Admiration Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Admiration. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
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Jane Austen (Pride And Prejudice)
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Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.
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C.S. Lewis
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Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
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Oscar Wilde
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The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
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Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
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I'm not young enough to know everything.
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J.M. Barrie (The Admirable Crichton)
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She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.
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Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. -Mr. Darcy
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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Poirot," I said. "I have been thinking." "An admirable exercise my friend. Continue it.
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Agatha Christie (Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8))
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My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
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Albert Einstein
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Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.
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Voltaire (Candide)
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No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied. β€œGet the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. β€œSargent, you asshole.
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Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
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She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.
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Edmund Burke
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... we do not admire what we cannot understand.
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Marianne Moore (Complete Poems)
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Tell me what's going on here. Why can I hear your voice inside my head and why did you say you came to school for me?" "I was tired of admiring your legs from a distance.
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Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
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Never trust anyone, Daniel, especially the people you admire. Those are the ones who will make you suffer the worst blows.
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Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
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It may be important to great thinkers to examine the world, to explain and despise it. But I think it is only important to love the world, not to despise it, not for us to hate each other, but to be able to regard the world and ourselves and all beings with love, admiration and respect.
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Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
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On the whole, I think you should write biographies of those you admire and respect, and novels about human beings who you think are sadly mistaken.
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Penelope Fitzgerald
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He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." [On British Labour politician Stafford Cripps.]
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Winston S. Churchill (Wealth, War and Wisdom)
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I'm nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there ’s a pair of usβ€”don’t tell! They ’d banish us, you know. How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!
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Emily Dickinson (The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson)
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This is Leo. I'm the... What's my title? Am I like, admiral, or captain, or..." "Repair boy." "Very funny, Piper.
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Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
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A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.
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Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
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No man is offended by another man's admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.
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Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
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There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.
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W.H. Auden
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It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.
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Vincent van Gogh
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I admire addicts. In a world where everybody is waiting for some blind, random disaster or some sudden disease, the addict has the comfort of knowing what will most likely wait for him down the road. He's taken some control over his ultimate fate, and his addiction keeps the cause of his death from being a total surprise.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
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Haters are confused admirers who can’t understand why everybody else likes you
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Paulo Coelho
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And on that evening when we grow older still we'll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we'll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.
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AndrΓ© Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
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I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you.
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Anthony Bourdain
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It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
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John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1))
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Even so, I must admire your skill. You are so gracefully insane.
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Anne Sexton
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There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.
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Homer (The Odyssey)
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Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.
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V (formerly Eve Ensler)
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When a man can listen to a woman's feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift. He makes it safe for her to express herself. The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs.
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John Gray (Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus)
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Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
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C.S. Lewis
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Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, protray her exactly as she is...and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be...and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart...no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired-but it does to them.
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Robert A. Heinlein
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Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.
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William Martin (The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents)
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Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?" "For the liveliness of your mind, I did.
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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A girl can still admire, can’t she? Even those who can’t afford to go in the store can still window-shop. Right? Knowing he wasn’t for me didn’t mean I couldn’t covet the merchandise.
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Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
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Perhaps even people you like and admire immensely can make you see the World in ways you would rather not.
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Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
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I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now, in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves.
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Natsume Sōseki (Kokoro)
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I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I'd like to be known.
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Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale)
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If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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Catching sight of himself in the long mirrors that ran along the walls, he stiffened in shock...His eyes were surrounded by black shadows, his shirt smeared with dried blood and filthy mud... "Admiring yourself?" The Inquisitor's voice cut through his reverie. "You won't look so pretty when the Clave gets through with you." "You do seem obsessed with my look...Could it be that you're attracted to me?" "Don't be revolting...You could be my son.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
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And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.
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Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
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Something caught in her throat at this second thanks, when she'd threatened him so brutally. When you're a monster, she thought, you are thanked and praised for not behaving like a monster. She would like to restrain from cruelty and receive no admiration for it.
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Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
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It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement β€” that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.
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Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
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Odysseus inclines his head. "True. But fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another." He spread his broad hands. "We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory. Who knows?" He smiles. "Perhaps one day even I will be famous. Perhaps more famous than you.
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Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
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Rules for Self Discovery: 1. What we want most; 2. What we think about most; 3. How we use our money; 4. What we do with our leisure time; 5. The company we enjoy; 6. Who and what we admire; 7. What we laugh at.
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A.W. Tozer
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Juan gave Bones the most admiring look he’d bestowed on him yet. β€œYou talked her into going without panties all these years? Madre de Dios, now that’s impressive. I could learn a great deal from you, amigo.
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Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
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My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results... but it is the effort that's heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.
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George R.R. Martin
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A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
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George Saunders
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Just out of curiosity,” she says, β€œafter you wake up in the morning, do you admire yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?” β€œTwo,” I reply cheerfully. β€œDo you high five yourself?” β€œOf course not.” I smirk. β€œI kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.
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Elle Kennedy (The Deal (Off-Campus, #1))
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Admire as much as you can. Most people do not admire enough.
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Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
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Tell me who admires and loves you, and I will tell you who you are.
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Antoine de Saint-ExupΓ©ry
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She shivered as he left her to go to the fire, and find water and cloths. He leaned into the light, and brightness and shadows moved across his body. He was beautiful. She admired him, and he flashed a grin at her. Almost as beautiful as you are conceited, she thought at him, and he laughed out loud.
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Kristin Cashore (Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1))
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Hey!" said the guy in the video. "Greetings from your friends at Camp Half-Blood, et cetera. This is Leo. I'm the..." He looked off screen and yelled: "What's my title? Am I like admiral, or captain, or-" A girl's voice yelled back, "Repair boy." "Very funny, Piper," Leo grumbled. He turned back to the parchment screen. "So yeah, I'm...ah..supreme commander of the Argo II. Yeah, I like that! Anyway, we're gonna be sailing towards you in about, I dunno, an hour in this big mother warship. We'd appreciate it if you'd not, like, blow us out of the sky or anything. So okay! If you could tell the Romans that. See you soon. Yours in demigodishness, and all that. Peace out!
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Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
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Satan has his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and detested.
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
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You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much.
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Tove Jansson (Tales from Moominvalley (The Moomins, #7))
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You always admire what you really don't understand.
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Blaise Pascal
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According to some, heroic deaths are admirable things. I've never been convinced by this argument, mainly because, no matter how cool, stylish, composed, unflappable, manly, or defiant you are, at the end of the day you're also dead. Which is a little too permanent for my liking.
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Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3))
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The men in the room suddenly realized that they did not want to know her better. She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close. And she held her sword, and she smiled like a knife.
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Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
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How do people, like, not curse? How is it possible? There are these gaps in speech where you just have to put a "fuck." I'll tell you who the most admirable people in the world are: newscasters. If that was me, I'd be like, "And the motherfuckers flew the fucking plane right into the Twin Towers." How could you not, if you're a human being? Maybe they're not so admirable. Maybe they're robot zombies.
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Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
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If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless. If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
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Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
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Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.
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Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason)
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To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.
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Irving Wallace
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It was a sort of ferocious, quiet beauty, the sort that wouldn't let you admire it. The sort of beauty that always hurt.
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Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
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What piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
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William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.
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James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
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So she thoroughly taught him that one cannot take pleasure without giving pleasure, and that every gesture, every caress, every touch, every glance, every last bit of the body has its secret, which brings happiness to the person who knows how to wake it. She taught him that after a celebration of love the lovers should not part without admiring each other, without being conquered or having conquered, so that neither is bleak or glutted or has the bad feeling of being used or misused.
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Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
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Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice was rougher than usual. β€œIs my tie straight?” Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. β€œThat’s the laugh,” he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground.
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Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
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It would be mortifying to the feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand how little the heart of a man is affected by what is costly or new in their attire... Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter.
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Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
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You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never Rises from the soul, and sways The heart of every single hearer, With deepest power, in simple ways. You’ll sit forever, gluing things together, Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps, Blowing on a miserable fire, Made from your heap of dying ash. Let apes and children praise your art, If their admiration’s to your taste, But you’ll never speak from heart to heart, Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
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I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away β€” yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth's orbit β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” and wanted to shoot myself.
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SΓΈren Kierkegaard
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I suspect he's sweet on Sophie and doesn't like to see her work too hard.' Tessa was glad to hear it. She'd felt awful about her reaction to Sophie's scar, and the thought that Sophie had a male admirer - and a handsome one like that- eased her conscience slightly. 'Perhaps he's in love with Agatha', she said. 'I hope not. I intend to marry Agatha myself. She may be a thousand years old, but she makes an incomparable jam tart. Beauty fades, but cooking is eternal.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be.
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Charlotte Eriksson
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No homework. I got suspended,” Blue replied. β€œGet the fuck out,” Ronan said, but with admiration. β€œSargent, you asshole.” Blue reluctantly allowed him to bump fists with her as Gansey eyed her meaningfully in the rearview mirror. Adam swivelled the other way in his seat – to the right, instead of to the left, so that he was peering around the far side of the headrest. It made him look as if he were hiding, but Blue knew it was just because it turned his hearing ear instead of his deaf ear towards them. β€œFor what?” β€œEmptying another student’s backpack over his car. I don’t really want to talk about it.” β€œI do,” Ronan said. β€œWell, I don’t. I’m not proud of it.” Ronan patted her leg. β€œI’ll be proud for you.
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Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
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Get Off The Scale! You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance. Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life. It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!
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Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
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The More Loving One Looking up at the stars, I know quite well That, for all they care, I can go to hell, But on earth indifference is the least We have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burn With a passion for us we could not return? If equal affection cannot be, Let the more loving one be me. Admirer as I think I am Of stars that do not give a damn, I cannot, now I see them, say I missed one terribly all day. Were all stars to disappear or die, I should learn to look at an empty sky And feel its total dark sublime, Though this might take me a little time.
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W.H. Auden (Collected Shorter Poems, 1927-1957)
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I'm a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being... by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
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Paul Newman
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I ask the impossible: love me forever. Love me when all desire is gone. Love me with the single mindedness of a monk. When the world in its entirety, and all that you hold sacred advise you against it: love me still more. When rage fills you and has no name: love me. When each step from your door to our job tires you-- love me; and from job to home again, love me, love me. Love me when you're bored-- when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last, or more pathetic, love me as you always have: not as admirer or judge, but with the compassion you save for yourself in your solitude. Love me as you relish your loneliness, the anticipation of your death, mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends. Love me as your most treasured childhood memory-- and if there is none to recall-- imagine one, place me there with you. Love me withered as you loved me new. Love me as if I were forever-- and I, will make the impossible a simple act, by loving you, loving you as I do
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Ana Castillo (I Ask the Impossible)
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Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty: he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware: to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.
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Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
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But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boomβ€”BeyoncΓ© brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
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Tina Fey (Bossypants)
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She remembered one of her boyfriends asking, offhandedly, how many books she read in a year. "A few hundred," she said. "How do you have the time?" he asked, gobsmacked. She narrowed her eyes and considered the array of potential answers in front of her. Because I don't spend hours flipping through cable complaining there's nothing on? Because my entire Sunday is not eaten up with pre-game, in-game, and post-game talking heads? Because I do not spend every night drinking overpriced beer and engaging in dick-swinging contests with the other financirati? Because when I am waiting in line, at the gym, on the train, eating lunch, I am not complaining about the wait/staring into space/admiring myself in reflective surfaces? I am reading! "I don't know," she said, shrugging.
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Eleanor Brown (The Weird Sisters)
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Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.
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Mark Twain
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If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger-- If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early-- If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless-- If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.
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Michael Ende (The Neverending Story)
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Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the rΓ©sumΓ© of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever fuck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.
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George Carlin
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We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world. The lives that you admire, the attitudes that seem noble to you, have not been shaped by a paterfamilias or a schoolmaster, they have sprung from very different beginnings, having been influenced by evil or commonplace that prevailed round them. They represent a struggle and a victory.
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Marcel Proust
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It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!
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C. JoyBell C.
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Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
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Albert Einstein
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Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home--but not for housing. They are strong for labor--but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. They favor minimum wage--the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all--but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine--for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing--but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.
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Harry Truman
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Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
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This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeits of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars, as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
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William Shakespeare (King Lear)
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In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
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Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
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The great source of both the misery and disorders of human life, seems to arise from over-rating the difference between one permanent situation and another. Avarice over-rates the difference between poverty and riches: ambition, that between a private and a public station: vain-glory, that between obscurity and extensive reputation. The person under the influence of any of those extravagant passions, is not only miserable in his actual situation, but is often disposed to disturb the peace of society, in order to arrive at that which he so foolishly admires. The slightest observation, however, might satisfy him, that, in all the ordinary situations of human life, a well-disposed mind may be equally calm, equally cheerful, and equally contented. Some of those situations may, no doubt, deserve to be preferred to others: but none of them can deserve to be pursued with that passionate ardour which drives us to violate the rules either of prudence or of justice; or to corrupt the future tranquillity of our minds, either by shame from the remembrance of our own folly, or by remorse from the horror of our own injustice.
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Adam Smith (The Theory of Moral Sentiments)
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But depression wasn't the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn't he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.
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Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
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The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
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Milan Kundera