Aperçus: The Aphorisms of Mignon McLaughlin


Aperçus: The Aphorisms of Mignon McLaughlin

The scintillating aphorisms of Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) will delight aficionados of this subversive, aristocratic genre.  She deserves a place beside the most mordant of the great aphorists, from La Rochefoucauld and Chamfort to Ambrose Bierce, H. L. Mencken, and Dorothy Parker.

No one has ever loved anyone the way everyone wants to be loved.

For most of us, desire exceeds desirability, and long outlives it.

 Insult, not flattery, is the great aphrodisiac.

 It’s innocence when it charms us, ignorance when it doesn’t.

 Affairs are as disillusioning as marriage, and much less restful.

 Of course no one is as sensitive as you, but try to remember that they think they are.

 Those who turn to God for comfort may find comfort but I do not think they will find God.

 We long for self-confidence, till we look at the people who have it.

Your life is made up of years that mean nothing, moments that mean all.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

 Politics makes strange bedfellows, but so do beds.

 What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.

The people you admire most you usually don’t know very well.

 When a stranger identifies you from a friend’s description, it’s just as well you didn’t hear the description.

 You can trust a sentimental person, every time, to be merciless.

What we love about love is the fever, which marriage puts to bed and cures.

 It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change.

 A nymphomaniac:  a woman as obsessed with sex as the average man.