Arthur Koestler

Arthur Koestler
Arthur Koestler
  • Born: September 5, 1905
  • Died: March 3, 1983
  • Nationality: Hungarian
  • Profession: Novelist









Arthur Koestler, CBE was a Hungarian-British author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. In 1931 Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany until, disillusioned by Stalinism, he resigned in 1938. In 1940 he published his novel Darkness at Noon, an anti-totalitarian work that gained him international fame. Over the next 43 years, from his residence in Britain, Koestler espoused many political causes, and wrote novels, memoirs, biographies and numerous essays. In 1968 he was awarded the Sonning Prize "for [his] outstanding contribution to European culture" and in 1972 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1976 he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and in 1979 with terminal leukaemia. In 1983 he and his wife committed suicide at their home in London.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
Chemically induced hallucinations, delusions and raptures may be frightening or wonderfully gratifying; in either case they are in the nature of confidence tricks played on one's own nervous system. Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs
If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction. Management & Managing Government
In Japan, there was no comparable (to our competitive economy) organic development; when the country was suddenly thrown open, the very idea of 'competition' was strange to them, and when Western economic writings were first translated into Japanese, it was necessary to make a new word for it. It was a combination of the Japanese words for 'race' and 'fight.' Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
One nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man, it is the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use. Human Nature
The glory of science is not in a truth more absolute than the truth of Bach or Tolstoy, but in the act of creation itself. The scientist's discoveries impose his own order on chaos. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Two half-truths do not make a truth, and two half-cultures do not make a culture. Miscellaneous
A publisher who writes is like a cow in a milk bar.
A writer's ambition should be to trade a hundred contemporary readers for ten readers in ten years' time and for one reader in a hundred years' time. Time
Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.
Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. Death
One may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions.
Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means. History ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Prometheus is reaching out for the stars with an empty grin on his face.
Scientists are peeping toms at the keyhole of eternity.
The definition of the individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million.
The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.
The most persistent sound which reverberates through man's history is the beating of war drums. History ;War & Peace
The prerequisite of originality is the art of forgetting, at the proper moment, what we know. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
The progress of science is strewn, like an ancient desert trail, with the bleached skeleton of discarded theories which once seemed to possess eternal life. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
True creativity often starts where language ends.