Who said: "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place - George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) is best known as a playwright but, in addition to more than 60 plays, he was also a music and literary critic and a prolific pamphleteer - writing both brochures and speeches for The Fabian Society, a British intellectual socialist movement. Like his other writing, his plays tend to focus on social issues such as education, marriage, religion, politics and particularly the exploitation of the working class, but wrapped with a light comedy to make them palatable to a wide audience.

He is the only person to have won both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), the latter for his work on the film Pygmalion*, which was adapted from the play of the same name (which many will know better as the musical My Fair Lady). He wanted to refuse the Nobel Prize, but his wife (Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian) persuaded him to accept it as a tribute to Ireland; but he rejected the monetary prize asking that it be used to translate Swedish books into English.

*The Pygmalion myth was popular with Victoria playwrights. According to Ovid's version of the tale, Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory, and promptly fell in love with her. At the festival of Venus he made an offering to the goddess and wished that the statue could be made real. Following a visit from Cupid, his wish was granted, and the two were married.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.