When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
Of Ulysses: The scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges.
Scratch the Christian and you will find the pagan -- spoiled.
To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds, and watch the renewal of life -- this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do.
Scratch a lover, and you find a foe.
Really the writer doesn't want success.... He knows he has a short span of life, that the day will come when he must pass through the wall of oblivion, and he wants to leave a scratch on that wall -- Kilroy was here* -- that somebody a hundred, or a thousand years later will see.
Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched.
Miniver Cheevy, born too late,/ Scratched his head and kept on thinking;/ Miniver coughed and called it fate,/ And kept on drinking.
There was a young belle of old Natchez/ whose garments were always in patchez./ When comment arose/ On the state of her clothes,/ She drawled, When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez!
There's a whining at the threshold--/ There's a scratching at the floor--/ To work! To work! in Heaven's name!/ The wolf is at the door!
A city for sale and soon to perish if it finds a buyer!
<who said what & when>
- Samuel Lover, Handy Andy (1842
- Virginia Woolf, letter to Lytton Strachey (1922)
- Israel Zangwill, Children of the Ghetto (1892)
- Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden (1870)
- Dorothy Parker, "Ballade of the Great Weariness," Enough Rope (1927)
- William Faulkner, Faulkner in the University (1959)i
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605-1615)
- Edward Arlington Robinson, Miniver Cheevy (1910)
- Ogden Nash, I'm a Stranger Here Myself (1938)
- Charlotte Perkins Gilman, In This Our World (1893)
- Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus), The War with Jugurtha (ca. 41 BCE)
*army saying, wwii