Truth & Lies

Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.— Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish painter

A liar should have a good memory.— Quintilian, 35-96 AD, Roman rhetorician

A truth looks freshest in the fashions of the day.— Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892, English poet

When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.— George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not be believed.— William Blake, 1757-1827, English poet & painter

A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies.— Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892, English poet

Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie.— Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951, Austrian philosopher

Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.— Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.— Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.— George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

There is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect.

Although you may tell lies, people will believe you, if only you speak with authority.— Anton Chekhov, 1860-1904, Russian writer

“Even if it is not true, it is well-conceived Se non è vero, è molto ben trovato. — Giordano Bruno, 1548-1600, Italian monk & philosopher”

Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.— Graham Greene, 1904-1991, British writer

Freedom is a very great reality, but it means above all things, freedom from lies.— D. H. Lawrence, 1885-1930, British writer

When a woman tells the truth, it is to disguise a lie.— Henri Jeanson, 1900-1970, French critic & columnist

When I hear a critic speaking of an author’s sincerity, I know that either the critic or the author is a fool.— Vladimir Nabokov, 1899-1977, Russian-American writer

A generous confession disarms slander.— Dr. Thomas Fuller, 1654-1734, English physician and adage collector

The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth.— Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.— Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Advertising is legalized lying.— H.G. Wells, 1866-1946, British writer

The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.— Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015, British writer

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.— Theodore Adorno, 1903-1969, German philosopher

It only takes a politician believing in what he says for others to stop believing in him.— Jean Baudrillard, 1929-2007, French intellectual

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.— George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

Semiotics is, in principle, the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie.— Umberto Eco, 1932-2016, Italian writer

Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully.— Aristotle, 384-322 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

The truest sayings are paradoxical.— Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

There are truths which one can only say after having won the right to say them.— Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak and another to hear.— Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862, American writer

“We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction.— Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964, American general

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.— Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Half a truth is often a great lie.— Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.— Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.— Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosophe

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.— Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

When people can not change things, they change the words.— Jean Jaures, 1859-1914, French Socialist leader

It is not easy to keep silent when silence is a lie.— Victor Hugo, 1802-1885, French writer

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.— Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945, German dictator

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.— Vladimir Lenin, 1870-1924, Soviet revolutionary & leader

People who read the tabloids deserve to be lied to.— Jerry Seinfeld, 1954-, American comedian

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.— George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

If you’re going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh; otherwise they’ll kill you.— George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

When in doubt, tell the truth.— Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

You will never learn what I am thinking. And those who boast most loudly that they know my thought, to such people I lie even more.— Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945, German dictator

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.— John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else.— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881, Russian writer

There are always four sides to a story: your side, their side, the truth and what really happened.— Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778, Swiss-French philosopher

The liar’s punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.— George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

What is the truth, but a lie agreed upon.— Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you do so, you apologize for truth.— Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

Ask no questions, and you’ll be told no lies.— Charles Dickens, 1812-1870, British writer