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Naivete Quotes


"Naivete, thy name is me." - Lauren Bacall

"Politics is opposed to morality, as philosophy to naivete." - Emmanuel Levinas

"Knowingness is sexy. The opposite of sexy is naivete." - Fran Lebowitz

"I felt the naivete of a child in my dancing. I cherished that feeling. I had what I call a knowledgeable naivete, and it worked for me." - Judith Jamison

"I prefer to have all of this apparatus - historical, literary, critical - and then, beyond initial innocence and naivete, to try to achieve a new innocence, a new naivete." - Frank Moore Cross

"I'm guilty of extraordinary naivete, I suppose. But it's a naivete that I really don't want to abandon, not even now." - Jock Sturges

"Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity." - Eric Hoffer

"I wouldn't say that I dislike the young. I'm simply not a fan of naivete." - Fran Lebowitz

"Mathematics is not yet capable of coping with the naivete of the mathematician himself." - Abraham Kaplan

"Cynicism is no more mature than naivete. You're no more mature, just more burned." - Karl Marlantes

"I gravitated to acting out of a mixture of instinct, naivete and opportunity." - Jeffrey Combs

"The cloak of naivete was the uniform of our success: we didn't know it couldn't be done." - Mark Peters

"It is hard and perhaps impossible for many people to recognize the difference between innocence and naivete." - M F K Fisher

"I could only wonder again at the white race's naivete in always sending forth our worst members as our emissaries." - James Lee Burke

"It takes certain kind of naivete, or perhaps just stupidity, to know things will end and still hope otherwise." - Gayle Forman

"I walked onstage in a play at prep school, and with childish naivete, told myself, 'Wow, I'm an actor!'" - Efrem Zimbalist Jr

"The law of simplicity and naivete applies to all fine art, for it is compatible with what is most sublime." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"Highfalutin moral principles are impossible guides to foreign policy. At worst, they reflect hypocrisy; at best, extreme naivete." - Charles Krauthammer

"I don't feel any sense of competition at all, and that might be my naivete, but I don't feel pitted against anyone at all." - Amy Schumer

"Sometimes a good idea comes to you when you are not looking for it. Through an improbable combination of coincidence, naivete and lucky mistakes ..." - Kary Mullis

"I don't want to live in a world where I just kind of play on my naivete - well if I don't know it, then it doesn't exist." - Charlize Theron

"I think there's a lot of naivete and hubris within our mix of personalities. That's probably our worst crime. I keep wondering what a "mature" record means." - Ian Williams

"It is a testament to our naivete about culture that we think that we can change it by simply declaring new values. Such declarations usually produce only cynicism." - Peter Senge

"When you're forced into the public arena, not that it hardens you, but it does rip away some of that naivete. It builds a strength." - Julianne Phillips

"I think there's a lot of naivete and hubris within our mix of personalities. That's probably our worst crime. I keep wondering what a 'mature' record means." - Ian Williams

"Doubt, or the absence of faith and naivete, is a vice peculiar to this age, for no one is obedient nowadays; and naivete, which means the dominance of temperament in the manner, is a gift from God, possessed by very few." - Charles Baudelaire

"I never thought in terms of typing myself, because I wasn't that successful. After an actor has done a few pieces of work, his naivete is the part of the craft he has to nurture most." - Jack Nicholson

"Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naivete, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do." - Steve Martin

"The childlike, gum-chewing naivete, the glamour rooted in despair, the self-admiring carelessness, the perfected otherness, the wispiness, the shadowy, voyeuristic, vaguely sinister aura, the pale, soft-spoken magical presence, the skin and bones . . ." - Andy Warhol

"Reality is cruel. All of the naivete is going to be removed. Reality is always changing, and it is always unpredictable. All of the balance is going to be destroyed." - Hideki Yukawa

"Anyone who recognizes this regime [Israel] because of the pressure of the World oppressor, or because of naivete or selfishness, will be eternally disgraced and will burn in the fury of the Islamic nations." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

"I'm not saying that the Americans had the same impact as the Jesuits, but I do see them as a very specialized populace, even in terms of being, to a degree, naive. Because naivete comes from lack of information." - Sergio Leone

"I had a naivete that I would remember the things that I had written already, but I was getting lost in the forest of my own ideas and having to find my way out." - Alexander Chee

"There were dreams once upon a time, dreams now all but forgotten. On sad days I dust them off and fondle them nostalgically, with a patronizing wonder at the naivete of the youth who dreamed them." - Glen Cook

"I was a subscriber to 'Sports Illustrated' like so many of us, and I was overwhelmed by a toxic mix of naivete and arrogance, and just thought to myself, 'I think I can write like this.'" - Josh Elliott

"You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover." - Henri Matisse

"If you're going to exude naivete, you can't really... walk out there like it's a Sting show. You can't be that well put together and then have this kind of innocent bravado." - Frank Black

"Still uncertain as to our identity, we think that what matters in the work world is gaining attention and making friends. And these misconceptions and naivete are brutally exposed in the light of the real world." - Robert Greene

"Nothing is beautiful, only man: on this piece of naivete rests all aesthetics, it is the first truth of aesthetics. Let us immediately add its second: nothing is ugly but degenerate man - the domain of aesthetic judgment is therewith defined." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"The reason why the war ended in Bosnia was not because of amnesty but because a combined Croat-Bosnian offensive defeated the Serbs on the battlefield. Sometimes naivete belongs not to the human rights activists but to the politicians." - Payam Akhavan

"An empirical philosophy is in any case a kind of intellectual disrobing. We cannot permanently divest ourselves of the intellectual habits we take on and wear when we assimilate the culture of our own time and place. But intelligent furthering of culture demands that we take some of them off, that we inspect them critically to see what they are made of and what wearing them does to us. We cannot achieve recovery of primitive naivete. But there is attainable a cultivated naivete of eye, ear and thought." - John Dewey

"The style of writing required in the great world is distinguished by a free and daring grace, a careless security, a fine and sharp polish, a delicate and perfect taste; while that fitted for the people is characterized by a vigorous natural fulness, a profound depth of feeling, and an engaging naivete." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"I didn't come from a wealthy family. I had no money. Maybe it goes back to naivete which is your greatest asset when you're young. If I was starting in comedy today and if it didn't work the first time, I'd probably quit. But I kept at it, kept at it." - Steve Martin

"When I was a kid, I thought that if everyone looked up the way I did then everyone would want to study the universe just like me - how could they not? This naivete is what tells me that my interest was more a calling than a rational comparative assessment about what to be when I grew up." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

"Chinese were bornwith an accumulated wisdom, a natural sophistication, an intelligent naivete, and unless they were transplanted too young, these qualities ripened in them.... If ever I am homesick for China, now that I am home in my own country, it is when I discover here no philosophy. Our people have opinions and creeds and prejudices and ideas but as yet no philosophy." - Pearl S Buck

"What I liked about it is in the world of children, there are very, very different rules and a kind of naivete and innocence and sweetness that's been beautifully captured, I think, by this film as you can even see [gesturing toward the film's poster on display nearby] from this gorgeous artwork." - Russell Brand

"Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama's naivete during his final two years in office. As a result, America will be less safe as a result of the President's change in policy." - Marco Rubio

"I feel like I've survived so much, and been through so much. And sometimes I miss the innocence of those times. Life was different. New York was different. The music business was different. I miss the simplicity of it, the naivete of everyone around me." - Madonna Ciccone

"I could not believe that anyone who has read this book would be so foolish as to proclaim that the Bible in every literal word was the divinely inspired, inerrant word of God. Have these people simply not read the text? Are they hopelessly misinformed? Is there a different Bible? Are they blinded by a combination of ego needs and naivete?" - John Shelby Spong

"He seemed to be at that most dangerous of ages, where strength, skill, and confidence met naivete and idealism; when young men skilled at the crafts of violence could be manipulated into employing those skills with brutal efficiency-and without questions." - Jim Butcher

"Alfred Russel Wallace, the codiscoverer of the theory of natural selection. Following their twin announcements of the theory in 1858, both Darwin and Wallace struggled like Laocoons with the serpentine problem of human evolution and its encoiling difficulty of consciousness. But where Darwin clouded the problem with his own naivete, seeing only continuity in evolution, Wallace could not do so." - Julian Jaynes

"I am interested in marginality, in immaturity, in naivete, in illusion, in fictions, in transitions, in the fact that at a certain moment in life there is no limit. I would like my photography to pose a question rather than make a precise statement." - Lise Sarfati

"I think that you're smarter than we were, but we had two things: one is, in our naivete we believed we could change the world. And number two, we believed that another world was possible. And once that belief took hold of some critical mass, a tiny minority nonetheless, but a critical mass of people, then the world did change." - Bill Ayers

"What matters is the way we Americans think about ourselves. We think about ourselves as incapable of committing crimes. Everything we do, we make a lot of errors, you know, you can't help it. Mistakes all over the place, but out of naivete or, you know, misplaced kindness or something like that." - Noam Chomsky

"I want to go back to the child I used to be, and to read with the same naivete [the Pentateuch]. I want to leave science aside and go back to the pure perception offered to me in the text that is waiting there for me year after year." - Elie Wiesel

"I think she [Eleanor Roosevelt] never was called because she probably didn't know an awful lot. The whole burden of the criticism of her on the subject of Communism is naivete, not participation. And again, being a public figure and our representative at the UN, there was nothing Communist about her, certainly." - William A. Rusher

"Thank God I never lost that childlike innocence and the purity of vision and naivete. ...That childlike innocence was most useful, because if I was a bit wiser, I wouldn't have been able to do anything, perhaps. So I'm glad I was not smart." - Imelda Marcos

"I've developed a bit of a fascination with John Denver. I always thought he was kind of tacky and somewhat revolting and had a kind of simplistic weirdness, but on second listen, he actually did have an incredible voice, and the blatant naivete of his work is straight-edge, in a way." - Rufus Wainwright

"It's very important to distinguish between innocence and naivete. The innocent do not deserve to be the victims of violence. But only the naive refuse to think about the origins of violence and to pursue the possibility that the genesis of that hatred could be addressed." - Barbara Kingsolver

"The writing has been on the wall for some years now, but we are a nation illiterate in the language of the wall. The writing just gets bigger. Something will eventually bring down the charming, infuriating naivete of Americans that allows us our blithe consumption and cheerful ignorance of the secret ugliness that bring us whatever we want." - Barbara Kingsolver

"I was at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where I thought, in my naivete, I'd stay for the rest of my career. I'd thought I'd work up through the ranks and go from spear carrier - or in my case, the eunuch, which was several rungs below the spear carrier - to King Lear." - Christian Mckay

"I think that the worst form of naivete can be extreme cynicism. If you think that nobody comes to Washington to do any good whatsoever, that is almost as bad as being starry-eyed and thinking that they are all here to advance democracy." - Thomas Mallon

"The writing has been on the wall for some years now, but we are a nation illiterate in the language of the wall. The writing just gets bigger. Something will eventually bring down the charming, infuriating naivete of Americans that allows us our blithe consumption and cheerful ignorance of the secret ugliness that bring us whatever we want." - Barbara Kingsolver

"I don't know if it's naivete or just narcissism, but I start out with this notion that I can do anything. It's not until I get into it that I realize what I've thrown myself into, and then I will do anything not to humiliate myself. And that, I think, is the secret to my success." - Michelle Pfeiffer

"I did a show called 'Freaks and Geeks' when I was very young. And I had the naivete and arrogance of youth. You know, I really assumed that when the show got cancelled, like, oh, it doesn't matter, you just keep rolling, you know. I'm about to be the biggest star of the world. And then I was met with five years of unemployment." - Jason Segel

"In recent years, we have seen the United States back away from pressuring the Castro regime, under the misguided view that placating them with an open hand would yield progress. That naivete has invited only more cruelty and oppression in return." - Mitt Romney

"originality" is everyone's aim, and novel techniques are as much prized as new scientific discoveries. [T.S.] Eliot states it with surprising naivete: "It is exactly as wasteful for a poet to do what has been done already as for a biologist to rediscover Mendel's discoveries." - Randall Jarrell

"How important can it be that I suffer and think? My presence in this world will disturb a few tranquil lives and will unsettle the unconscious and pleasant naivete of others. Although I feel that my tragedy is the greatest in history-greater than the fall of empires-I am nevertheless aware of my total insignificance. I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence." - Emile M Cioran

"What is patriotism? Is it love of one's birthplace, the place of childhood's recollections and hopes, dreams and aspirations? Is it the place where, in childlike naivete, we would watch the passing clouds, and wonder why we, too, could not float so swiftly? The place where we would count the milliard glittering stars, terror-stricken lest each one "an eye should be," piercing the very depths of our little souls?" - Emma Goldman

"In a way, her strangeness, her naivete, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings, had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous." - Toni Morrison

"If it so happened that I had once written a best-seller, this was a pure accident, due to inattention and naivete, and I would take very good care never to do the same again. If I had a message for my contemporaries, I said, it was surely this: Be anything you like, be madmen, drunks, and bastards of every shape and form, but at all costs avoid one thing: success." - Thomas Merton

"The most important part about tomorrow is not the technology or the automation, but that man is going to come into entirely new relationships with his fellow men. He will retain much more in his everyday life of what we term the naivete and idealism of the child. I think the way to see what tomorrow is going to look like is just to look at our children." - R Buckminster Fuller

"I'm always loath to make generalizations about what is for children and what isn't. Certainly children's literature as a genre has some restrictions, so certain things will never pop up in a Snicket book. But I didn't know anything about writing for children when I started - this is the theme of naivete creeping up on us once more - and I sort of still don't, and I'm happy that adults are reading them as well as children." - Daniel Handler

"Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes a part of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. Out goes naivete, in comes wisdom; out goes anger, in comes discernment; out goes despair, in comes kindness. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive and expansive... The pain leaves you healthier than it found you." - Martha Beck

"I do feel that if it's not on the page, there's no hope of it getting to the stage. You really can't take a cat and turn it into a dog, or try and get lemons off an apple tree, or what have you. Sometimes there's this real naivete that people possess, where they want you to infuse a scene with a certain quality, and it's like an apology. "I read the script, didn't you? What's the agenda here?"" - Diane Lane

"It's a weird thing to be nineteen and be in the public eye. It was a crazy thing, it was a big deal to me, and it changed me in a lot of ways. And now that it's five, six years later, I wanted to look back at that, the start of it all, the excitement and the naivete about it, and it just fascinated me to reflect on all that." - Zach Condon

"Scientists themselves are of surprisingly little help. They find it difficult to talk of what they do because they tend to assume detailed knowledge is required for generalities to be understood. They find it hard to grasp the concept of the meaning of their work, assuming this to be a debate that takes place at a lower level than the specialized discussions with their colleagues. When they do generalize, - or "popularize" as it is usually called with a noticeable degree of contempt - they tend to reveal a startling philosophical naivete." - Bryan Appleyard

"Rosemary bubbled with delight at the trunks. Her naivete responded whole-heartedly to the expensive simplicity of the Divers, unaware of its complexity and its lack of innocence, unaware that it was all a selection of quality rather than quantity from the run of the world's bazaar; and that the simplicity of behavior also, the nursery-like peace and good will, the emphasis on the simpler virtues, was part of a desperate bargain with the gods and had been attained through struggles she could not have guessed at." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"Dieter Dengler was an amazing man. Who knows what he would've been had he not ever been tested in this way? It's a question that I certainly have myself. What would I be able to do in certain situations? He came out, obviously, looking like a true hero, but he didn't go in looking like that. He was not your typical image of somebody that you would think would be the tough guy who was able to endure. His lighthearted attitude, this sort of dorkiness, and naivete; it ended up being the finest tool for his survival." - Christian Bale

"It is hard to think of any work of art of which one can say 'this saved the life of one Jew, one Vietnamese, one Cambodian'. Specific books, perhaps; but as far as one can tell, no paintings or sculptures. The difference between us and the artists of the 1920's is that they they thought such a work of art could be made. Perhaps it was a certain naivete that made them think so. But it is certainly our loss that we cannot." - Robert Hughes

"One can say that the disaffection is still a lingering naivete about, not the place of poetry in the world, but - how to say this - the moral and intellectual presence of poets in the world. And while this may seem an old conversation to many poets who roll their eyes and say, "Here we go again about the function of poetry," I think that conversation, about poetry as an engaged art in a world that is full of regression or still lacking in progress, is still really not well-developed. It's almost an avoided conversation." - Fady Joudah

"The question so often asked of modern painting, "What is it?", contains more than the dull skepticism of the man who is not going to have the wool pulled over his eyes. It speaks of a fundamental placement in relation to the work, that of a voyager in the world coming upon a strange object. The reader reconstitutes the work by his active participation, by approaching the object, tapping it, shaking it, holding it to his ear to hear the roaring within. It is characteristic of the object that it does not declare itself all at once, in a rush of pleasant naivete." - Donald Barthelme