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29 Inspirational World Literature Quotes

This article was last updated on January 31, 2022

American and British authors in the late 19th and 20th centuries were inspired by world conflicts and social conformity in order to write some of the most well-known classics of the time. From the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain to “As I Lay Dying” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, these timeless classics were influenced by historical events of the time and hold valuable lessons for all future generations. Well-known classical literature authors such as Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson have all taught us vital lessons about humanity, generosity, individually, and success. Here are a few other quotes to check out.

Here are 29 inspirational world literature quotes for your success:

1. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

2. “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau

3. “It contributes greatly towards a man’s moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

4. “Forever is composed of nows.” – Emily Dickinson

5. “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” – Henry David Thoreau

6. “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.Edgar Allan Poe

7. “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Henry David Thoreau

8. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” -Mark Twain

9. “The future is no more uncertain than the present.” – Walt Whitman

1o. “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. ” – Mark Twain

Inspirational Literary Quotes

11. “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” – Henry David Thoreau


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12. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” – Mark Twain

13. “The brain is wider than the sky.”  -Emily Dickinson

14. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain

15. “Be curious, not judgmental.” – Walt Whitman

16. “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” – Mark Twain

17. “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”  – Nathaniel Hawthorne

18. “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau

19. “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

20. “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” – Edgar Allan Poe

More Quotes From The World Of Literature

21. “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” – Henry David Thoreau

22. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

23. “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” – Maya Angelou

24. “It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” – Agatha Christie

25. “And, now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.” – John Steinbeck

26. “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” – Maya Angelou

27. “We all require devotion to something more than ourselves for our lives to be endurable” – Atul Gawande

28. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo

29. “You are your best thing.” – Toni Morrison


Classic literature will always be one of the best ways to understand not only history but present times as well.  Hope you enjoyed some of my favorite inspirational world literature quotes. In the comments let me know what your favorite author is and write down a quote of theirs! Have a look through other inspirational quotes!

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