Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Your favorite short quotations (Commonplace Book)

I want to try something new today; I do not know if it will work, but blogs are for experimentation. Instead of putting up some quotation today and moving on, I would like you to supply some of your favorite quotations in the comments to this post. I am thinking of pithy sentences, but you could put something longer down, if you feel so inclined. If this works out well, I might try it again on a particular theme, but today I am just asking for a favorite.

For me, I will give you two related ones from Kafka that I have been thinking about this week:

"There is only a spiritual world; what we call the physical world is the evil in the spiritual one."

"The fact that there is nothing but a spiritual world deprives us of hope and gives us certainty."

Like much of Beckett, the deeper you get into those words, the more savagely funny they become; you just get have to get through the initial two phases of confusion and depression to see it.


Kirk said...

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.-TS Eliot

This quote resonates deeply with me.

Mitch said...

"All seeable things are alike; each unseeable thing is unseeable in its own way."

-Leo Tolstoy

[NOTE: I have never read any Tolstoy, but sometimes bizarre context makes quotes better. I was introduced to this quote over the weekend in a SEED Magazine article about Dark Matter.]

neilshyminsky said...

These are the quotes on my Facebook. (Given that the discussion is happening between to atheist physicists, it's even funnier than it may at first seem):

Einstein: "I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe."

Bohr: "Einstein, don't tell God what to do."

Scott said...

"the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace things, but burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes "AWWW!""

Jack Kerouac-- On the Road

Darius Kazemi said...

"Say something wise, and you will be remembered forever."
-- Anonymous

(Found that one in a UNIX fortune.)

scott s said...

Naipaul after an act of cruelty: "It was brutal; it was ludicrous; it was pointless and infantile. But the moment of anger is a moment of exalted shrinking lucidity, from which recovery is slow and shattering."

Jason Powell said...

"I don't know the secret of success, but the secret of failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby

Streebo said...

"Every smoking gun has a magic bullet."

- by me.

I'm sorry but I'm drawing a blank on quotes today.

sara d. reiss said...

it is trite and corny and overused but:
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" -- Sir Paul McCartney

Other random ones you may not know I like:
"begin at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.' -- Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

"Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word 'safe' that I wasn't previously aware of." --Douglas Adams (by way of you, really)

Anonymous said...

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Jeff said...

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Lazarus Long, Time Enough For Love

Jason Powell said...

Wow, Darius quotes Anonymous, and then Anonymous himself shows up!!! And bringing with him tidings of economic opportunity, no less!

GradianPall said...

"We have met the enemy and he is us." --Walt Kelly (via Pogo)

Geoff Klock said...

the deleted comment was spam

Geoff Klock said...

both of them

nicholas reed said...

I have a few.

"Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal."
:: Oscar Wilde

"To perpetuate one's name, one must carve it on a heavy stone and sink to the bottom of the sea; depths last longer than heights."
:: Herman Melville

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via.
(There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.)"
:: Seneca

Ping33 said...

"Call on God, but row away from the rocks" -Hunter S. Thompson

"80% of Success is showing up" - Woody Allen.

Christian said...

"But, if it will help ease your irritated souls, please know, dearly departed, that you have ruined our lives." - Jean-Paul Sartre, The Flies.

Before I actually read Sartre, I didn't imagine he'd be funny.

Ping33 said...

"If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?" - Voltaire (Candide)

Scott91777 said...

Here are a few:

"I dreamed about killing you again last night..."
-Wilco, "Via Chicago"

My all time favorite opening line from a song... ever. (it's the AGAIN that makes it awesome)

"I was a lonley soul, I had nobody 'til I met you"- The Kinks "Tired of Waiting"

Read aloud for the full effect

"It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."

-Mark Twain on the Bible from Letters from the Earth

"Consider the peaceful repose of the sausage when compared with the aggressiveness and violence of bacon"
-Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction (terrible book, great line)

Starrlett said...

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

~~Albert Einstein