The Best Arthur Koestler quotes

Arthur Koestler quotes thumbnail

Arthur Koestler was a Hungarian-British journalist and writer who is best known for his novel Darkness at Noon. He was born in Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire on November 29th 1905.
Koestler studied law and psychology at the University of Vienna before moving to Paris to work as a foreign correspondent. In 1933 he became a member of the Communist Party of Germany until 1938 when he broke with them over their refusal to oppose Hitler by force.
He published his first major book during this time called Darkness at Noon, which led him into conflict with both Soviet totalitarianism and Western liberalism.
Discover the best statements from Arthur Koestler.

Discover the most interesting Time, History quotes from Arthur Koestler, and much more.


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About Arthur Koestler

birth of the author

5 September 1905

death of the author

1 March 1983

occupation of the author

Novelist, Essayist, Journalist

country of the author

Hungarian, British

country of the author

Naturalised British Subject

date of the author


award of the author

Notable Works:
Darkness At Noon, The Thirteenth Tribe

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Sonning Prize


History is a priori amoral; it has no conscience. — Arthur Koestler

Woe unto the defeated, whom history treads into the dust. — Arthur Koestler

The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated. — Arthur Koestler

We know that virtue does not matter to history, and that crimes remain unpunished; but that every error had its consequences and venges itself unto the seventh generation. — Arthur Koestler

history is a priori amoral it has no conscience Arthur Koestler quote

If conquerors be regarded as the engine–drivers of History, then the conquerors of thought are perhaps the pointsmen who, less conspicuous to the traveler’s eye, determine the direction of the journey. — Arthur Koestler

The most persistent sound which reverberates through man’s history is The beating of war drums. — Arthur Koestler

History knows no scruples and no hesitation. Inert and unerring, she flows towards her goal. At every bend in her course she leaves the mud which she carries and the corpses of the drowned. — Arthur Koestler

History knows no scruples and no hesitation. Inert and unnering flows towards her goal. History knows herway. She makes no mistakes. — Arthur Koestler

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. — Arthur Koestler

The discoveries of yesterday are the truisms of tomorrow, because we can add to our knowledge but cannot subtract from it. — Arthur Koestler


Much depends on asking the right question at the right time. — Arthur Koestler

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. — Arthur Koestler

God seems to have left the receiver off the hook and time is running out. — Arthur Koestler

Space–ships and time machines are no escape from the human condition. — Arthur Koestler

much depends on asking the right question at the right time Arthur Koestler quote

Inspiring Phrases From Arthur Koestler

We cannot unthink unless we are insane. — Arthur Koestler

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out. — Arthur Koestler

What is an editor but a cross between a fall guy and a father figure? Arthur Koestler — Arthur Koestler

The fact is: I no longer believe in my own infallibility. That is why I am lost. — Arthur Koestler

A sadist is a person who is kind to a masochist. — Arthur Koestler

we cannot unthink unless we are insane Arthur Koestler quote

The definition of The individual was: a multitude of one million divided by one million. — Arthur Koestler

Men cannot be treated as units in operations of political arithmetic because they behave like the symbols for zero and the infinite , which dislocate all mathematical operations. — Arthur Koestler

Various Statements From Arthur Koestler

Aggressiveness is not the main trouble with the human species, but rather an excess capacity for fanatical devotion. — Arthur Koestler

The temptation, which consisted of a single word written on the cemetary of the defeated: Sleep. — Arthur Koestler

One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up. — Arthur Koestler

one should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth or else shut up Arthur Koestler quote

Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self–imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware. — Arthur Koestler

One may not regard the world as a sort of metaphysical brothel for emotions. — Arthur Koestler

Redundant Thematics

In Arthur Koestler Statements


There is an abundance of ancient place names in the Ukraine and Poland, which derive from ‘Khazar’ or ‘Zhid’ (Jew). — Arthur Koestler

Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality. — Arthur Koestler

More Phrases From Arthur Koestler

Einstein’s space is no closer to reality than Van Gogh’s sky. — Arthur Koestler

einstein s space is no closer to reality than van gogh s sky Arthur Koestler quote

Two half truths do not make a truth. — Arthur Koestler

The temptations of God were always more dangerous for mankind than those of Satan. — Arthur Koestler

The jester is brother to the sage. — Arthur Koestler

To want to meet an author because you like his books is as ridiculous as wanting to meet the goose because you like pate de foie gras. — Arthur Koestler

Honor is decency without vanity. — Arthur Koestler

two half truths do not make a truth Arthur Koestler quote

In creating the human brain, evolution has wildly overshot the mark. — Arthur Koestler

Deeper Quotes From Arthur Koestler

If power corrupts, the reverse is also true; persecution corrupts the victims though perhaps in subtler and more tragic ways. — Arthur Koestler

The ‘gallows’ are not only a symbol of death, but also a symbol of cruelty, terror and irreverence for life; the common denominator of primitive savagery, medieval fanaticism and modern totalitarianism. — Arthur Koestler

The individual is not a killer, but the group is, and by identifying with it the individual is transformed into a killer. — Arthur Koestler

There is only one prospect worse than being chained to an intolerable existence: The nightmare of a botched attempt to end it. — Arthur Koestler

Every creative act–in science, art, or religion–involves a regression to a more primitive level, a new innocence of perception liberated from the cataract of accepted beliefs. — Arthur Koestler

The ‘missing link’ between ape and man will probably never be found–because it was an embryo. — Arthur Koestler

Innovation is a twofold threat to academic mediocrities: it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse. — Arthur Koestler

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