Like a cultural anthropologist, it is possible to derive the importance of an item to a particular society simply by reflecting on how that item is referenced in literature. Use of analogy allows the reader to gain a feel for what such item means to the greater group, as some common point of understanding must exist for the connection to take hold and have meaning.
And so there is a link that allows the analogy to be understood. We get it when someone says “his entrance into the room was like a breath of fresh air” because there is a culturally common value to what a “breath of fresh air” means. Similarly, it is not clear what is indicated by “his entrance into the room was like a sprinkle of unrefined salt.” Sure, we could use those freshman college english skills and try to extrapolate an explanation, but even for someone that sees great depth in salt, finding a logical relationship in this case is a stretch. Perhaps that is why the literary quotes we enjoy the most are the ones that play on the line where the association is not initially obvious. However as soon as we connect the concepts, it becomes a eureka moment where we say, ‘of course!’
Anyway, we have assembled the following quotes related to salt that you may or may not have read before. Periodically we will try to update this list, and so feel free to send us any of your favorites that we may have missed!
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
Don’t buy the salt if you have not licked it yet.
Nobody likes having salt rubbed into their wounds, even if it is the salt of the earth.
Salt is the only rock directly consumed by man. It corrodes but preserves, desiccates but is wrested from the water. It has fascinated man for thousands of years not only as a substance he prized and was willing to labour to obtain, but also as a generator of poetic and of mythic meaning. The contradictions it embodies only intensify its power and its links with experience of the sacred.
Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
Salt water and absence wash away love.
At sea a fellow comes out. Salt water is like wine, in that respect.
Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it.
A man must eat a peck of salt with his friend before he knows him.
Miguel de Cervantes
Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases.
Where would we be without salt?
Rebuke should have a grain more of salt than of sugar.
Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.
Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn’t in them.
Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea.
Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
Bread and salt never quarrel.
When the father has eaten too much salt in his lifetime, then his son thereafter will have a great thirst.
No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.
If there are two cooks in one house the soup is either too salty or too cold.
Bread that this house may never know hunger, salt that life may always have flavor.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Three things are good in small doses and bad in big ones: yeast, salt, and hesitation.
A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man, and takes a grain of salt with everything he says to her.
You cannot pick up salt with dry fingers.