Top 110 Literal Quotes

In this post, you will find great Literal Quotes from famous people, such as Abi Morgan, Jack Keane, Robert J. Sawyer, Nate Silver, Neil MacGregor. You can learn and implement many lessons from these quotes.

Cornelia Parker has inspired a lot of my theatre work.

Cornelia Parker has inspired a lot of my theatre work. Her art is about points of impact: it’s poetic but with a strong literal story.
ISIS itself, it draws its central belief system from the Koran and from the writings of the Prophet Muhammad. That is undeniable. And it’s a medieval interpretation of it. It is a literal interpretation of it.
One of the standard story-generating engines for science fiction is to take something we normally think of as metaphoric and treat it as if it were literal.
Whenever you have dynamic interactions between 300 million people and the American economy acting in really complex ways, that introduces a degree of almost chaos theory to the system, in a literal sense.
In a very literal way, of course, Shakespeare did change the course of history: when it didn’t fit the plot he had in mind, he simply rewrote it. His English histories play fast and loose with chronology and fact to achieve the desired dramatic effect, re-ordering history even as it was then understood.
My parents are very democratic and liberal people who made the mistake of being democratic and liberal in the upbringing of their children! And in my case, they are still paying for it! Paying in the literal sense as well.
I don’t know anybody that has a teenage son or daughter who at some point hasn’t been like, ‘God, I hate them’ just under their breath. It’s not meant to be literal. It’s funny.
I did have a literal shed of fan mail once. It was literally filled with, like, 25 of those giant mail cartons.
Andrew Keegan
When it comes to literal nourishment, the food we eat, life begets life.
When I say art influences me, which it does, it’s not at all in a literal form. You go and see exhibitions or collections or meet an artist. It’s all a compilation. Every moment, at all times, all this information. Then all this information disappears, and it shows up later in the process.
I titled the book ‘Homo Deus’ because we really are becoming gods in the most literal sense possible. We are acquiring abilities that have always been thought to be divine abilities – in particular, the ability to create life. And we can do with that whatever we want.
I’ve always had a more spatial mind, mathematical, than literal.
Portia Doubleday
I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way to literal for me.
Things have to be believable, not in a literal, photographic sense, but in an emotional sense – capturing the essence of the situation.
Michael Foreman
I have a need to make these sorts of connections literal sometimes, and a vehicle often helps to do that. I have a relationship to car culture. It isn’t really about loving cars. It’s sort of about needing them.
Matthew Barney
I had very literal parents and I wanted to survive with metaphor and art, and there was a real sense of shame around it.
Within the Christian tradition, fundamentalism arose in the 19th century as an effort to push back against modern‘ readings of the Bible that suggested everything in the text wasn’t true in some literal sense.
My literal responsibility as director of the CIA with regard to covert action was to inform the Congress – not to seek their approval; to inform.
When a middle-aged man says in a moment of weariness that he is half dead, he is telling the literal truth.
It was the point where things became much more abstract and less literal than in the bulk of the film, which was hardcore rockets and space and planets – all a fairly straightforward evolution from what I had been doing before.
Watch the History Channel if you want it literal and historically perfect.
I like Roy Orbison’s video for ‘I Drove All Night‘ because it’s so literal. It is just a man driving throughout the night. I like that silliness. To be in a video is a ridiculous thing. It’s almost impossible to do it without any humour.
Richard Ayoade
Not only is the self entwined in society; it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.
My children have stolen my dreams in a very literal sense. I’ve lost months in the minutes and hours that Sabine and Zoey have needed me at night, their thin, butterfly-beating hearts pushed against me in the darkness.
Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.
Movies are too literal.
I create fictional narratives, but it’s based on literal people.
You’ve got to get as literal as you can get to convince people sometimes that you can do something.
Breath does, in fact, connect us all in a very literal way. Take a breath now. And as you breathe, think about what is in your breath. There perhaps is the CO2 from the person sitting next-door to you.
Jane Poynter
I no longer believe that the Bible is the literal and infallible word of God. And I don’t believe in God as a figure in the sky listening to your prayers, things like that.
I started doing sculpture in 1959. I had no commissions then. They were painted, similar in style to the paintings… At a certain point, I decided I didn’t want an edge between two colors, I wanted color differences in literal space.
To me, the best writing points to something literal or

To me, the best writing points to something literal or common but is also nuanced: The moment when somebody is telling you they love you while simultaneously disappointing you. Everybody‘s experienced that.
I do think my lyrics have gotten… not necessarily more poetic, but more open to interpretation; they’re less literal.
You can’t have whatever you want. But to a child who must ask permission for every single thing, adulthood looks like a constant parade of every desire’s satisfaction. It is a heady and terrifying place. It is the Otherworld. It is Fairyland. In fantasy, we make this literal.
Catherynne M. Valente
The court today, just as in 1776, is deaf to the voices of the people and their repeated entreaties: they have become arrogant, contemptuous, highhanded, and literal despots.
Even the Impressionists, the most innovative artists of their time, sought to paint realistically. They believed that their freer way of portraying the visible world was truer to life than the literal realism of the ‘salon painters‘ who dominated French art throughout the 19th century.
The literal resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a certainty, and surely one should make careful preparation for this event. A glorious resurrection should be the goal of every man and woman, for resurrection will be a reality.
The stage is suspension of disbelief. Film is a literal medium.
Joseph Bologna
People pay far too much attention to the television and they’re quite literal in some ways. At the beginning, when I was playing very stupid characters, I think people genuinely thought I was possibly quite dim-witted myself, which is a compliment in some ways, as I must have been doing my job very well.
Irony is going to be hard to get. You have to be master of the literal first. But then, Americans don’t get irony either. Computers are going to reach the level of Americans before Brits.
I do not consider myself a literal genius.
The problem with copyright is it only protects that literal work. It doesn’t protect the design and the ideas. That’s unfortunate.
When I went to high school in Australia, I was exposed to textbooks that outlined evolutionary ideas – such as ape-like creatures turning into people. I recognized the conflict between evolutionary ideas and a literal reading of the book of Genesis.
I try not to be overly literal. When I’m writing songs, I write down a lot of words, and then I try to simplify it. I like to give people hints or words that make visual pictures for them.
My cat does this thing where he’s so happy to see me that he repeatedly smashes his face into my face and purrs like a literal pig.
A lot of people say, ‘It takes a lot to beat him,’ or whatever. I’m trying to show you in the most literal terms, my body is indestructible, whether its glass or fire or barbed wire.
In the literal sense, there has been no relevant evolution since the trek from Africa. But there has been substantial progress towards higher standards of rights, justice and freedom – along with all too many illustrations of how remote is the goal of a decent society.
The world appears rectilinear, but is in fact curvilinear – a literal truth in physics, and a metaphorical one in metaphysics.
Iain McGilchrist
When I started the band, the name ‘Silver Jews‘ had no literal meaning – it was just an abstraction.
Greg Berlanti is in charge of a lot of superhero shows on television. He is a literal superhero. He is absolutely brilliant.
In America, when you hear about the Underground Railroad, it’s so evocative. You think it’s a literal subway for a few minutes before your teacher goes on and describes where it actually was.
I love historical fiction because there’s a literal truth, and there’s an emotional truth, and what the fiction writer tries to create is that emotional truth.
There are a couple of strategies for writing about an absence or writing about a loss. One can create the person that was lost, develop the character of the fiancee. There’s another strategy that one can employ, maybe riskier… Make the reader suffer the loss of the character in a more literal way.
Politics is a literal game. Every word must represent a strict view – or be so abstract as to be meaningless.
I had a house in Haiti, in the hills above the North Atlantic coast. The house appeared as if out of a dream: my dream to have a foothold in the country. Like many concepts do in Haiti, the phrase ‘pied a terre’ became literal, material.
Madison Smartt Bell
Our songs aren’t metaphorical, normally: they’re literal in their interpretation.
Sometimes it feels as if the artist hasn’t done the real work of engaging with the material. Film noir can’t just play off looks and attitudes. A thriller needs a dose of genuine suspense. It does not have to be literal, but it does have to feel genuine. Otherwise the artist is just leeching off the form.
Transportation made sublimation literal. It conveyed evil to another world.
Robert Hughes
Everyone‘s got a boulder in their life of one sort or another that they need to overcome. For most people, it’s not a literal one, but there are certainly metaphorical ones.
One of the reasons I love to jump back and forth between mediums is that film does allow me to be more literal. I can go to the real place. I can go to the Coliseum, and I don’t have to fake it.
Julie Taymor
God truly is our Father, the Father of the spirits of all mankind. We are his literal offspring and are formed in his image. We have inherited divine characteristics from him.
Trans women, trans men, AFAB – which is assigned female at birth – and non-binary performers, but especially trans women of color, have been doing drag for literal centuries and deserve to be equally represented and celebrated alongside cis men.
Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal

Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind.
When you want to transcribe an idea truthfully from the page to the screen, it is not necessarily best to be particularly literal about it. It can be hard to convince people, specifically writers, of that.
When politicians began to see that every last thing that they did in public could be broadcast to a mass audience, the fact that the stakes were so much higher now that every moment became fraught caused them to become more cautious, and the consultants very gradually but inevitably became literal reactionaries.
I enjoy every climb – maybe it’s because it’s a literal dance between life and death.
Alain Robert
The stories I write are often literal to events that have happened or observations that I’ve made, and sometimes they’re fantastical.
Mark Mothersbaugh
Emotionally, I was affected a lot by Rage Against the Machine, not specifically the literal intention of the words or what it was about, but the feel, the sound, those phrases that got me.
I didn’t want to make a literal film about Detroit, because it felt like what they were experiencing was more universal than that.
The president has promised greater border security. We can agree to that. A literal wall might not be the most effective means to that end, but we can provide the resources necessary to secure the border with smart and affordable measures.
The Christian Bible is a symbolic book, not a literal one. The one Christians know as Jesus was actually a symbol for the sun. Ancient sun worshippers believed the sun died at the end of the winter solstice and then three days later it would be reborn at the start of its cycleDecember 25.
I used to be very figurative and also just kind of scared to talk about the way I felt in a literal way.
When the code of laws is once fixed, it should be observed in the literal sense, and nothing more is left to the judge than to determine whether an action is or is not conformable to the written law.
It’s great to watch people come up and help mold their careers. I really took it literal when Kanye said, ‘Listen to the kids, bruh.’ That really means something.
Mike Dean
I will argue that in the literal sense the programmed computer understands what the car and the adding machine understand, namely, exactly nothing.
John Searle
The expressive body is not literal; it’s very primal, and that’s what I feel when I make the best of my work. It’s coming from a primal place rather than an intellectual place.
I don’t try to call myself a poet. But I know that my stuff is pretty literal, in that the themes are pretty simple and on the surface.
There was a period of time during the ‘Jagged Little Pillera where I don’t think I laughed for about two years. It was a survival mode, you know. It was an intense, constant, chronic over-stimulation and invasion of energetic and physical literal space.
In a war without aim, you tend not to aim. You close your eyes, close your heart. The consequences become hit or miss in the most literal sense.
People ask me about ‘The Hurt Locker‘ a lot, and it’s an incredible piece of filmmaking – as are ‘Band of Brothers‘ and ‘Platoon‘ and ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ and ‘Apocalypse Now.’ But they’re not necessarily true to war in a literal sense. What they are, really, are brilliant movies about Hollywood‘s idea of war.
Plenty of people out there think of me as the Antichrist or the devil incarnate because I do not affirm the literal patterns of the Bible. But the fact is I can no more abandon the literal patterns than I could fly to the moon. I just go beyond them.
I sort of took the literal term of ‘The Cleaner,’ and I started bringing janitorial items to the ring with me, so I took garbage bags and brooms and mops.
I believe the Scriptures teach that there’s a literal heaven and a literal hell, just like Jesus said. And without forgiveness of sins that, yeah, the place of punishment is called hell.
When I see Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk, it’s only a picture. My imagination has to do some of the work there, to impute feeling and everything. We’re talking about something that’s so surreal, it’s just not possible within the world as we know it. So that requires a form that is not so literal.
If I see a fashion show with literal influences, it doesn’t make me think any more. It doesn’t make me dream.
Star Trek‘ is not just about literal exploration, but also the exploration of ourselves.
When you work on something that combines both the spectacular and the relatable, the hyperreal and the real, it suddenly can become supernatural. The hypothetical and the theoretical can become literal.
Until I read Anne Frank‘s diary, I had found books a literal escape from what could be the harsh reality around me. After I read the diary, I had a fresh way of viewing the both literature and the world. From then on, I found I was impatient with books that were not honest or that were trivial and frivolous.
Part of the advantage, and part of the result of trying to be a producer and director, are the practical things, you find. It’s so advantageous to go to a place that you already have a feel for, a literal and spiritual familiarity.
When I was in high school, I was so in love – as I should have been – with the performance aspect of theater and just the literal act of performing.
If you have distance from the events, then your story can work as an analogy or parable rather than its literal narrative.
A lot of the lyrics I write involve images that just swing the song in a way that feels really good to me and there isn’t a literal explanation. They’re not riddles for the listener to solve.
Matt Berninger
Glamour is a beautiful illusion – the word ‘glamouroriginally meant a literal magic spell – that promises to transcend ordinary life and make the ideal real. It depends on a special combination of mystery and grace. Too much information breaks the spell.
Working for Disney for the last eight and a half years,

Working for Disney for the last eight and a half years, people come and goproduction staff and actors. I stepped onto the sound stage and it was a literal time warp.
Jacob Young
This was nostalgia in the literal Greek sense: the pain of not being able to return to one’s home and family.
Drama is not a literal portrayal of events. It’s a depiction, it’s impressionistic.
The month of Ramadan is the world’s most widespread fast and yet its teachings are minimised, neglected and even betrayed (through literal application of rules that overlooks their ultimate objective).
It’s not in my nature to be too literal.
I believe in the literal rising of the body of Christ. It’s the cornerstone of my Christian faith.
In a sense, mass incarceration has emerged as a far more extreme form of physical and residential segregation than Jim Crow segregation. Rather than merely shunting people of color to the other side of town, people are locked in literal cages – en masse.
Cross-pollination and ‘contamination‘ is really important to the health of fiction, and sometimes it’s a literal conversation, too, in that writers who might never otherwise meet and talk do so because of our anthologies.
Instead of working to give robots personhood status, we should concentrate on protecting our human workers. If that means developing a more cooperative approach to ownership of autonomous trucks so millions of drivers are not left out in the literal cold, so be it.
In my daily life, I tend to be very literal and unsuperstitious. But music gives me an outlet to be very emotional.
Effective stream-of-consciousness narration is the product of verbal precision, not just of literal documentation. It is decidedly not a matter of unedited free-association.
Albert Murray
There are parts on ‘Wind’s Poem‘ that are literal recordings of wind. I had this old sound effects record that I got some wind from and then I figured out that distorted cymbals sound just like wind so I used that a lot.
Literal cleanliness and orderliness can release us from abstract cognitive and affective distress – just consider how, during moments where life seems to be spiraling out of control, it can be calming to organize your clothes, clean the living room, get the car washed.
You know it’s my job to visualize, what is literal or audible, so I designed all the characters, and I designed what they do and how they should do it and so on.
Gerald Scarfe
Film in many ways is very literal.
If there is anyone who should not be trusted with regard to intelligence, it is Donald Trump, both in the literal sense and with regard to our intelligence services. He shouldn’t have access to these briefings.
When we talk about how movies used to be made, it was over 100 years of film, literal, physical film, with emulsion, that we would expose to light and we would get pictures.