Pseuds Corner

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Love is the master key which opens the gates of happiness.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Pseuds Corner is a feature in the English satirical magazine Private Eye which lists quotes from the media exposing the pompous and pretentious.


  • 'This collection will work from the premise that public toilets, far from being banal or simply functional, are highly charged spaces, shaped by notions of property, hygiene and the binary gender division.'

Call for constructions for a book to be entitled Toilet Papers: The Gendered Construction of Public Toilets, Olga Gershenson and Barbara Penner.

  • I get up to leave. 'I'll show you out a different way,' she says. We walk through an atrium painted in pale pink, with huge silver doors leading out of her flat. 'I designed it myself,' she says. 'It represents the womb. The door are the labia, and this' - she points to the corridor - 'is the birth canal.'

Jane Fonda, interviewed by Emma Brockes, The Guardian

  • I'd say our friendship was pretty deep, sure. We're there for one another, and when she had malaria this one time, I went round to her parents' house to visit, to make her feel good. She was really sick, like comatose, so I went to the corner store with just a couple of my bodyguards, and I bought her some stuff to make her laugh: self-raising flour to raise her spirits, and some women's products, but really big ones, the size of mattresses! That's our kind of humour, you know? It's really funny.

Mariah Carey on her friendship with Jasmine Dotiwala, Independent on Sunday

  • Flann O'Brien once said we must keep the wolf from the door to prevent him getting out. For 12 years Ferguson has kept Roy Keane's snarling presence within the Old Trafford walls so United could rule. Now the wolf is expelled. James Joyce gave us another Irish conscience, Stephen Dedalus, this credo: 'I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use - silence, exile and cunning.'

Ray Ryan, Observer Sports Monthly

  • Writing here last year ... I warned of deeper divisions along racial, geographical and gender lines and foresaw the triumph of low-carb diets.

'Trendspotter' Marian Salzman

  • In a sense carpets can wake us up. If you think of the carpets themselves and perhaps what they have witnessed, the acts of love, of passion, of despair, depression, of hatred, of conflict, of strife, of success, of wealth, of joy, the carpets have seen all of these and over a period of time I think they become imbued or they can contain those qualities, those human qualities, and they bring us closer to some of the basic fundamentals of the human condition.

Oriental carpet Collector Ed Kraher

  • These South African wines embody the spirit of reconciliation.

Roger Scruton, New Statesman

  • Every morning I enjoy a dialogue with my chosen breakfast mug. Its tactile warmth and familiar shape invoke an immediate response. The mug is made by someone I know. This intimate association beyond the physical reality of art is what makes Somerset Arts Week so very special.

John Leach, Somerset Arts Week patron

  • I used to carry a copy of Ulysses with me everywhere just in case I was knocked down by a bus. It seemed more important than having clean underwear.

Craig Raine, The Guardian

  • Each dish was, in effect, a sophisticated dialogue between food and consumer, eliciting pleasure from tongue, tastebuds, and olfactory bulb. The pyrotechnics of plate arrangement had given way to unostentations virtuosity, sublimating visual éclat to flavour and texture.

Matthew Fort, Guardian Weekend

  • [Alain] de Botton's vision is entirely his own. Who else would observe that the cry of a black-eared wheatear has no effect on a caterpillar "walking strenuously across a rock"? Has nobody else ever noticed that the texture of an Amsterdam brickwork is like that of halva from a Lebanese delicatessen?

Jan Morris on Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel

  • Is it selfish? When you paint in public streets, you can't help but consider that. But you're painting in the public domain for free. You're giving something away. In many ways it would be selfish to keep it to yourself.

Kid Acne on graffiti, The Guardian

  • Trashing a hotel room is purer art than anything I've recorded. Consciously or unconsciously, I am creating art to sell it. But I threw pizza all over a hotel room in Amsterdam last week. No one else saw it. Just me and the cleaner. The fact I paid for it means it's pure.

Mike Skinner of The Streets, The Observer

  • Do you really mind not calling me "love"? Would it really put you out at all if you called me Professor Greer? Would that really hurt?

Germaine Greer in Grumpy Old Women by Judith Holder, Daily Express

  • He's just out of bed where he's been on the phone to his wife, or the prime minister of a large nation, or Bob Dylan, or Bill Gates, or Paul Allen, or, somehow, himself or some other version of himself he has left in some other part of the world at some time that might not yet have happened.

Paul Morley on Bono Observer Music Monthly

  • As a club DJ I rock bangers that create crazy excitement in the party. The original was a hood classic - so big they made me a 'special' - a revoiced version dedicated to me. Shit is straight banging. ATL trap music means JA shottas. It's an ugly situation.

Tim Westwood in Q Magazine

  • Whenever I go back to Selfridges these days I feel like Le Grande Meaulnes, questing in vain for his vanished domain.

James Delingpole in The Times

  • Sting asks to be read metaphorically. He is trying, he explains, to "remake the drab prose of my life into some transcendent poetry." So the line " we move together effortlessly like synchronised swimmers in a sea of longing" refers not, as one might expect, to his girlfriend, but to Mr Wilson, his boss in the tax office. Before he became a pop star, Sting had worked for the Inland Revenue.

Emma Brockes interviews Sting, The Guardian

  • I think cancer - I'm not an expert or doctor - but I think cancer is the result of undigested dreams and forcing yourself to do something that is not distinctively you.

Sting, The Guardian

  • I don't tone down my look when I go to work. For me, the Tatler office, where I'm fashion director, is a place to play. I always wear hats - Philip Treacy, inevitably. There is no other milliner. My rule of thumb is, if I'm wearing a baroque hat, I'll team it with a very simple dress. I've got another hat that's smothere with Swarovski crystals. It covers most of my face to just under my nose. Froufrou with that would never do.

Isabella Blow, Independent Magazine

  • I had reached that point in life when one has published a novel or two...

Philip Hensher, The Independent

  • After a long day spent looking at fabrics and computer screens, I don't wan tto just watch television or go to the cinema; I want to interact with other people. I went to the Oscars ceremony recently just so that I could catch up on what was happening in the movies.

Nicky Haslam, Harpers and Queen

  • I for one do not dance to dance music: disco for me is a lofty metaphysical mode that introduces contemplation.

Camille Paglia, Salon

  • This time, I saw my future, and it's going to be really good. I feel I've just escaped from a myriad of shit. A ton of crap is weighing me down. A deep gel of melancholia. Something spiritually fundamental was trapped. Free, free, free, free.

Tracey Emin, The Independent

  • On our long, boneshaking bus journeys, with three adults squished into a bench seat originally designed for two American schoolchildren, my solace has been listening to music and audiobooks on my iPod. I have the tracks on random shuffle, so I have no idead which of the 4000 songs or chapters will come on, and I'm running a personal contest for the most bizarre combination of audio and visual sensations this throws up. Tied at the tip of the charts are a chapter of The History of England concerning the 7th century arguments between monks from Iona and the followers of Augustine abou the shape of their tonsures, which I heard while driving through the mountains of Chiapas' and Groove Armada's Shaking That Ass on an unmade track through Indian villages in Guatemala.

Mary Ann Sieghart, The Times

  • Q: What is the most exotic coffee you've ever sipped and where?
  • A: I once had an espresso in Brazil where the beans had been hand-picked by monkeys on a hard-to-access mountain top.

Coffee Republic founder Bobby Hashemi

  • Two important things happened recently. Katie Couric was appointed by CBS as the first solo female anchor of a network evening news show in the USA. In Britain meanwhile, I stopped watching BBC Television news.

Brian Appleyard, Sunday Times magazine

  • The truth about my name is that... I believe that people 'choose' their names and that our names say a lot about what our destiny in life is.... I got my name because I chose it in Heaven.

India.Arie talking to Jenni Murray, BBC Radio Four Women's Hour

  • ... sometimes like a grandfather clock, sometimes like an alarm clock, sometimes a cornucopian goddess, sometimes a curmudgeonly landlor, sometimes like the blossomiest blossom, sometimes a knot of seaweed, sometimes a storm, sometimes a cradle, sometimes the bees and the pollen, sometimes a dagger.

Imogen Stubbs 'feels as a mother' Daily Telegraph

  • They got the name of the goalscorer wrong. Liverpool's shocking, and shockingly inevitably, fourth-minute goal was not scored by Luis Garcia, as the announcer claimed. It was scored by Havoc, for last night Liverpool cried Havoc and let slip the dog of sport.

Simon Barnes, The Times

  • Most people don't do something seminal. I've done it twice: with my tent and my bed - Picasso did it with Cubism.

Tracy Emin, Desert Island Disks

  • Our local hunt met yesterday, as it always does at this time, on the site of the Battle of Hastings. This year, the crowd of supporters was so great that traffic stopped altogether and horses and hounds had to cram against the gates of the abbey to make room. A few yars away, on the frosty ground, is the site where Harold fell, shot through the eye, and our nation was born. If a new Bayeux tapestry were now being weaved ... (continues)

Charles Moore, The Daily Telegraph

  • I think I’ve lost me to the world, the part of me that could be torn apart by love and feel so connected to you, she, him and the earth.I think I have become one of those people I used to talk about who are carried by their own currents. I need some sort of pause and repose... to let the world seep into gain a greater sense of that I know how I can that I know how I can function when life speeds up.

K'le The Personal Life of K'le

  • I would say I was driving at around two or three miles an hour. I was listening to my daughter who was reading poetry to me because she was due two write an essay about Browning. He is one of her favourite poets and I admire him greatly.

Esther Rantzen's transcript from her court appearance for traffic offences.

  • A friend told me about this vibrator in the shape of a tree with a snake wrapped round it that made you burst into tears when you had an orgasm. I did not believe it but I bought one and it worked.

Sam Roddick, The Guardian

  • "All them girls..."

(pause) "You must be like a kid in a sweet shop," He said. I pondered. If you were a kid in a sweet shop, The first half hour would be nice. Mmmmmm, sweets, you'd think, Delicious! You'd cram caramel into your lusty gut, Scoff toffees and gobble choc drops, Yielding to the spirit of Bacchus. You'd gorge on sherbert mountains, and guzzle fizzy pop lagoons. But in the moons glare when The sweet shop bristled With hollow lonely clicks, You'd squirm.

Dull looming jars. Bereft of treats. Floor strewn with curly whirly corpses, Like a Columbine on Wonka's factory floor, Slaughtered oompa loompas twitching by the counter. Then the demons would come. You'd paw the indifferent glass, cold like Spandau walls "What wouldn't I give for a sprout" you'd mutter as you died of diabetes. He reflected; "Still, all them girls..."

Russell Brand, 'Feed Me', Independent on Sunday

  • "That headbutt was not a rational act. Nor did it represent a mere Rooney moment - a flash of violent temper against someone who had annoyed him. Rather, it was an act of cosmic discontent. It was a futile gesture of protest against the cruelties of sport and the far greater cruelties of time."

Simon Barnes, The Times

Tracy Emin, Independent

  • "By very publicly hosting a tea party Sadie Frost is showing off a whimsical, a contrapuntal side to her character. She is saying "I am an interesting and unpredictable woman." Peter York, The Guardian
  • "Make no mistake, the Fat Duck is an extraordinary, fabulous restaurant. When I ate there, Heston Blumenthal tested a new dish on us which involved one person holding a microphone to their mouth while eating a chewy morsel. Meanwhile, the rest of the table donned recording headphones so we could hear them masticating in all its amplified glory.

Matt Born, Daily Telegraph

  • "Andy Warhol, who has risen to be the most expensive artist of the 20th century, specialised in icons - he cultivated vacancy in himself. He said he wanted to have written on his gravestone 'here lies a figment', and I think that Kate Moss has really understood that unconsciously."

Professor Marina Warner, Today Programme, Radio 4

  • "It always amazes me when I or any of my family are called "posh". It makes my husband, who is descended from a long line of Scottish earls on his mother's side and whose paternal forbears came over with William the Conqueror, honk with laughter."

Rachel Johnson, Evening Standard