Category Archives: Quotes

T.H. White

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

The Once and Future King, by T.H. White

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Norman Maclean

All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes you see something you weren’t noticing which makes you see something that isn’t even visible.

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Karl Ove Knausgaard

Time is slipping away from me, running through my fingers like sand while I do what? Clean floors, wash clothes, make dinner, wash up, go shopping, play with the children in the play areas, bring them home, undress them, bathe them, look after them until it is bedtime, tuck them in, hang some clothes to dry, fold others, and put them away, tidy up, wipe tables, chairs and cupboards.

My Struggle: Book Four, by Karl Ove Knausgaard,

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Patience Lake

If I become popular when I grow up I’m going to fake my own retirement.

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Walt Whitman

Preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

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François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.

Editorial: If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. Voltaire wrote this famous (and largely misunderstood) aphorism in 1768 in an epistle denouncing a group of atheists. Taken out of context it seems weirdly pragmatic and even cynical, and at odds with Voltaire’s faith in the sublime (in his words, the bridle to the wicked) and in a shared order in society (created by a heavenly architect). For those of us with less confidence than Voltaire, the question is not whether you might believe God actually exists, but rather whether the act of believing in a god is a right and good thing.

Addendum: A little anthropology will help with any confusion lurking out there.  Anthropology maintains that religious beliefs and the gods they create are extensions of old magic.  Therefore the human product of religion necessarily flows from economics, politics, relationships of power, and other such human idiosyncrasies.  As such you  might even say that God is dead.

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Yekaterina Samutsevich

Editorial: Yekaterina Samutsevich is the defendant in a criminal case against the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot. Her closing statement is well worth reading especially if you study the formation and maintenance of state power apparati:
http://chtodelat.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/yekaterina-samutsevich-closing-statement/

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