Happy Birthday Noel…

Noel Coward (5)

My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.

Noël Coward

Happy Birthday, Noël Coward, who was born on this day in 1899.  In his bio, he is defined as having “virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath – dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit — he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of ‘cool Britannia.’…Coward was on stage by the age of six, and writing his first drama ten years later…His between-the-wars celebrity reached a peak in 1930 with “Private Lives,” by which time he had become the highest earning author in the western world…Since his death in 1973, his reputation has grown. There is never a point at which his plays are not being performed, or his songs being sung. A playwright, director, actor, songwriter, filmmaker, novelist, wit . . . was there nothing this man couldn’t do?”

Noel Coward: Top 10 quotes

  1. It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.
  2. I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.
  3. My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.
  4. Thousands of people have talent. I might as well congratulate you for having eyes in your head. The one and only thing that counts is: Do you have staying power?
  5. What I adore is supreme professionalism. I’m bored by writers who can write only when it’s raining.
  6. Having to read footnotes resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love.
  7. People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what’s wrong with it.
  8. Work is much more fun, than fun.
  9. I’ll go through life either first class or third, but never in second.
  10. Let’s drink to the spirit of gallantry and courage that made a strange Heaven out of unbelievable Hell, and let’s drink to the hope that one day this country of ours, which we love so much, will find dignity and greatness and peace again.

Noel Coward, Christmas Card, quotes


Sources and inspiration: 1) Amanda Patterson – Writers Write Creative Blog,  2) BrainyQuote. 3) imdb.com.  Images: noelcoward.net

Comments

  1. Somehow I think the two of you would be good friends…One more Cowardism..”It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit”..

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    • Funny you mention that. Every one of the 10 quotes resonates with me. Including one of his that I left out: “I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.” As to your mentioned Coward quote above, you mean that it is one of your favorites or? (It is listed in the top 10)

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  2. As an American transplanted to England I definitely agree that Noel Coward defines what is best about this funny country I now call home. Thanks for the post David, and come visit us in London.

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  3. This is so good – love it!

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  4. Good Post.

    A Season of Blessings
    I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of peace on earth,
    good-will to men!

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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    • Thank you Ivsrao. I was introduced to poetry in 11th grade, many years ago. It didn’t work for me then, but it has found me now. I have a lot of catching up to do. Thank you for sharing Longfellow’s poem, beautiful. He’s new to me as well.

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  5. Great man and wonderful quotes, David. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  6. Wonderful, David! A great collection–I especially love #6. I’ve always found footnotes trying, but never managed to articulate it this eloquently…. 😉

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  7. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Can’t help disagreeing with #7…

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  8. People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what’s wrong with it.

    Sounds like me trying to explain my dislike spending an evening at the opera to my opera loving husband. I say it all needs editing.

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  9. His quotes reveal so much about him and so does about you. Very deep indeed!

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  10. Martin Robertson says:

    Noel, in agreement,

    Our importance is insignificant to the better part of what, and whom, we are most focused on.

    Wary not. Rather, understandably recognize, assess, most truthfully address, and then move on.

    Gone from here, and now, but never, ever dispassionately gone from the company we choose to keep.

    God bless,

    Marty

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