Quotes I like…

Here are some of the quotes I like, either from books, art exhibitions or from any place or piece of writing I happened to come across with a pen and notebook handy.

I will try to be a more assiduous quote jotter as I quite enjoy seeing the list here; it takes me back to the moments I read or saw them.

I hope you enjoy them too! I’ll be adding to this list.

-If the French Revolution were to recur eternally, French historians would be less proud of Robespierre. But because they deal with something that will not return, the bloody years of the Revolution have turned into mere words, theories and discussions, have become lighter than feathers, frightening no one. […]

Not long ago, I caught myself experiencing a most incredible sensation. Leafing through a book on Hitler, I was touched by some of his portraits: they reminded me of my childhood. I grew up during the war; several members of my family perished in Hitler’s concentration camps; but what were their deaths compared with the memories of a lost period in my life, a period that would never return?

This reconciliation with Hitler reveals the profound moral perversity of a world that rests essentially on the nonexistence of return, for in this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore cynically permitted.

~Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

-La seule différence entre moi et un fou, c’est que je ne le suis pas.

~Salvador Dalí

-“I worshiped James Joyce”, [Silvia Beach] confesses. Like most gods, he did not return her love.

~Noel Riley Fitch in Sylvia Beach’s Lost Generation

-If I had a son who was an ordinarily healthy, not too intelligent youth I should certainly send him to Princeton. But if ever I find myself the father of an extraordinary youth I shall not send him to college at all. I shall lock him up in a library until he is old enough to go to Paris.

~John Peale Bishop (1921) as quoted by Noel Riley Fitch in Sylvia Beach’s Lost Generation

In response to Joyce’s Shaun section: that he did not have the patience to

wade through

this piece and that

nothing short of divine vision of a new cure for the clapp can possibly be worth all the circumambient peripherization.

~Ezra Pound (1920) as quoted by Noel Riley Fitch in Sylvia Beach’s Lost Generation

Pound is later quoted again criticizing the Americans intellectuals’ contentment in

sitting under the great British bum, carefully collecting and cataloging the droppings

~talking about how these intellectuals analyzed British works.

-“I wonder if you would run, my boy”, his mother wrote to him, “unless you saw all the other men chasing her too. You feel safe enough and vain enough in a crowd. But take care, and see how you feel when you find yourself alone, and in triumph” – to William.

~D.H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers

-If you don’t like it, alter it, and if you can’t alter it, put up with it.

~D.H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers

-Not such a clown shall anger me,

A boor is answered silently.

~D.H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers

-He [Paul] had shoveled away all the beliefs that would hamper him, had cleared the ground, and come more or less to the bedrock of belief that one should feel inside oneself for right and wrong, and should have the patience to gradually realise one’s God.

~D.H. Lawrence – Sons and Lovers

Letter to the old man Ron (81) from Alex (24)  (Into the Wild)

-Ron, I really enjoyed all the help you have given me and the times that we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through this Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing from me again in the future. I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty[…].

Astoundingly, the eighty-one year old man took the brash twenty-four-year-old vagabonds advice to heart. [Ron] Franz placed his furniture and most of his other possessions in a storage locker, bought a CMC Duravan, and outfitted it with bunks and camping. Then he moved out of his apartment and set up camp on the bajada. […]

~Jon Krakauer – Into the Wild

-The man who is more than his element knows the land that is more than its analysis.

~Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

-You go steal that tire an’ you’re a thief, but he tried to steal your four dollars for a busted tire. They call that sound business.

~Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath

If you sprinkle when you tinkle,

Be sweet, wipe the seat.

~my friend Adam, whose gran used to tell him ~


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