest provocation.
Marisha Pessl
Some people think that my shows are just for shock value, but the provocation makes those classic pieces look different every six months. You don’t need to see the same gray suit every season. But surrounding it with 40 really interesting ideas makes it feel new.
Thom Browne
I’m probably the most militant person you’ll ever meet and I speak my mind without provocation sometimes.
Octavia Spencer
It isn’t only in the name of free speech that the views of an itchy polemicist should be tolerated – and I say itchy polemicist promoting thought, not itchy ideologue promoting violence – but because provocation is indispensable to the workings of a sound, creative culture.
Howard Jacobson
All anger is not sinful, because some degree of it, and on some occasions, is inevitable. But it becomes sinful and contradicts the rule of Scripture when it is conceived upon slight and inadequate provocation, and when it continues long.
Wilson Mizner
What is indispensable to inspiration? …sound sleep and the provocation of a good book or a companion.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Provocation polio. That is the truth about those outbreaks of polio. And I offer a well considered personal opinion that polio is a man made disease.
Viera Scheibner
Who, in the midst of just provocation to anger, instantly finds the fit word which settles all around him in silence is more than wise or just; he is, were he a beggar, of more than royal blood, he is of celestial descent.
Johann Kaspar Lavater
My position has always been to avoid violence to avoid provocation.
David Dellinger
We should always settle disputes through dialogue and cooperation, and should not resort to the use or threat of force on the slightest provocation. We should get rid of Cold War thinking and broaden the converging points of our common interests, notwithstanding the differences in social systems and ideologies.
Wu Bangguo
The person I respect most, in terms of historical figures, is probably Nelson Mandela. I just think that his tolerance in the face of extreme provocation is something every single person on the planet could learn from.
Mark Strong
The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn’t, we will kill you.
Sam Harris
The approval of the public is to be avoided like the plague. It is absolutely essential to keep the public from entering if one wishes to avoid confusion. I must add that the public must be kept panting in expectation at the gate by a system of challenges and provocations.
Andre Breton
War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. Though you follow the trade of the warrior, you do so in the spirit of Washington – not of Genghis Khan. For Americans, only threat to our way of life justifies resort to conflict.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
If you care about your longevity and health, be a socially affiliated baboon who is better than high-ranking ones at walking away from provocations.
Robert M. Sapolsky
A philosopher may deplore the eternal discords of the human race, but he will confess, that the desire of spoil is a more rational provocation than the vanity of conquest.
Edward Gibbon
Museums are not normally presenting the works on the walls as provocations to work. It’s more like going to a Jacuzzi.
Hans Haacke
I think that artists provide questions, not answers. We provide provocations rather than fully formed objects.
Kehinde Wiley
Men who would face torture without a word become blasphemous at the short fourteenth. It is clear that the game of golf may well be included in that category of intolerable provocations which may legally excuse or mitigate behaviour not otherwise excusable.
A. P. Herbert
Then she waited, with parted lips and a saucy challenge in her eyes, to see how her presence — the drama of being her — was registering. In the way of such chicks, she seemed convinced of the originality of her provocation.
Jonathan Franzen
We would welcome that, but it’s going to require a commitment on the part of the North Koreans to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and pursuing a stable relationship with their neighbors. Instead, we’ve seen a lot of provocations and a flouting of international norms and obligations.
Josh Earnest
One way to cope with the provocations of novel art is to rest firm and maintain solid standards… set by the critic’s long-practiced taste and by his conviction that only those innovations will be significant which promote the established direction of advanced art.
Leo Steinberg
Those wars are unjust which are undertaken without provocation. For only a war waged for revenge or defence can actually be just.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
The provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength.
Mike Pence
Courage is only an accumulation of small steps.
Gyorgy Konrad
Provocation doesn’t make me ill-tempered: it only shows me how ill-tempered I am.
C. S. Lewis
Managers at [the nuclear] sector should know that we need diplomacy and not slogans, .. This [is] where we should use all our leverages with patience and wisdom, without provocation and slogans that can give pretexts to the enemies.
Bill Vaughan
You take a number of small steps which you believe are right, thinking maybe tomorrow somebody will treat this as a dangerous provocation. And then you wait. If there is no reaction, you take another step: courage is only an accumulation of small steps.
Gyorgy Konrad
The provocation with Holmes is the fact that he’s described by Doyle as a man without a heart – all brain… and that’s very difficult to play, or even indicate.
Jeremy Brett
‘Funny Games’ was conceived as a provocation. My other films are different. If people feel my other films are, or respond to them as provocation, then that’s quite different. ‘Funny Games’ is the only one of mine where my intention was to provoke the audience.
Michael Haneke
I enjoy a challenge or provocation, something to think about, to talk about after it’s done.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
With a military American base in our territory, where there could be any sort of weapons, where we have to endure every kind of provocations, we have to support and endure the flights over our territory.
Che Guevara
The consciousness of one’s physical self had to be repressed because, socially, the female body was so visible, an ongoing provocation and incitement of specular curiosity and fascination.
Shirley Geok-lin Lim
For a man solemnly to undertake the interpretation of any portion of Scripture without invocation of God, to be taught and instructed by His Spirit, is a high provocation of him; nor shall I expect the discovery of truth from any one who thus proudly engages in a work so much beyond his ability.
John Owen
To great evils we submit, we resent little provocations.
William Hazlitt
A warrior is always aware of what is worth fighting for. He does not go into combat over things that do not concern him, and he never wastes his time over provocations.
Paulo Coelho
Christian society is like a bundle of sticks laid together, whereof one kindles another. Solitary men have fewest provocations to evil, but, again, fewest incitations to good. So much as doing good is better than not doing evil will I account Christian good-fellowship better than an hermitish and melancholy solitariness.
Joseph Hall
A gentlemen is one who never strikes a woman without provocation.
H. L. Mencken
The ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.
Sigmund Freud
A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it.
Edward P. Morgan
You take a number of small steps which you believe are right, thinking maybe tomorrow somebody will treat this as a dangerous provocation. And then you wait. If there is no reaction, you take another step: courage is only an accumulation of small steps.
George Konrad
A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.
Theodore Roosevelt
I suppose, yes, I’ve been guilty of provocation but it’s also just common sense marketing – put a bottle of scent in a woman’s cleavage, or between her thighs – and men will notice.
Tom Ford
We can all be good when we have no temptation or provocation to the contrary.
Samuel Richardson
It requires real strength to love Man. And to love him despite all invitations to do otherwise, all provocations and all reasons why one should not.
L. Ron Hubbard
With regards to the expansion of NATO, I see it as a mistake, even a provocation in a way.
Sergei Lavrov
So natural to man is the practice of violence that our indulgence allows the slightest provocation, the most disputable right, as a sufficient ground of national hostility.
Edward Gibbon
I understand the technique of eccentricity; it would be futile for a man to labor at establishing a reputation for oddity if he were ready at the slightest provocation to revert to normal action.
Rex Stout