Friday, October 24, 2008

Eugene Ionescu

1. ”A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.”
2. "Banality is a symptom of non-communication. Men hide behind their clichés."
3. “Beauty is a precious trace that eternity causes to appear to us and that it takes away from us. A manifestation of eternity, and a sign of death as well.”
4. ”Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing. The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.”
5. “Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.”
6. “For me, it is as though at every moment the actual world had completely lost its actuality. As though there was nothing there; as though there were no foundations for anything or as though it escaped us. Only one thing, however, is vividly present: the constant tearing of the veil of appearances; the constant destruction of everything in construction. Nothing holds together, everything falls apart.”
7. “Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together.”
8. "I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water."
9. “I believe that in the history of art and of thought there has always been at every living moment of culture a "will to renewal." This is not the prerogative of the last decade only. All history is nothing but a succession of "crises" -- of rupture, repudiation and resistance. When there is no "crisis," there is stagnation, petrifaction and death. All thought, all art is aggressive.”
10. “I have no other pictures of the world apart from those which express evanescence, and callousness, vanity and anger, emptiness, or hideous useless hate. Everything has merely confirmed what I had seen and understood in my childhood: futile and sordid fits of rage, cries suddenly blanketed by the silence, shadows swallowed up for ever by the night.”
11. “It's not a certain society that seems ridiculous to me, it's mankind.”
12. "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question."
13. “It isn't what people think that is important, but the reason they think what they think.”
14. ”Living is abnormal.”
15. “Mediocrity is more dangerous in a critic than in a writer.”
16. “No society has been able to abolish human sadness, no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa.”
17. "Realism, whether it be socialist or not, falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination."
18. “Since the death instinct exists in the heart of everything that lives, since we suffer from trying to repress it, since everything that lives longs for rest, let us unfasten the ties that bind us to life, let us cultivate our death wish, let us develop it, water it like a plant, let it grow unhindered. Suffering and fear are born from the repression of the death wish.”
19. “The critic should describe, and not prescribe.”
20. “The light of memory, or rather the light that memory lends to things, is the palest light of all. I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it. Just as dreams do, memory makes me profoundly aware of the unreality, the evanescence of the world, a fleeting image in the moving water.”
21. “There are more dead people than living. And their numbers are increasing. The living are getting rarer.”
22. “There is no religion in which everyday life is not considered a prison; there is no philosophy or ideology that does not think that we live in alienation.”
23. “There is nothing truer than myth: history, in its attempt to "realize" myth, distorts it, stops halfway; when history claims to have "succeeded," this is nothing but humbug and mystification. Everything we dream is "realizable." Reality does not have to be: it is simply what it is.”
24. “The universe seems to me infinitely strange and foreign. At such a moment I gaze upon it with a mixture of anguish and euphoria; separate from the universe, as though placed at a certain distance outside it; I look and I see pictures, creatures that move in a kind of timeless time and spaceless space, emitting sounds that are a kind of language I no longer understand or ever register.”
25. “To try to belong to one's own time is already to be out of date.”
26. “Why do people always expect authors to answer questions? I am an author because I want to ASK questions. If I had answers I'd be a politician.”

Kurt Vonnegut

1. "About astrology and palmistry: they are good because they make people vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm."
2. "Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance."
3. “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”
4. "A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."
5. "Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people."
6. “Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”
7. "Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules -- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."
8. “Find a subject you care about and which you feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”
9. “History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.”
10. “… hummings and clickings could be heard - the sounds attendant to the flow of electrons, now augmenting one maze of electromagnetic crises to a condition that was translatable from electrical qualities and quantities to a high grade of truth.”
11. "Ideas or the lack of them can cause disease."
12. “I don't praise plots as accurate representations of life, but as ways to keep readers reading. When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away - even if it 's only a glass of water. ... When you exclude plot, when you exclude anyone 's wanting anything, you exclude the reader, which is a mean-spirited thing to do. You can also exclude the reader by not telling him immediately where the story is taking place, and who the people are. ... And you can put him to sleep by never having characters confront each other. Students like to say that they stage no confrontations because people avoid confrontations in modern life. "Modern life is so lonely," they say. This is laziness. It's the writer's job to stage confrontations, so the characters will say surprising and revealing things, and educate and entertain us all.”
13. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
14. "If somebody says, ''I love you,'' to me, I feel as though I had a pistol pointed at my head. What can anybody reply under such conditions but that which the pistol-holder requires? ''I love you, too. ''"
15. “If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.”
16. “If you make people laugh or cry about little black marks on sheets of white paper, what is that but a practical joke? All the great story lines are great practical jokes that people fall for over and over again.”
17. “If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts.”
18. "I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours."
19. "I still believe that peace and plenty and happiness can be worked out some way. I am a fool."
20. "I think William Shakespeare was the wisest human being I ever heard of. To be perfectly frank, though, that's not saying much. We are impossibly conceited animals, and actually dumb as heck. Ask any teacher. You don't even have to ask a teacher. Ask anybody. Dogs and cats are smarter than we are."
21. “I want to stay as close to the edge as I can get without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.”
22. "I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival."
23. “Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the universe.”
24. “Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion… I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”
25. “Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.”
26. "Love is where you find it. I think it is foolish to go looking for it, and I think it can often be poisonous."
27. “Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.”
28. "Mere opinions, in fact, were as likely to govern people's actions as hard evidence, and were subject to sudden reversals as hard evidence could never be. So the Galapagos Islands could be hell in one moment and heaven in the next, and Julius Caesar could be a statesman in one moment and a butcher in the next, and Ecuadorian paper money could be traded for food, shelter, and clothing in one moment and line the bottom of a birdcage in the next, and the universe could be created by God Almighty in one moment and by a big explosion in the next--and on and on."
29. “...moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.
30. “Most writers are not quick-witted when they talk. Novelists, in particular, drag themselves around in society like gut-shot bears.”
31. "Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery."
32. "People aren't supposed to look back. I'm certainly not going to do it anymore."
33. “People should practice an art in order to make their souls grow and not to make money or become famous. Paint a picture. Write.”
34. 1. Reduce and stabilize your population. 2. Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil. 3. Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems. 4. Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it. 5. Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars. 6. Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean and stupid. 7. And so on. Or else.”
35. “Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!”
36. "Sometimes I think it is a great mistake to have matter that can think and feel. It complains so. By the same token, though, I suppose that boulders and mountains and moons could be accused of being a little too phlegmatic."
37. "There is no order in the world around us, we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.”
38. "There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia."
39. “There's only one me, and I'm stuck with him.”
40. “The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over Nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present the world what appears to be Nature's stern but reasonable surrender terms.”
41. "The two prime movers in the Universe are Time and Luck."
42. “The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.”
43. "Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. The human brain is too high-powered to have many practical uses in this particular universe."
44. "This is my principal objection to life, I think: It is too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes."
45. "Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;Man got to tell himself he understand."
46. "Time is liquid. One moment is no more important than any other and all moments quickly run away."
47. “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.”
48. “We are all what we pretend to be, so, we had better be very careful what we pretend.”
49. "We're not too young for love, just too young for about everything there is that goes with love."
50. “We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”
51. "We are what we imagine ourselves to be."
52. "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
53. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
54. “We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of the truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash.”
55. “What is literature but an insider's newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the Universe but a few molecules who have the disease called "thought."”
56. "What is flirtatiousness but an argument that life must go on and on and on?"
57. "What is literature but an insider's newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the Universe but a few molecules who have the disease called 'thought'."
58. “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
59. "Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?"

Joseph Joubert

1. "All the passions seek whatever nourishes them: fear loves the idea of danger."
2. “Conversation becomes intolerable when you are with men whose brain is full of boxes where everything is stowed away in order and nothing external can enter. Let us bear hospitable hearts and minds.”
3. ”Imagination is the eye of the soul.”
4. ”It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
5. “Justice is truth in action.“
6. “Misery is almost always the result of thinking.”
7. ”Never cut what you can untie.”
8. ”Only choose in marriage a man whom you would choose as a friend if he were a woman.”
9. ”The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.”
10. “To teach is to learn twice.
11. “We find little in a book but what we put there. But in great books, the mind finds room to put many things.”
12. “Wisdom is a science by which we discriminate between things spiritually good and evil. It is the science of sciences, for alone, it can understand the value, the true price, the real uses, the danger, and the potentialities of the soul.”
13. “Words, like eyeglasses, blur everything that they do not make more clear.”
14. “You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.”

The man of knowledge

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, Foreword


I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.

Sir Winston Churchill


Life is a sexually transmitted disease.

R. D. Laing


In love, one and one are one.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Little things

It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (Sherlock Holmes)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Willa Cather

1. “Approach each new problem not with a view of finding what you hope will be there, but to get the truth, the realities that must be grappled with. You may not like what you find. In that case you are entitled to try to change it. But do not deceive yourself as to what you do find to be the facts of the situation.”
2. “I tell you there is such a thing as creative hate!”
3. “Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again.”
4. “Sometimes a neighbor whom we have disliked a lifetime for his arrogance and conceit lets fall a single commonplace remark that shows us another side, another man, really: a man uncertain, and puzzled, and in the dark like ourselves.”
5. “The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or woman.“
6. “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”
7. “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”
8. ”What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself - life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.”
9. “Where there is great love there are always miracles.”
10. “Where there is great love, there are always wishes.”

Mark Twain

1. “A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.”
2. “A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.”
3. “A classic is a book which people praise and don't read."
4. "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
5. “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”
6. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”
7. “A good lie will have travled half way around the world while the truth is putting on her boots.”
8. ”A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
9. "All schools, all colleges have two great functions: to confer, and to conceal valuable knowledge.”
10. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”
11. ”A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way.”
12. “A man with a new idea is a crank until he succeeds.”
13. “Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”
14. “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
15. ”A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
16. “A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom that he can no longer be lead by the nose.”
17. “Annihilation has no terrors for me, because I have already tried it before I was born - a hundred million years - and I have suffered more in an hour, in this life, than I remember to have suffered in the whole hundred million years put together. There was a peace, a serenity, an absence of all sense of responsibility, an absence of worry, an absence of care, grief, perplexity, and the presence of a deep content and unbroken satisfaction in that hundred million years of holiday which I look back upon with a tender longing and with a grateful desire to resume, when the opportunity comes.”
18. “Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.”
19. “A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling by Mark Twain (1835-1910). For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all. Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli. Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.”
20. “A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt.”
21. “A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.”
22. "Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint."
23. “"Be Yourself" is about the worst advice you can give to people.”
24. “Broad, wholesome, charitable views can not be acquired by vegetating in one's little corner of the earth.”
25. "By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity. Another man's, I mean."
26. “By what right has the dog come to be regarded as a "noble" animal? The more brutal and cruel and unjust you are to him the more your fawning and adoring slave he becomes; whereas, if you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward - you will never get her full confidence again.”
27. “Cats are loose in their morals, but not consciously so. Man, in his descent from the cat, has brought the cat's looseness with him but has left the unconsciousness behind -- the saving grace which excuses the cat. The cat is innocent, man is not.”
28. “Cats are packed full of music -- just as full as they can hold; and when they die, people remove it from them and sell it to the fiddle-makers.”
29. "Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
30. “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”
31. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”
32. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear; not absence of fear.”
33. "Dance like no one is watching.Sing like no one is listening.Love like you've never been hurtand live like it's heaven on Earth."
34. ”Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
35. "Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live."
36. “Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.”
37. "Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.”
38. “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
39. “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
40. “Everything has its limit - iron ore cannot be educated into gold.”
41. “Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion.”
42. “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
43. “Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.”
44. “Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you wish.”
45. "Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person."
46. ”Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this it the ideal life.”
47. “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”
48. “Happiness ain't a thing in itself -- it's only a contrast with something that ain't pleasant.... And so, as soon as the novelty is over and the force of the contrast dulled, it ain't happiness any longer, and you have to get something fresh.”
49. “Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
50. “History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot.”
51. “Humor must not professedly teach and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.”
52. "I am the entire human race compacted together. I have found that there is no ingredient of the race which I do not possess in either a small way or a large way."
53. “I believe I have no prejudices whatsoever. All I need to know is that a man is a member of the human race. That's bad enough for me.”
54. “I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey.”
55. ”I can live for two months on a good compliment.” ‘
56. “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.”
57. “I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
58. “I don't know of a single foreign product that enters this country untaxed, except the answer to prayer.”
59. ”I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.”
60. ”If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”
61. “If a man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”
62. “I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed.”
63. “I find that the further I go back, the better things, whether they happened or not.”
64. “If man had created man, he would be ashamed of his performance.”
65. “If we hadn't our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries-the ice-storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top -- ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold-the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong.”
66. "If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, then we would have two mouths and only one ear."
67. “If you have nothing to say, say nothing.”
68. "If you invent two or three people and turn them loose in your manuscript, something is bound to happen to them -- you can't help it; and then it will take you the rest of the book to get them out of the natural consequences of that occurrence, and so first thing you know, there's your book all finished up and never cost you an idea."
69. “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
70. “If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.”
71. ”Ignorant people think it is the noise which fighting cats make that is so aggravating, but it ain't so; it is the sickening grammar that they use.”
72. “I have been on the verge of being an angel all my life, but it's never happened yet.”
73. ”I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
74. "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
75. “I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.”
76. “I have not a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming vices.”
77. “I'm glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again.”
78. “I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up.”
79. “Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity -- these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among the higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing; they are not ashamed. Man, with his soiled mind, covers himself. ...Man is the Animal that Blushes. He is the only one that does it -- or has occasion to.”
80. “I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe.”
81. “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.”
82. “In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time. It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has.”
83. “I respect a man who knows how to spell a word more than one way.”
84. "I thoroughly disapprove of duels. I consider them unwise and I know they are dangerous. Also, sinful. If a man should challenge me now I would go to that man and take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet retired spot and kill him."
85. “It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them.”
86. “It is discouraging to try and penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it.”
87. “It is easier to manufacture seven facts out of whole cloth than one emotion.”
88. “It is not best that we should all think alike; it is differences of opinion that make horse races.”
89. ”It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”
90. ”It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.”
91. “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.”
92. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
93. “Laws are sand, customs are rock. Laws can be evaded and punishment escaped, but an openly transgressed custom brings sure punishment.”
94. “Let us be thankful for fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”
95. “Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other; it will unriddle many riddles; it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now.”
96. “Let us not be too particular: it is better to have old second hand diamonds than none at all.”
97. “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one's head.”
98. “Love your enemy, it will scare the hell out of them.”
99. “Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.”
100. ”Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man" - with his mouth.”
101. “Man is the only creature who has a nasty mind.”
102. "Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied."
103. “Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. You boys and girls will see more in the next fifty years than Methuselah saw in his whole lifetime.”
104. “Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race -- the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.”
105. “My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine -- everybody drinks water.”
106. “Never let formal education get in the way of your learning.”
107. ”Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”
108. ”Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child's loss of a doll and a king's loss of a crown are events of the same size.”
109. ”October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”
110. “Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with a cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”
111. “Often the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.”
112. “Of the delights of this world man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven.”
113. "One learns people through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect."
114. “One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.”
115. “Our civilization is wonderful, in certain spectacular and meretricious ways; wonderful in scientific marvels and inventive miracles; wonderful in material inflation, which it calls advancement, progress, and other pet names; wonderful in its spying-out of the deep secrets of Nature and its vanquishment of her stubborn laws; wonderful in its extraordinary financial and commercial achievements; wonderful in its hunger for money, and in its indifference as to how it is acquired; wonderful in the hitherto undreamed-of magnitude of its private fortunes and the prodigal fashion in which they are given away to institutions devoted to the public culture; wonderful in its exhibitions of poverty; wonderful in the surprises which it gets out of that great new birth, Organization, the latest and most potent creation and miracle-worker of the commercialized intellect, as applied in transportation systems, in manufactures, in systems of communication, in news-gathering, book-publishing, journalism; in protecting labor; in oppressing labor; in herding the national parties and keeping the sheep docile and usable; in closing the public service against brains and character; in electing purchasable legislatures, blatherskike Congresses, and city governments which rob the town and sell municipal protection to gamblers, thieves, prostitutes, and professional seducers for cash. It is a civilization which has destroyed the simplicity and repose of life; replaced its contentment, its poetry, its soft romance-dreams and visions with the money-fever, sordid ideals, vulgar ambitions, and the sleep which does not refresh; it has invented a thousand useless luxuries, and turned them into necessities; it has created a thousand vicious appetites and satisfies none of them; it has dethroned God and set up a shekel in His place.”
116. “Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”
117. “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”
118. “Put all your eggs in the one basket and- WATCH THAT BASKET.”
119. "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
120. ”Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of.”
121. “Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”
122. “Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane -- like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell -- mouths mercy and invented hell -- mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!”
123. ”Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
124. ”Such is the human race, often it seems a pity that Noah... didn't miss the boat.”
125. “Temperate temperance is best; intemperate temperance injures the cause of temperance.”
126. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
127. “The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.”
128. “The holy passion of friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money.”
129. “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”
130. “The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic and the witty upon the matter.”
131. “The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury.”
132. "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."
133. “The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.”
134. “The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
135. “The pause - that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence, which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it.”
136. “...the person that had took a bull by the tail once had learnt sixty or seventy times as much as a person that hadn't, and said a person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn't ever going to grow dim or doubtful. Chances are, he isn't likely to carry the cat that way again, either. But if he wants to, I say let him!”
137. “The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.”
138. “The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them.”
139. “There are people who can do all fine and heroic things but one--keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.”
140. "There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself."
141. “There are too many stars in some places and not enough in others.”
142. “There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.”
143. "There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure."
144. “There's always something about your success that displeases even your best friends.”
145. “There is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream, a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought -- a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”
146. “There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist, except an old optimist.”
147. “There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship.”
148. “There is nothing you can say in answer to a compliment. I have been complimented myself a great many times, and they always embarrass me - I always feel that they have not said enough.”
149. “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
150. "There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy."
151. “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
152. “The secret of success is to make your vocation your vacation.”
153. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
154. “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain't so.”
155. “The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”
156. “This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned in his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy.”
157. “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work.”
158. “They spell it "da Vinci" and pronounce it "da Vinchy". Foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.”
159. “Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours.”
160. "Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education."
161. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
162. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
163. “Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.”
164. “We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles.
165. “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.”
166. “We do not deal in facts when we are contemplating ourselves.”
167. "We had the stars up there," said Huck, "And we use to lie on our backs and look up at them and discuss 'bout whether they was made or just happened. Jim he allowed that the stars was made, but I allowed they just happened. Jim said the Moon could'a laid them; Well, that looked kind of reasonable so I didn't say nothing against it. I've seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done."
168. “We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”
169. “We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read.”
170. ”We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that a savage has, because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.”
171. ”We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one either.”
172. “What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows - it must grow; nothing can prevent it.”
173. ”When angry, count four; when very angry, swear.”
174. “When in doubt, tell the truth.”
175. “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.”
176. "When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat."
177. “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”
178. “When you ascend the hill of prosperity, may you not meet a friend.”
179. “When you cannot get a compliment any other way, pay yourself one.”
180. “Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”
181. “Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.”
182. “Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction after all, has to make sense.”
183. “Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.”
184. “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
185. “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
186. "You can't break a bad habit by throwing it out the window. You've got to walk it slowly down the stairs."
187. “You take the lies out of him, and he'll shrink to the size of your hat; you take the malice out of him, and he'll disappear.”

James Hillman

1. “Absolutism is not a ruthless ruler, but a ruthless rule -- and this we don't easily remember, for our minds fix upon the figures of czars and crime lords. These images serve to keep the danger of tyranny projected onto Stalin, Genghis Khan and Al Capone, protecting us from the absolutism that can rule the psyche in the guise of fundamentalism in religion, bottom-lineism in business and progress in the sciences.”
2. ”As civilization subsides into its own waste deposits, it doesn't matter whether you are feminine or masculine or any composite of them. We all dissolve together.”
3. ”As long as you're going to create a castle, the psyche can only come in as an invader.”
4. ”As truths are the fictions of the rational, so fictions are the truths of the imaginal.”
5. ”A terrorist is the product of our education that says that fantasy is not real, that says aesthetics is just for artists, that says soul is only for priests, imagination is trivial or dangerous and for crazies, and that reality, what we must adapt to, is the external world, a world that is dead. A terrorist is a result of this whole long process of wiping out the psyche.”
6. “Besides policing weapons, we might search for methods of teaching that capture attention and evoke concentration -- images, dramas, rituals, rhythms--thereby transferring power back from the weapon to the child's mind.”
7. ”By accepting the idea that I am the effect of a subtle buffeting between hereditary and societal forces, I reduce myself to a result. The more my life is accounted for by what already occurred in my chromosomes, by what my parents did or didn't do, and by my early years now long past, the more my biography is the story of a victim.”
8. ”Do you really believe that humans invented the wheel out of their big brains alone, or fire, or baskets, or tools? Stones rolled downhill; bolts of fire shot from the sky and out of the earth; birds wove and probed and pounded, as did apes and elephants. The sciences that master nature were taught by nature how it could be mastered.”
9. ”Each person enters the world called.”
10. ”Expectations that are only statistical are no longer human.”
11. ”If we could recover the imaginal we must first recover its organ, the heart, and its kind of philosophy.”
12. ”I find today that patients are more sensitive than the worlds they live in.”
13. ”In any system, whether a corporation, a family or the inner arrangements of the human psyche, a vigorous "no" to the good of the whole may serve the good of the whole and increase its power even more than a complaint "yes."”
14. ”In my bones, I am afraid of Christian unconsciousness, because, unlike Buddhism, say, or even Judaism, Christianism lives myths deliberately, insisting they are not myths, and this has dreadful paranoid consequences.”
15. “Inefficiency becomes a favorite mode of rebellion against the tyranny of efficiency: slowdown, work-to-rule, buck-passing, absenteeism, delayed responses, mislaid documents, unreturned phone calls.”
16. ”Is there a reality that is not framed or formed? No. Reality is always coming through a pair of glasses, a point of view, a language--a fantasy.”
17. ”Knowledge makes us able to leave it behind, able to take off down the road of pitfalls in full foolishness, risking even greater windmills still further out, an old knight more and more bold, an old rogue more and more peculiar, ageing into the freedom of our pathology.”
18. ”Let us imagine the anima mundi [world soul] neither above the world encircling it as a divine and remote emanation of spirit, a world of powers, archetypes, and principles transcendent to things, nor within the material world as its unifying panpsychic life-principle. Rather let us imagine the anima mundi as that particular soul-spark, that seminal image, which offers itself through each thing in its visible form.”
19. “My fantasies are like wounds; they reveal my pathology.”
20. ”Neglect of beauty neglects the Goddess, who then has to steal back into the departments as sexual harassment, into the laboratories as "research" experiments with sex and gender, and into the consulting rooms as seductive assignations.”
21. ”Purists are deadly, and so they know all about deadly sins.”
22. “Something always has you in mind.”
23. ”The desert is not in Egypt; it is anywhere once we desert the heart.”
24. ”The ideal of growth makes us feel stunted; the ideal family makes us feel crazy.”
25. ”The lead horse does not run because it is whipped.”
26. ”The cooking vessel of the soul takes in everything, everything can become soul; and by taking into its imagination any and all events, psychic space grows.”
27. ”The healer is the illness and the illness is the healer.”
28. ”The heart in the beast is not your heart only: it is a microcosmic sun, a cosmos of all possible experiences that no one can own.”
29. ”The psyche is highly flammable material. So we are always wrapping things in asbestos, keeping our images and fantasies at arm's length because they are so full of love.”
30. ”There is a secret love hiding in each problem.”
31. ”The sexual fascination is the soul trying to get out and get into something other than itself.”
32. ”The transfiguration of matter occurs through wonder.”
33. ”The soul can become a reality again only when each of us has the courage to take it as the first reality in our own lives, to stand for it and not just "believe" in it.”
34. ”The whole world is sick….and you can't put this right by having a good therapeutic dialogue or finding deeper meanings. It's not about meaning anymore; it's about survival.”
35. ”Today we need heroes of descent, not masters of denial, mentors of maturity who can carry sadness, who give love to aging, who show soul without irony or embarrassment.”
36. “To mythic consciousness, the persons of the imagination are real.
37. “We may be actually closer and more truly communicating in letters than when talking. The vertical connection downwards and inwards, each on his solitary own, may be making a connection of souls through imagination, a connection that does not necessarily happen in live conversation or on the telephone.”
38. “When the dominant vision that holds a period of culture together cracks, consciousness regresses into earlier containers, seeking sources for survival which also offer sources of revival.”
39. “When we are told what is healthy we are being told what is right to think and feel. When we are told what is mentally ill we are being told what ideas, behavior, and fantasies are wrong.”


There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.

Frederick Wm. Faber


I can find my biography in every fable that I read.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
_Journal_ [1866]


"A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal."

Oscar Wilde

A thing of beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.

John Keats


We read stories to understand ourselves.

Vijaya Khisty

Grown ups

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)
_The Little Prince_ [1943]

Buying and selling

Make yourself a seller when you are buying, and a buyer when you are selling, and then you will sell and buy justly.

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)


Those who love to be feared, fear to be loved.

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)


To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy.

Sun Tzu (c. 500 BC)
_The Art Of War_

Monday, October 20, 2008

Robertson Davies

1. "A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight."
2. “Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines -- not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.”
3. “Dreams do not foretell the future. They reveal states of mind in which the future may be implicit.”
4. “Few people can see genius in someone who has offended them.”
5. “Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
6. “If you're a writer, a real writer, you're a descendent of those medieval storytellers who used to go into the square of a town and spread a little mat on the ground and sit on it and beat on a bowl and say, "If you give me a copper coin I will tell you a golden tale." If the storyteller had what it took, he… told them a golden tale until it got to the most exciting point and then he passed the bowl again.”
7. "I think of an author as somebody who goes into the marketplace and puts down his rug and says, ''I will tell you a story,'' and then he passes the hat."
8. "Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision."
9. “She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, than most people suppose. Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines—not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.”
10. “The best among our writers are doing their accustomed work of mirroring what is deep in the spirit of our time; if chaos appears in those mirrors, we must have faith that in the future, as always in the past, that chaos will slowly reveal itself as a new aspect of order.”
11. "The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."
12. "The love of truth lies at the root of much humor."
13. “There are, one presumes, tone-deaf readers.”
14. “The world is full of people whose notion of a satisfactory future is, in fact, a return to an idealised past.”
15. “To be a book-collector is to combine the worst characteristics of a dope fiend with those of a miser.”
16. “Too much traffic with a quotation book begets a conviction of ignorance in a sensitive reader. Not only is there a mass of quotable stuff he never quotes, but an even vaster realm of which he has never seen.”
17. “Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.”
18. “You are certainly unique. Everybody is unique. Nobody has ever suffered quite like you before because nobody has ever been you before. But we are members of the human race, as well, and our unique quality has limits.”
19. "You never see what you want to see, forever playing to the gallery."

Robert Frost

1. “A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”
2. “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.”
3. “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.”
4. "A mother takes twenty years to make a man of her boy, and another woman makes a fool of him in twenty minutes."
5. "An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor."
6. “Any work of art must first of all tell a story.”
7. ”[A poem] begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”
8. “A poem begins with a lump in the throat.”
9. ”By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.”
10. "Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."
11. "Earth's the right place for love. I don't know where it's likely to go better."
12. “Educations is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence.”
13. “Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.”
14. “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”
15. “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.”
16. "Heaven gives its glimpses only to those not in position to look too close." ‘
17. "Hell is a half-filled auditorium."
18. "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in."
19. “I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.”
20. “I am not a teacher but an awakener.”
21. "I'm not confused, I'm just well mixed."
22. “I'd like to get away from earth awhileAnd then come back to it and begin over.May no fate wilfully misunderstand meAnd half grant what I wish and snatch me awayNot to return. Earth's the right place for love:I don't know where it's likely to go better.”
23. ”I had a lover's quarrel with the world.”
24. ”I had withdrawn in forest, and my songWas swallowed up in leaves that blew away;And to the forest edge you came one day(this was my dream) and looked and pondered long,But did not enter, though the wish was strong:You shook your pensive head as who should say,"I dare not--too far in his footsteps stray--He must seek me would he undo the wrong."Not far, but near, I stood and saw it all,Behind low boughs the trees let down outside;And the sweet pang it cost me not to calland tell you that I saw does still abide.But 'tis not true that thus I dwelt aloof,For the wood wakes, and you are here for proof.”
25. "I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way."
26. “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.”
27. ”It's a funny thing that when a man hasn't anything on earth to worry about, he goes off and gets married.”
28. "Let him that is without stone among you cast the first thing he can lay his hands on."
29. “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
30. ”Most of the change we think we see in lifeIs due to truths being in and out of favor.”
31. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.”
32. ”Poetry is what gets lost in translation.”
33. “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
34. “Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.”
35. "Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found it was ourselves."
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
36. ”Sometimes I have my doubts of words altogether, and I ask myself what is the place of them. They are worse than nothing unless they do something; unless they amount to deeds, as in ultimatums or battle-cries. They must be flat and final like the show-down in poker, from which there is no appeal. My definition of poetry (if I were forced to give one) would be this: words that become deeds.”
37. “The best thing we're put here for's to see; The strongest thing that's given us to see with's a telescope. Someone in every town, seems to me, owes it to the town to keep one.”
38. “The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”
39. "The only way around is through."
40. ”The poet, as everyone knows, must strike his individual note sometime between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. He may hold it a long time, or a short time, but it is then that he must strike it or never. School and college have been conducted with the almost express purpose of keeping him busy with something else till the danger of his ever creating anything is past.”
41. “The rain to the wind said,"You push and I'll pelt."They so smote the garden bedThat the flowers actually kneltAnd lay lodged - though not dead.I know how the flowers felt.”
42. “There's nothing I'm afraid of like scared people.”
43. "The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them."
44. "They cannot scare me with their empty spaces between stars -- on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home to scare myself with my own desert places."
45. "Thinking is not to agree or disagree. That is voting."
46. ”To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.”
47. "To be social is to be forgiving."
48. ”Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;Then took the other, as just as fair,And having perhaps the better claim,Because it was grassy and wanted wear;Though as for that the passing thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn leaves no step had trodden black.Oh, I kept the first for another day!Yet knowing how way leads on to way,I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sighSomewhere ages and ages hence:Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”
49. “We dance round in a ring and suppose,But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”
50. ”When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloudAnd goes down burning into the gulf below,No voice in nature is heard to cry aloudAt what has happened. Birds, at least must knowIt is the change to darkness in the sky.Murmuring something quiet in her breast,One bird begins to close a faded eye;Or overtaken too far from his nest,Hurrying low above the grove, some waifSwoops just in time to his remembered tree.At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!Now let the night be dark for all of me.Let the night bee too dark for me to seeInto the future. Let what will be, be.'
51. "We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows."
52. "Why abandon a belief merely because it ceases to be true? Cling to it long enough, and it will turn true again, for so it goes. Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor."
53. "You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country."


1. "Best to live lightly, unthinkingly."
2. "How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in the truth."
3. "In a just cause the weak will beat the strong."
4. "It is terrible to speak well and be wrong."
5. "I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating."
6. "Kindness gives birth to kindness."
7. “Look and you will find It - what is unsought will go undetected.”
8. "Love, unconquerable,Waster of rich men, keeperOf warm lights and all-night vigilIn the soft face of a girl:Sea-wanderer, forest-visitor!Even the pure immortals cannot escape you,And mortal men, in his one day's dusk,Trembles before your glory."
9. "None loves the messenger who brings bad news."
10. “Not to be born surpasses thought and speech. The second best is to have seen the light And then to go back quickly whence we came.”
11. “Numberless are the world's wonders, but noneMore wonderful than man; the stormgray seaYields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high;Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is gravenWith shining furrows where his plows have goneYear after year, the timeless labor of stallions.The lightboned birds and beasts that cling to cover,The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water,All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind;The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned,Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has brokenThe sultry shoulders of the mountain bull.Words also, and thought as rapid as air,He fashions to his good use; statecraft is hisAnd his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow,The spears of winter rain: from every windHe has made himself secure -- from all but one:In the late wind of death he cannot stand.”
12. “One word Frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”
13. "One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession."
14. "Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud."
15. "The long unmeasured pulse of time moves everything. There is nothing hidden that it cannot bring to light, nothing once known that may not become unknown."
16. “There is a point at which even justice does injury.”
17. “Truth is always the strongest argument.“
18. "There is no witness so terrible and no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us."
19. "To him who is in fear everything rustles."
20. "What you cannot enforce, do not command."
21. “Who seeks shall find.”

William Faulkner

1. “All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.”
2. "Always dream and shoot higher than you know how to. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
3. "A man's moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream."
4. “An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don't know why they chose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.”
5. “And so when Cora Tull would tell me I was not a true mother, I would think how words go straight up in a thin line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other; and that sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forgot the words. Like Cora, who could never even cook.”
6. “A writer is congenitally unable to tell the truth and that is why we call what he writes fiction.”
7. “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”
8. “Between grief and nothing I will take grief.”
9. “But above all, the courthouse: the center, the focus, the hub; sitting looming in the center of the county's circumference like a single cloud in its ring of horizon, laying its vast shadow to the uttermost rim of horizon; musing, brooding, symbolic and ponderable, tall as cloud, solid as rock, dominating all: protector of the weak, judiciate and curb of the passions and lusts, repository and guardian of the aspirations and hopes....”
10. “But after all memory could live in the old wheezing entrails: and now it did stand to his hand, incontrovertible and plain, serene, the palm clashing and murmuring dry and wild and faint and it the night but he could face it, thinking. Not could. Will. I want to. So it is the old meat after all, no matter how old. Because if memory exists outside of the flesh it wont be memory because it wont know what it remembers so when she became not then half of memory became not and if I become not then all of remembering will cease to be. Yes he thought. Between grief and nothing I will take grief"
11. “Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
12. “Facts and truth really don't have much to do with each other.”
13. “Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”
14. "He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that anymore than for pride or fear."
15. "He (man) is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance."
16. “I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
17. “I'm a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.”
18. “I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind—and that of the minds who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”
19. “I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
20. “I don't care much for facts, am not much interested in them, you cant stand a fact up, you've got to prop it up, and when you move to one side a little and look at it from that angle, it's not thick enough to cast a shadow in that direction.”
21. “I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as the keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.”
22. “I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.”
23. ”No man can cause more grief than that one clinging blindly to the vices of his ancestors.”
24. "One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours - all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy."
25. “Our tragedy is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it... the basest of all things is to be afraid.”
26. "People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can't know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do --after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world's anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty."
27. “People need trouble -- a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don't mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.”
28. “Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.”
29. “That was when I learned that words are no good; that words dont ever fit even what they are trying to say at."
30. “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling "Kilroy was here" on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.”
31. “The best job that was ever offered to me was to become a landlord in a brothel. In my opinion it's the perfect milieu for an artist to work in.”
32. “The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it.”
33. "The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
34. "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
35. “[The writer] must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed—love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.”
36. “[T]he young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.”
37. “Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
38. “When my horse is running good, I don't stop to give him sugar.”

Strong men

Strong men can always afford to be gentle. Only the weak are intent on "giving as good as they get."

Elbert Hubbard 1856-1915,'Courtesy as an Asset' (pamphlet), in Elbert Hubbard's Selected Writings, Part 1

Shady grove

Thrice happy he, who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own;
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love.

William Drummond

The weather

Don't knock the weather. If it didn't change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn't start a conversation.

Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)

Ideal of beauty

The ideal of beauty is simplicity and tranquility.

Johann W. von Goethe

Like a lamp

Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another's heart, or its flame burns low.

Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887

1000 imitations

There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.

La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)
_Maxims_ [1665]

Distinction and separation

When the sense of distinction and separation is absent, you may call it love.

Nisargadatta Maharaj


The three things most difficult are: to keep a secret, to forget an injury, and to make good use of leisure.


Two things

A man can hide all things excepting two - That he is drunk, and that he is in love.

Antiphanes (c. 388-311 BC)


People who knew too little and people who knew too much were equally a bore.

Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950)
_The Chessmen Of Mars_ [1922]

Living with honor

The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be.

Socrates (469-399 BC)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Henry James

1. “A man who pretends to understand women is bad manners. For him to really to understand them is bad morals.”
2. “Art is nothing more than the shadow of humanity.”
3. “Cats and monkeys, monkeys and cats - all human life is there.”
4. ”Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.”
5. ”Her life should always be in harmony with the most pleasing impression she should produce; she would be what she appeared, and she would appear what she was.”
6. “Ideas are, in truth, force.”
7. “If we pretend to respect the artist at all, we must allow him his freedom of choice, in the face, in particular cases, of innumerable presumptions that the choice will not fructify. Art derives a considerable part of its beneficial exercise from flying in the face of presumptions.”
8. “I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme.”
9. “I may therefore venture to say that the air of reality (solidity of specification) seems to me to be the supreme virtue of the novel - the merit upon which all its other merits ... hopelessly and submissively depend. If it be not there they are all as nothing, and if these be there, they owe their effect to the success with which the author has produced the illusion of life. The cultivation of this success, the study of this exquisite process, form, to my taste, the beginning and the end of the art of the novelist. They are his inspiration, his despair, his reward, his torment, and his delight.”
10. “In art economy is always beauty.”
11. “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance . . . and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.”
12. “It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.”
13. “I think patriotism is like charity -- it begins at home.”
14. “Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had?”
15. “Of course you're always at liberty to judge the critic. Judge people as critics, however, and you'll condemn them all!”
16. “One of my latest sensations was going to Lady Airlie's to hear Browning read his own poems - with the comport of finding that, at least, if you don't understand them, he himself apparently understands them even less. He read them as if he hated them and would like to bite them to pieces.”
17. “People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you're nice to the second housemaid.”
18. “She had an unequalled gift . . . of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.”
19. “Show, don't tell.”
20. “The fatal futility of Fact.”
21. “The house of fiction has in short not one window, but a million - a number of possible windows not to be reckoned, rather; every one of which has been pierced, or is still pierceable, in its vast front, by the need of the individual vision and by the pressure of the individual will. These apertures, of dissimilar shape and size, hang so, all together, over the human scene that we might have expected of them a greater sameness of report than we find. They are but windows at best, mere holes in a dead wall, disconnected, perched aloft; they are not hinged doors opening straight upon life. But they have this mark of their own that at each of them stands a figure with a pair of eyes, or at least with a field glass, which forms again and again, for observation, a unique instrument, insuring to the person making use of it an impression distinct from any other. He and his neighbors are watching the same show, but one seeing more where the other sees less, one seeing black where the other sees white, one seeing big where the other sees small, one seeing coarse where the other sees fine.”
22. “The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.”
23. "The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt torepresent life."
24. “The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it-this cluster of gifts may almost be said to constitute experience.”
25. “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
26. “To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure. Towards these ends I pledge my life's work. I will supply the children with tools and knowledge to overcome the obstacles. I will pass on the wisdom of my years and temper it with patience. I shall impact in each child the desire to fulfill his or her dream. I shall teach.”
27. “To criticize is to appreciate, to appropriate, to take intellectual possession, to establish in fine a relation with the criticized thing and to make it one's own.”
28. “Try to be one on whom nothing is lost.”
29. “We care what happens to people only in proportion as we know what people are.”
30. “We must know, as much as possible, in our beautiful art .... what we are talking about-and the only way to know is to have lived and loved and cursed and floundered and enjoyed and suffered. I think I don't regret a single 'excess' of my responsive youth-I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace."
31. “We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”
32. “What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?”


1. “Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”
2. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”
3. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”
4. “He who doesn't find a little enough will find nothing enough.”
5. “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”
6. “Is God willing to prevent evil, and not able? Then he is not omnipotent.Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?Is he neither able or willing? Then why call him God?
7. “It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble.”
8. “It is impossible to live pleasurably without living prudently, honorably, and justly; or to live prudently, honorably, and justly, without living pleasurably.”
9. “Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life.”
10. “Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is to little.”
11. “Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little.”
12. ”Of all the things which wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.”
13. “Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily.”
14. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.”
15. “The man least dependent upon the morrow goes to meet the morrow most cheerfully.”
16. “We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.”

John Ruskin

1. “All books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time.”
2. ”Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light.”
3. "Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts: the book of their deeds, the book of their words, and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last."
4. "I have not yet spoken, nor is it possible for me today to speak adequately, of the moral power of the imagination: but you may for yourselves enough discern its nature merely by comparing the dignity of the relations between the sexes, from their lowest level in moths or molluscs, through the higher creatures in whom they become a domestic influence and law, up to the love of pure men and women; and, finally, to the ideal love which animated chivalry. Throughout this vast ascent it is the gradual increase of the imaginative faculty which exalts and enlarges the authority of the passion, until, at its height, it is the bulwark of patience, the tutor of honour, and the perfectness of praise. You will find further, that as of love, so of all the other passions, the right government and exaltation begins in that of the Imagination, which is lord over them. For to subdue the passions, which is thought so often to be the sum of duty respecting them, is possible enough to a proud dullness; but to excite them rightly, and make them strong for good, is the work of the unselfish imagination."
5. ”In every person who comes near you look for what is good and strong, honor that; try to imitate it, and your faults will drop off like dead leaves when their time comes.”
6. “In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”
7. “In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed:
They must be fit for it:
They must not do too much of it:
And they must have a sense of success in it.”
8. “It is written on the arched sky; it looks out from every star. It is the poetry of Nature; it is that which uplifts the spirit within us.”
9. “Multitudes think they like to do evil; yet no man ever really enjoyed doing evil since God made the world.”
10. “Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless: peacocks and lilies for instance.”
11. “Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.”
12. ”Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of weather.”
13. ”The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world . . . To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.”
14. “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.”
15. "When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."

Madeleine L´Engle

1. “A life lived in chaos is an impossibility...”
2. "Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are."
3. “I do think that keeping an honest, unpublishable journal is helpful. Include what you are thinking, what you are
feeling, what you are responding to. Include what you are angry about that you heard on the news. don't talk
about the news in terms of politics, but in terms of your own life. What does this mean to you? So these are my
three recommendations: Read, keep an honest journal and write every day.”
4. “If it can be verified, we don't need faith . . . Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden startling joys.”
5. ”I had the book pretty intricately plotted. This is essential, because if you do not have a plot there is nothing to change.”
6. “It's a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them--and they simiply don't need you. That's all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they'll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on - this desperate need - add only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.”
7. “Readers usually grossly underestimate their own importance. If a reader cannot create a book along with the writer, the book will never come to life. Creative involvement: that's the difference between reading a book and watching TV. / In watching TV, we are passive--sponges; we do nothing. In reading, we must become creators, imagining the setting of the story, seeing the facial expressions, hearing the inflection of the voices. The author and the reader "know" each other; they meet on the bridge of words.”
8. "Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically."
9. "That's the way things become clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along."
10. “The world of science lives fairly comfortably with paradox. We know that light is a wave, and also that light is a particle. The discoveries made in the infinitely small world of particle physics indicate randomness and chance, and I do not find it any more difficult to live with the paradox of a universe of randomness and chance and a universe of pattern and purpose than I do with light as a wave and light as a particle. Living with contradiction is nothing new to the human being.”
11. “Truth is eternal, knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.”
12. “When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize.”


Voyages are accomplished inwardly, and the most hazardous ones, needless to say, are made without moving from the spot.

Henry Miller (1891-1980)
_The Colossus Of Maroussi_ [1941], Chapter 1


And what is love? Love is the morning and the evening star.

Sinclair Lewis 1885–1951, Elmer Gantry (1927)

Are you serious?

Seriousness is illness.



There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.

Alexander Pope 1688-1744


He who is firm in will molds the world to himself.

Johann W. von Goethe

Reading novels

It is by reading novels, stories, and myths that we come to understand the ideas that govern the world in which we live; it is fiction that gives us access
to the truths kept veiled by our families, our schools, and our society; it is the art of the novel that allows us to ask who we really are.

Orhan Pamuk (1952- ),
_Other Colors: Essays and a Story_ [2007], "In Kars And Frankfurt"