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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Connolly, Cyril Vernon (1903-1974)
"There cannot be a personal God without a pessimistic religion. As soon as there is a personal God he is a disappointing God."

-- Cyril Connolly

Cyril Connolly was an English man of letters.He was born in Coventry in Warwickshire to a wealthy family of Anglo-Irish extraction. He was educated at St Cyprian's School and Eton College, at both of which he was an exact contemporary of George Orwell, who remained a life-long friend. Connolly later attended Balliol College, Oxford.

A regular contributor to the leftist New Statesman in the 1930s, Connolly went on to co-edit, with Stephen Spender and Peter Watson, the influential literary magazine Horizon from 1939 to 1950. He was at one time the literary editor for The Observer, and, after 1950, the chief book reviewer for the London Sunday Times.

Connolly wrote only one novel, The Rock Pool (1935) a satirical work which was generally well received. Perhaps his best known work is the autobiography The Enemies of Promise (1938), in which he attempted to explain why he failed to produce the literary masterpiece which he and others believed he should have been capable of writing. He died in 1974.

Since 1976, Connolly's papers and personal library of over 8,000 books have been housed at the University of Tulsa.


"Those of us who were brought up as Christians and have lost our faith have retained the sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption. This poisons our thought and so paralyses us in action."

"If our elaborate and dominating bodies are given us to be denied at every turn, if our nature is always wrong and wicked, how ineffectual we are -- like fishes not meant to swim."

"The Expulsion from Eden is an act of vindictive womanish spite; the Fall of Man, as recounted in the Bible, comes nearer to the Fall of God."

"The person who is master of their passions is reason's slave."

"We must select the Illusion which appeals to our temperament and embrace it with passion, if we want to be happy."

"Believing in Hell must distort every judgement on this life."

"We are all serving a life-sentence in the dungeon of self."

"The civilized are those who get more out of life than the uncivilized, and for this we are not likely to be forgiven."

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

"The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up."

"Always be nice to those younger than you, because they are the ones who will be writing about you."

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The Talk Of Lawrence