Quotation by Gilbert Highet

The art of invective resembles the art of boxing. Very few fights are won with the straight left. It is too obvious, and it can be too easily countered. The best punches, like the best pieces of invective in this style, are either short-arm jabs, unexpectedly rapid and deadly; or else one-two blows, where you prepare your opponent with the first hit, and then, as his face comes forward, connect with your other fist: one, two. Both are effective; but they can be administered only by a real artist, with a real wish to knock his enemy out.
Gilbert Highet (1906–1978), Scottish-born U.S. biographer, critic, educator. "The Art of Invective," A Clerk of Oxenford: Essays on Literature and Life, Oxford University Press (1954).
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help