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

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Monkey Boy
    Monkey Boy
    by Francisco Goldman
    Francisco Goldman's Monkey Boy exists in the liminal space between memoir and fiction. Like Goldman ...
  • Book Jacket: The Girl in His Shadow
    The Girl in His Shadow
    by Audrey Blake
    The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake is a fast-paced historical novel set in Victorian-era England...
  • Book Jacket: Whereabouts
    Whereabouts
    by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Jhumpa Lahiri's Whereabouts has seen numerous comparisons to Second Place by Rachel Cusk. These two ...
  • Book Jacket: Swimming Back to Trout River
    Swimming Back to Trout River
    by Linda Rui Feng
    Linda Rui Feng's first novel, Swimming Back to Trout River, is a powerful meditation on the ties ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Ariadne
by Jennifer Saint
A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Morningside Heights
    by Joshua Henkin

    A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Who Said...

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

H I T Best P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

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.