Neither Here Nor There Quotes

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I like how you're neither here nor there. And how there's nowhere else you're meant to be while waiting. You're just sort of suspended.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time, without interruption, endlessly, even though I feel that here in this world there’s no undisturbed place for our love, neither in the village nor anywhere else; and I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.
Franz Kafka (Franz Kafka's The Castle (Dramatization))
But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
Ah, love, let us be true To one another! for the world, which seems To lie before us like a land of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new, Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Matthew Arnold (Dover Beach and Other Poems)
The spell...curled around...like smoke before settling in. Sophie: "Okay, do you guys feel protected?" Archer: "Yes. Also a little violated, but that's neither here nor there.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves, and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone
Shane L. Koyczan
There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation. Decisions are never really made – at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
I've never had any intentions about anything. That's why I am where I am today, which is neither here nor there, in a literal sense.
Edward Gorey (Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey)
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
The Savage nodded, frowning. "You got rid of them. Yes, that's just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether 'tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows or outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them...But you don't do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy." ..."What you need," the Savage went on, "is something with tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
I cannot choose but adhere to the word of God, which has possession of my conscience; nor can I possibly, nor will I even make any recantation, since it is neither safe nor honest to act contrary to conscience! Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God! Amen.
Martin Luther
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust descend; Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End! Alike for those who for To-day prepare, And those that after some To-morrow stare, A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries "Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There.
Omar Khayyám (رباعيات خيام)
This hill though high I covent ascend; The difficulty will not me offend; For I perceive the way of life lies here. Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear.
John Bunyan (The Pilgrim's Progress)
We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
Hermann Hesse (Wandering)
The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead. There was never a time when you and I and all the kings gathered here have not existed and nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist.
Anonymous (The Bhagavad Gita)
I opened a writing app and began typing what I knew about Pierce. Vain. Terminal fear of T-shirts or any other garment that would cover his pectorals. Deadly. Doesn't hesitate to kill. Holding him at gunpoint would result in me being barbecued. Whee. Likes burning things. Now here's an understatement. Good information to have, but not useful for finding him. Antigovernment. Neither here nor there. Hmm. So far my best plan would be to build a mountain of gasoline cans and explosives, stick a Property of US Government sign on it, and throw a T-shirt over Pierce's head when he showed up to explode it. Yes, this would totally work.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?” “It has crossed my mind a time or two,” Tyrion admitted. “The king, the priest, the rich man—who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword.” “And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.” “That piece of steel is the power of life and death.” “Just so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?” “Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords.” “Then these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they?” Varys smiled. “Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or… another?” Tyrion cocked his head sideways. “Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?” Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.” “So power is a mummer’s trick?” “A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion smiled. “Lord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I’d feel sad about it.” “I will take that as high praise.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
This hill, though high, I covet to ascend; The difficulty will not me offend. For I perceive the way to life lies here. Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear. Better, though difficult, the right way to go, Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.
John Bunyan (The Pilgrim's Progress)
Isn´t it strange how wealth is always wasted on the rich?
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
Do you like my working persona?" Saiman asked softly. "An aesthetically pleasing combination of intelligence and elegance, wouldn't you say?" Aren't we pleased with ourselves. "Are you Chinese, Japanese, half-white? I can't tell, your features are neither here nor there." "I'm inscrutable, mysterious and intellectual." He forgot conceited. "Did you have any trouble getting that ego through the door?" Saiman didn't even blink. "Not in the least.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
But for me there is neither Monday nor Sunday: there are days which pass in disorder, and then, sudden lightning like this one. Nothing has changed and yet everything is different. I can't describe it, it's like the Nausea and yet it's just the opposite: at last an adventure happens to me and when I question myself I see that it happens that I am myself and that I am here; I am the one who splits in the night, I am as happy as the hero of a novel.
Jean-Paul Sartre
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do." She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before. "You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother." "Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there." "You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away." He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
The scatterbrain, is a little like, the patter of rain. Neither here, nor there, but everywhere.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. . . . Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
There is something sad about people going to bed. You can see they don’t give a damn whether they’re getting what they want out of life or not, you can see they don’t ever try to understand what we’re here for. They just don’t care. Americans or not, they sleep no matter what, they’re bloated mollusks, no sensibility, no trouble with their conscience. I’d seen too many troubling things to be easy in my mind. I knew too much and not enough. I’d better go out, I said to myself, I’d better go out again. Maybe I’ll meet Robinson. Naturally that was an idiotic idea, but I dreamed it up as an excuse for going out again, because no matter how I tossed and turned on my narrow bed, I couldn’t snatch the tiniest scrap of sleep. Even masturbation, at times like that, provides neither comfort nor entertainment. Then you're really in despair.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
I'm only saying I want you to be happy. I hate your being unhappy. I don't mind anything you do that makes you happy." You just want an excuse. If I sleep with anybody else, you feel you can do the same - any time." That's neither here nor there. I want you to be happy, that's all." You'd make my bed for me?" Perhaps.
Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)
Be careful, daughter....You are a creature of the crossroads, neither here nor there. 'Tis a dangerous place to be.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have."
Mitch Albom
What is it about maps? I could look at them all day, earnestly studying the names of towns and villages I have never heard of and will never visit...
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
Kindness is chopping firewood for the elderly couple who has neither the money nor the means to acquire it. Kindness is a warm hug or a soft smile. Kindness is not this fuckery right here.
Laura Thalassa (Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1))
Twelve thousand miles of it, to the other side of the world. And whether they came home again or not, they would belong neither here, nor there, for they would have lived on two continents and sampled two different ways of life.
Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)
What can I do, Muslims? I do not know myself. I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim, I am not from east or west, not from land or sea, not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament, not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire. I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world, not from existence, not from being. I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin, not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan. I am not from the world, not from beyond, not from heaven and not from hell. I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan. My place is placeless, my trace is traceless, no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls. I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one. One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call. He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner. Beyond He and He is I know no other. I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me. I have no concern but carouse and rapture. If one day in my life I spend a moment without you from that hour and that time I would repent my life. If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever. O Sun of Tabriz, I am so tipsy here in this world, I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.
Rumi
How dense and literal it is. I thought it had a much more sophisticated brain." "Your mother is dense," Alif said wearily. "My mother was an errant crest of sea foam. But that is neither here nor there.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
And so it happened again, the daily miracle whereby interiority opens out and brings to bloom the million-petalled flower of being here, in the world, with other people. Neither as hard as she had thought it might be nor as easy as it appeared.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
Traveling is more fun-- hell, life is more fun--if you can treat it as a series of impulses.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
You could fill a book with all the things you don't know,girl. In fact-I think someone may have already written it.But that's neither here nor there.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years- Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres- Trying to use words, and every attempt Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure Because one has only learnt to get the better of words For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate, With shabby equipment always deteriorating In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer By strength and submission, has already been discovered Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope To emulate - but there is no competition - There is only the fight to recover what has been lost And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss. For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
I am who I am and there’s nothing wrong with that. The days continue like they always have. They bring neither excessive desire nor despair. Nothing’s changed. Yet I’m overwhelmed with a sense of fulfillment. I’m right here. You’re over there. If I’m your savior, then you’re mine
Ryohgo Narita
While I was there, the song reminded me of here. But now that I’m here, the song reminds me of there. But that’s neither here nor there.
Jarod Kintz (This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks (This isn't really my best book))
There is something about the momentum of travel that makes you want to just keep moving, to never stop.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree - and there will be one.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
Bulgaria, I reflected as I walked back to the hotel, isn’t a country; it’s a near-death experience.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
None of your knowledge, your reading, your connections will be of any use here: two legs suffice, and big eyes to see with. Walk alone, across mountains or through forests. You are nobody to the hills or the thick boughs heavy with greenery. You are no longer a role, or a status, not even an individual, but a body, a body that feels sharp stones on the paths, the caress of long grass and the freshness of the wind. When you walk, the world has neither present nor future: nothing but the cycle of mornings and evenings. Always the same thing to do all day: walk. But the walker who marvels while walking (the blue of the rocks in a July evening light, the silvery green of olive leaves at noon, the violet morning hills) has no past, no plans, no experience. He has within him the eternal child. While walking I am but a simple gaze.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
In my day the principal concerns of university students were sex, smoking dope, rioting and learning. Learning was something you did only when the first three weren't available.
Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent & Neither Here Nor There)
I don't belong anywhere. I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade. I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace. As I am here - I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself. Every time I toss my head, the jingling bells remind me that I have no family. I have no number - and no trade either. I have gone around observing your activities from the outside. Because of this I have also been able to see things to which you have been blind. Every morning you have gone to work, but you have never been fully awake. It is different for the Joker, because he was put into this world with a flaw: he sees too deeply and too much. Truth is a lonely thing.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
When I heard about these lessons, I thought they would be a dreadful waste of my time. I pictured two very silly girls uninterested in any sort of instruction. But that describes neither Miss Gray nor yourself. I should tell you, I used to train younger Shadowhunters in Madrid. And there were quite a few of them who didn’t have the same native ability that you do. You’re a talented student, and it is my pleasure to teach you.” Sophie felt herself flush scarlet. “You cannot be serious.” “I am. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I came here and again so the next time and the next. I found that I was looking forward to it. In fact, it would be fair to say that since my return home, I have hated everything in London except these hours with you.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
There are places in this world that are neither here nor there, neither up nor down, neither real nor imaginary...
Thomas Moore
This barricade is made neither of paving stones, nor of timbers, nor of iron; it is made of two mounds, a mound of ideas and a mound of sorrows. Here misery encounters the ideal. Here the day embraces the night, and says: I will die with you and you will be born again with me.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Thresholds are dangerous places, neither here nor there, and walking across one is like stepping off the edge of a cliff in the naive faith that you'll sprout wings halfway down. You can't hesitate, or doubt. You can't fear the in-between.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
I am here. I am in the present tense. I'm not always here, and sometimes here is a very difficult place. Sometimes it is a labyrinth, or a Minotaur, or a rope I can neither let go of nor follow. It's hard to find the right words, but I guess I would say that it's something like feeling the floor. And that it is my privilege to feel it.
Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance)
I sat on a toilet watching the water run thinking what an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile effort to recapture the comforts you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
And as for going into a bookstore and not finding a book suitable for your 13-year-old...maybe you should do some research before you go in? And I'm being serious here. There are a bunch of great blogs that will tell you the content of books. Reading Teen is one of them, and I've seen others, and I love what they do because they make YA books feel safe to protective parents. There are plenty of YA books that celebrate joy and beauty. Now, I would argue that many of them are also the "dark" books to which the article refers, and that saying they aren't suggests a pretty inattentive reader...but that's neither here nor there. I'm not trying to bicker with the careful parents. I'm just saying: do some research and you'll be surprised what you find. So, that's what I'm going to say about it.
Veronica Roth
Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
Here lies a she sun, and a he moon there; She gives the best light to his sphere; Or each is both, and all, and so They unto one another nothing owe; And yet they do, but are So just and rich in that coin which they pay, That neither would, nor needs forbear, nor stay; Neither desires to be spared nor to spare. They quickly pay their debt, and then Take no acquittances, but pay again; They pay, they give, they lend, and so let fall No such occasion to be liberal. More truth, more courage in these two do shine, Than all thy turtles have and sparrows, Valentine.
John Donne (The Complete English Poems)
That's the way it is: life includes a lot of empty space. We are one-tenth living tissue, nine-tenths water; life is one-tenth Here and Now, nine-tenths a history lesson. For most of the time the Here and Now is neither now nor here.
Graham Swift (Waterland)
Here, too, I found neither home nor company, nothing but a seat from which to view a stage where strange people played strange parts.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
he says I am from there, I am from here, but I am neither there nor here. I have two names which meet and part… I have two languages, but I have long forgotten— which is the language of my dreams
Mahmoud Darwish's farwell to Edward Said
It would have been better to do what everyone else does, neither taking life too seriously nor seeing it as merely grotesque, choosing a profession and practicing it, grabbing one's share of the common cake, eating it and saying, "It's delicious!" rather than following the gloomy path that I have trodden all alone; then I wouldn’t be here writing this, or at least it would have been a different story. The further I proceed with it, the more confused it seems even to me, like hazy prospects seen from too far away, since everything passes, even the memory of our most scalding tears and our heartiest laughter; our eyes soon dry, our mouths resume their habitual shape; the only memory that remains to me is that of a long tedious time that lasted for several winters, spent in yawning and wishing I were dead
Gustave Flaubert (November)
As I understand it, the Celts venerated all sorts of plexus-type things: the seashore, dawn, dusk, the edge of the forest - anything that was neither here nor there, so to speak.
Stephen R. Lawhead (The Paradise War (The Song of Albion, #1))
The brick is neither here nor there,' interrupted the stranger in an imposing fashion, 'it never merely falls on someone's head from out of nowhere. In your case, I can assure you that a brick poses no threat whatsoever. You will die another kind of death." 'And you know just what that will be?' queried Berlioz with perfectly understandable irony, letting himself be drawn into a truly absurd conversation. 'And can you tell me what that is?' 'Gladly,' replied the stranger. He took Berlioz's measure as if intending to make him a suit and muttered something through his teeth that sounded like 'One, two.. Mercury in the Second House... the moon has set... six-misfortune...evening-seven...' Then he announced loudly and joyously, 'Your head will be cut off!
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
The means of production being the collective work of humanity, the product should be the collective property of the race. Individual appropriation is neither just nor serviceable. All belongs to all. All things are for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men have worked in the measure of their strength to produce them, and since it is not possible to evaluate every one's part in the production of the world's wealth. All things are for all. Here is an immense stock of tools and implements; here are all those iron slaves which we call machines, which saw and plane, spin and weave for us, unmaking and remaking, working up raw matter to produce the marvels of our time. But nobody has the right to seize a single one of these machines and say, "This is mine; if you want to use it you must pay me a tax on each of your products," any more than the feudal lord of medieval times had the right to say to the peasant, "This hill, this meadow belong to me, and you must pay me a tax on every sheaf of corn you reap, on every rick you build." All is for all! If the man and the woman bear their fair share of work, they have a right to their fair share of all that is produced by all, and that share is enough to secure them well-being. No more of such vague formulas as "The Right to work," or "To each the whole result of his labour." What we proclaim is The Right to Well-Being: Well-Being for All!
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
Fanny spoke her feelings. "Here's harmony!" said she; "here's repose! Here's what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what may tranquillise every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
If you are an adolescent, here is the trick to being neither quite a nerd nor quite a jock: be no one. It is easier than you think.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.
Martin Luther
And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes--a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby's house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
The poem is neither here nor there, and with a girl's breast it can illuminate the nights. With the glow of an apple it fills two bodies with light and with a gardenia's breath it can revive a homeland!
Mahmoud Darwish (Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems)
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
What could be more absurd? Yet it is nature's folly, not ours. When she set about her chief masterpiece, the making of man, she should have thought of one thing only. Instead, turning her head, looking over her shoulder, into each one of us she let creep instincts and desires which are utterly at variance with his main being, so that we are streaked, variegated, all of a mixture; the colours have run. Is the true self this which stands on the pavement in January, or that which bends over the balcony in June? Am I here, or am I there? Or is the true self neither this nor that, neither here nor there, but something so varied and wandering that it is only when we give the rein to its wishes and let it take its way unimpeded that we are indeed ourselves?
Virginia Woolf (Street Haunting)
Thinking like a Mountain We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.…I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
Neither here, nor there. But everywhere.
Lang Leav
Nevsky Avenue "Here you come across moustaches so wonderful that neither pen nor brush can do justice to them, moustaches to which the best years of a lifetime have been devoted-the object of long hours of vigil by day and by night; moustaches upon which all the perfumes of Arabia have been lavished, the most exquisite scents and essences, and which have been anointed with the rarest and most precious pomades; moustaches which are wrapped up for the night in the most delicate vellum; moustaches for which their possessors show a most touching affection and which are the envy of all those who behold them.
Nikolai Gogol
That is what Reason can neither grasp nor endure, and what has offended all these men of outstanding talent who have been so received for so many centuries. Here they demand that God should act according to human justice, and do what seems right to them or else cease to be God.
Martin Luther (The Bondage of the Will)
If you will here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you, that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.
William Law (A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life)
Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation echoed throughout the starless air of Hell; at first these sounds resounding made me weep: tongues confused, a language strained in anguish with cadences of anger, shrill outcries and raucous groans that joined with sounds of hands, raising a whirling storm that turns itself forever through that air of endless black, like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows. And I, in the midst of all this circling horror, began, "Teacher, what are these sounds I hear? What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?" And he to me: "This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them, for fear the damned might glory over them." And I. "Master, what torments do they suffer that force them to lament so bitterly?" He answered: "I will tell you in few words: these wretches have no hope of truly dying, and this blind life they lead is so abject it makes them envy every other fate. The world will not record their having been there; Heaven's mercy and its justice turn from them. Let's not discuss them; look and pass them by...
Dante Alighieri
and let's face it, the French Army couldn't beat a girls hockey team
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
The Inquisitor stared at him. “Your Highness, where is Iolanthe Seabourne?” Right here in this room. He was on guard, very, very much on guard. Yet he still felt his lips part and form the shape necessary to pronounce the first syllable of the truth. “I thought we had already established that I have neither interest in nor knowledge of your elemental mage.” “Why are you protecting her, Your Highness?” Because she is mine. You will have her over my dead body.
Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1))
Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either. It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams. Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.
Dag Hammarskjöld (Markings)
The darkness at the sides of the road. It possesses neither form nor name, but whoever passes here knows when it comes out and follows after and sends shudders like rippling streams down his back.
Tarjei Vesaas (The Ice Palace)
The thought that you will become a master in something after the first attempt is neither here nor there. You don't get master's degree by attending school on the first day of your life! Time will tell, so you got to persist!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
A man comes walking north. He carries a sack, the first sack, containing provisions for the road and some implements. The man is strong and rough-hewn, with a red lion beard and little scars on face and hands, sites of old wounds--were they gotten at work or in a fight? Maybe he has been in jail and wants to go into hiding, or perhaps he is a philosopher looking for peace; in any case, here he comes, a human being in the midst of this immense solitude. He walks and walks, in a silence broken by neither bird nor beast.
Knut Hamsun (Growth of the Soil)
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies - the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions. In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were "solemn and rare," there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment - from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In "Brave New World" non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly "not of this world." Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx's phrase "the opium of the people" and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
​"Sure there's a hell..." I could hear him saying it now, now, as I lay here on bed with her breath in my face, and her body squashed against me... "It is the drab desert where the sun sheds neither warmth nor light and Habit force-feeds senile Desire. It is the place here mortal Want dwells with immortal Necessity, and the night becomes hideous with the groans of one and the ecstatic shrieks of the other. Yes, there is a hell, my boy, and you do not have to dig for it.
Jim Thompson (Savage Night)
Some say an army of horsemen, some of footsoldiers, some of ships, is the fairest thing on the black earth, but I say it is what one loves. It's very easy to make this clear to everyone, for Helen, by far surpassing mortals in beauty, left the best of all husbands and sailed to Troy, mindful of neither her child nor her dear parents, but with one glimpse she was seduced by Aphrodite. For easily bent... and nimbly...[missing text]... has reminded me now of Anactoria who is not here; I would much prefer to see the lovely way she walks and the radiant glance of her face than the war-chariots of the Lydians or their footsoldiers in arms.
Sappho
Children, only animals live entirely in the Here and Now. Only nature knows neither memory nor history. But man - let me offer you a definition - is the storytelling animal. Wherever he goes he wants to leave behind not a chaotic wake, not an empty space, but the comforting marker-buoys and trail-signs of stories. He has to go on telling stories. He has to keep on making them up. As long as there's a story, it's all right. Even in his last moments, it's said, in the split second of a fatal fall - or when he's about to drown - he sees, passing rapidly before him, the story of his whole life.
Graham Swift (Waterland)
Like her, he didn't buy the Nietzschean line that whatever didn't kill you made you stronger. Sometimes whatever didn't kill you disfigured and debilitated you for the rest of your life instead of killing you. Mere survival was neither here nor there. It was the manner of survival, what you did with whatever it was that didn't kill you.
Glen Duncan (A Day and a Night and a Day)
People here snarl and frown a lot, he wrote; he had seen neither a smile nor the sun in months. What is life without beauty, love, and justice?
Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project)
Italians are entirely without any commitment to order. They live their lives in a kind of pandemonium, which I find very attractive.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe)
The colour grey is an unemotional colour, neutral, on the fence and neither here, nor there. Tis why old people’s hair turns grey . . . betwixt life and death.
Ursley Kempe (Witches Monstrous)
I don't belong anywhere. I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade. I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace. As I am here - I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
But gay marriage is coming to America first and foremost because marriage here is a secular concern, not a religious one. The objection to gay marriage is almost invariably biblical, but nobody's legal vows in this country are defined by interpretation of biblical verse - or at least, not since the Supreme Court stood up for Richard and Mildred Loving. A church wedding ceremony is a nice thing, but it is neither required for legal marriage in America nor does it constitute legal marriage in America. What constitutes legal marriage in this country is that critical piece of paper that you and your betrothed must sign and then register with the state. The morality of your marriage may indeed rest between you and God, but it's that civic and secular paperwork which makes your vows official here on earth. Ultimately, then, it is the business of America's courts, not America's churches, to decide the rules of matrimonial law, and it is in those courts that the same-sex marriage debate will finally be settled.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
Annabelle stared straight ahead at the canvas, neither seeing nor caring about the fluctuations of light and color that conveyed impressions of approaching nightfall…the dusk of the Roman Empire. Hunt seemed similarly indifferent to the show, his head inclined toward hers, his gaze locked on her face. Though his breathing remained soft and disciplined, it seemed to her that its rhythm had changed ever so slightly. Annabelle moistened her dry lips. “You…you mustn’t stare at me like that.” Soft as the murmur was, he caught it. “With you here, nothing else is worth looking at.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
What can I do, Dear Ones ? I do not know myself. I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim, I am not from east or west, not from land or sea, not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament, not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire. I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world, not from existence, not from being. I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin, not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan. I am not from the world, not from beyond, not from heaven and not from hell. I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan. My place is placeless, my trace is traceless, no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls. I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one. One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call. He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner. Beyond He and He is I know no other. I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me. I have no concern but carouse and rapture. If one day in my life I spend a moment without you from that hour and that time I would repent my life. If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever. O Beloved , I am so tipsy here in this world, I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
I was treading water, trying neither to drown nor to swim to safety, just staying in place, because here was the truth - even if I couldn't speak the truth, or even hint at it, yet I could swear it lay around us, the way we say of a necklace we've just lost while swimming: I know it's down there somewhere. If he knew, if he only knew that I was giving him every chance to put two and two together and come up with a number bigger than infinity.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
I have been brought up in a world dominated by honor. I have known neither crime, poverty, nor betrayal, and here I taste hatred for the first time: it is sublime, like a thirst for justice and revenge." -the girl who played go
Shan Sa (The Girl Who Played Go)
This was 1990 the year that communism died in Europe and it seemed strange to me that in all the words that were written about the fall of the iron curtain, nobody anywhere lamented that it was the end of a noble experiment. I know that communism never worked and I would have disliked living under it myself but none the less it seems that there was a kind of sadness in the thought that the only economic system that appeared to work was one based on self interest and greed.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
You're thinking of revolution as a great all-or-nothing. I think of it as one more morning in a muggy cotton field, checking the undersides of leaves to see what's been there, figuring out what to do that won't clear a path for worse problems next week. Right now that's what I do. You ask why I'm not afraid of loving and losing, and that's my answer. Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work--that goes on, it adds up. It goes into the ground, into crops, into children's bellies and their bright eyes. Good things don't get lost. Codi, here's what I've decided: the very least you can do in you life is to 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. What I want is so simple I almost can't say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyer nor the destroyed.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
Men have their virtues and their vices, their heroisms and their perversities; men are neither wholly good nor wholly bad, but possess and practice all that there is of good and bad here below. Such is the general rule. Temperament, education, the accidents of life, are modifying factors. Outside of this, everything is ordered arrangement, everything is chance. Such has been my rule of expectation and it has usually brought me success.
Napoléon Bonaparte
Rome was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, certainly a step up from Peoria.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe)
Here we received the first blows: and it was so new and senseless that we felt no pain, neither in body nor in spirit. Only a profound amazement: how can one hit a man without anger?
Primo Levi (If This Is A Man/The Truce (Abacus 40th Anniversary))
Arhys would have protected you from this choice, as a father would a beloved child. Arhys is wrong in this. I give you a woman's choice, here, at the last gasp. He looks to spare you pain this one night. I look to your nights for the next twenty years. There is neither right nor wrong in this, precisely. But the time to amend all choices runs out like Porifors's water.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Paladin of Souls (World of the Five Gods, #2))
Much as I hate to stand out in a crowd, I have this terrible occasional compulsion to make myself a source of merriment for the world, and I had come close to sealing new heights with a Russian hat. Now, clearly, that would be unnecessary.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
As those who are gone now keep wandering through our words sounds of paper following them at untold distances so I wake again in the old house where at times I have believed that I was waiting for myself and many years have gone taking with them the semblance of youth reason after reason ranges of blue hills who did I think was missing those days neither here nor there my own dog waiting to be known
W.S. Merwin (The Shadow of Sirius)
Here it is. You assume that I am rich; I am not. I shall have nothing once I have emptied my purse. You perhaps suppose that I am a man of high birth, and I am of a rank either lower than your own or equal to it. I have no talent which can earn money, no employment, no reason to be sure that I shall have anything to eat a few months hence. I have neither relatives nor friends nor rightful claims nor any settled plan. In short, all that I have is youth, health, courage, a modicum of intelligence, a sense of honor and of decency, with a little reading and the bare beginnings of a career in literature. My great treasure is that I am my own master, that I am not dependent upon anyone, and that I am not afraid of misfortunes. My nature tends toward extravagance. Such is the man I am. Now answer me, my beautiful Teresa.
Giacomo Casanova
look here you old, painted hussy! I am neither a tart, a trollop, nor am I a strumpet! I am a lady of refined breeding and culture, so bugger off, before this little poppet pops you one in that ugly, wrinkled mug!
L.T. Suzuki (The Magic Crystal (The Dream Merchant Saga, #1))
Here at our ministry we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds. Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention. To be honest, many of the sentimental hymns and gospel songs of our heritage don’t do much to hone that image. One of the favorite words of hymn writers in days gone by was sweet. It’s a term that down’t have the edge on it that it once did. When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness. You want mighty. You want the strong arm an unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.
Joni Eareckson Tada (A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty)
While the noble man lives in trust and openness with himself (gennaios 'of noble descent' underlines the nuance 'upright' and probably also 'naïve'), the man of ressentiment is neither upright nor naive nor honest and straightforward with himself. His soul squints; his spirit loves hiding places, secret paths and back doors, everything covert entices him as his world, his security, his refreshment; he understands how to keep silent, how not to forget, how to wait, how to be provisionally self-deprecating and humble. A race of such men of ressentiment is bound to become eventually cleverer than any noble race; it will also honor cleverness to a far greater degree: namely, as a condition of existence of the first importance; while with noble men cleverness can easily acquire a subtle flavor of luxury and subtlety—for here it is far less essential than the perfect functioning of the regulating unconscious instincts or even than a certain imprudence, perhaps a bold recklessness whether in the face of danger or of the enemy, or that enthusiastic impulsiveness in anger, love, reverence, gratitude, and revenge by which noble souls have at all times recognized one another. Ressentiment itself, if it should appear in the noble man, consummates and exhausts itself in an immediate reaction, and therefore does not poison: on the other hand, it fails to appear at all on countless occasions on which it inevitably appears in the weak and impotent.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo)
But I love YOU, Edweird. Sure, I'll probably hook up with Yakob in Eclipse. After all, you're going to leave me for roughly three hundred pages. But that's neither here nor there. You and I were meant to be together. I mean you, me and sometimes Yakob...and sometimes just Yakob and me, but mostly you and me. That's just the way I always dreamed it should be, you want to marry me. We'll marry." "Hmmm," said Edweird thoughtfully after a long pause. "You know, I'm actually getting kind of tired of Yakob, if you want to know the truth. I mean, seriously, going steady with the same guy for half a century can make a stale relationship. Maybe it's time we see other people. You really set me straight on this, Stella. I want to thank you for makin me see this whole vampire-werewolf relationship thing more clearly." Edweird then turned to Yakob, who had remained silent throughout. "It's over between us, toots.
Stephen Jenner (Twilite: A Parody)
Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Here it is in modern English: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
There is something quite amazing and monstrous about the education of upper-class women. What could be more paradoxical? All the world is agreed that they are to be brought up as ignorant as possible of erotic matters, and that one has to imbue their souls with a profound sense of shame in such matters until the merest suggestion of such things triggers the most extreme impatience and flight. The "honor" of women really comes into play only here: what else would one not forgive them? But here they are supposed to remain ignorant even in their hearts: they are supposed to have neither eyes nor ears, nor words, nor thoughts for this -- their "evil;" and mere knowledge is considered evil. And then to be hurled as by a gruesome lightning bolt, into reality and knowledge, by marriage -- precisely by the man they love and esteem most! To catch love and shame in a contradiction and to be forced to experience at the same time delight, surrender, duty, pity, terror, and who knows what else, in the face of the unexpected neighborliness of god and beast! Thus a psychic knot has been tied that may have no equal. Even the compassionate curiosity of the wisest student of humanity is inadequate for guessing how this or that woman manages to accommodate herself to this solution of the riddle, and to the riddle of a solution, and what dreadful, far-reaching suspicions must stir in her poor, unhinged soul -- and how the ultimate philosophy and skepsis of woman casts anchor at this point! Afterward, the same deep silence as before. Often a silence directed at herself, too. She closes her eyes to herself. Young women try hard to appear superficial and thoughtless. The most refined simulate a kind of impertinence. Women easily experience their husbands as a question mark concerning their honor, and their children as an apology or atonement. They need children and wish for them in a way that is altogether different from that in which a man may wish for children. In sum, one cannot be too kind about women.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Gentlemen- by which I mean, of course, latter adolescents who aspire to manhood gentlemen, here is a truth: Enduring tedium over real time in a confined space is what real courage is. Such endurance is, as it happens, the distillate of what is, today, in this world neither you nor I have made, heroism. Heroism
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind, Two of us will help you, whichever you would find, One among us seven will let you move ahead, Another will transport the drinker back instead, Two among our number hold only nettle wine, Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line. Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore, To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four: First, however slyly the poison tries to hide You will always find some on nettle wine’s left side; Second, different are those who stand at either end, But if you would move onward, neither is your friend; Third, as you see clearly, all are different size, Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides; Fourth, the second left and the second on the right Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
I see life as a roadside inn where I have to stay until the coach from the abyss pulls up. I don't know where it will take me, because I don't know anything. I could see this inn as a prison, for I'm compelled to wait in it; I could see it as a social center, for it's here that I meet others. But I'm neither impatient nor common. I leave who will to stay shut up in their rooms, sprawled out on beds where they sleeplessly wait, and I leave who will to chat in the parlors, from where their songs and voices conveniently drift out here to me. I'm sitting at the door, feasting my eyes and ears on the colors and sounds of the landscape, and I softly sing - for myself alone - wispy songs I compose while waiting. Night will fall on us all and the coach will pull up. I enjoy the breeze I'm given and the soul I'm given to enjoy it with, and I no longer question or seek. If what I write in the book of travellers can, when read by others at some future date, also entertain them on their journey, then fine. If they don't read it, or are not entertained, that's fine too.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
The Earth was created by the assistance of the sun, and it should be left as it was. The country was made with no lines of demarcation, and it's no man's business to divide it. I see the whites all over the country gaining wealth, and I see the desire to give us lands which are worthless. The Earth and myself are of one mind. Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the creator, I might he induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me; but understand me fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who created it. I claim a right to live on my land, and accord you the privilege to return to yours. Brother, we have listened to your talk coming from our father, the Great White Chief in Washington, and my people have called upon me to reply to you. The winds which pass through these aged pines we hear the moaning of departed ghosts, and if the voice of our people could have been heard, that act would never have been done. But alas though they stood around they could neither be seen nor heard. Their tears fell like drops of rain. I hear my voice in the depths of the forest but no answering voice comes back to me. All is silent around me. My words must therefore be few. I can now say no more. He is silent for he has nothing to answer when the sun goes down.
Chief Joseph
Look, you came all the way out here to help me. The least I can do is give you a place to stay. But my dad will be there, so…” “So we have to be quiet,” he whispers, waggling his eyebrows comically. I just smile. I neither confirm nor deny that there will be more sex. But there will be. If he tries very hard at all, there definitely will be.
Michelle Leighton (Down to You (The Bad Boys, #1))
We must let him sleep, said the grandmother. We must walk quietly by. He is at that point in life at which neither returning to the beginning nor advancing to the end seems bearable; therefore, he has decided to stop, here, in the midst of things, though this makes him an obstacle to others, such as ourselves. But we must not give up hope; in my own life, she continued, there was such a time, though that was long ago.
Louise Glück (Faithful and Virtuous Night)
And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the ever changing mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.' Then Ulmo answered: 'Truly, Water is become now fairer than my heart imagined, neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain. I will seek Manwe, that he and I may make melodies for ever to my delight!' And Manwe and Ulmo have from the beginning been allied, and in all things have served most faithfully the purpose of Iluvatar.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
Hamlet | Act I, Scene III POLONIUS: Yet here, Laertes? Aboard, aboard, for shame! The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail, And you are stay'd for. There, my blessing with thee. And these few precepts in thy memory See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous, chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell. My blessing season this in thee!
William Shakespeare
Postscript And some time make the time to drive out west Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, In September or October, when the wind And the light are working off each other So that the ocean on one side is wild With foam and glitter, and inland among stones The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans, Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white, Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads Tucked or cresting or busy underwater. Useless to think you’ll park and capture it More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there, A hurry through which known and strange things pass As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
Seamus Heaney
Mantra to Overcome Depression Vitamin D. Sunlight. Go outside. Get a good night of sleep. Not too good. Not shades drawn forever good. Not like you used to. Open the windows. Buy more houseplants. Breathe. Meditate. One day, you will no longer be afraid of being alone with your thoughts. Exercise. Actually exercise instead of just Googling it. Eat well. Cook for yourself. Organize your closet, the garage. Drink plenty of water and repeat after me: I am not a problem to be solved. Repeat after me: I am worthy I am worthy I am neither the mistake nor the punishment. Forget to take vitamins. Let the houseplant die. Eat spoonfuls of peanut butter. Shave your head. Forget this poem. It doesn't matter. There is no wrong way to remember the grace of your own body; no choice that can unmake itself. There is only now, here look: you are already forgiven.
Sierra DeMulder (Today Means Amen)
Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me Remembering again that I shall die And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks For washing me cleaner than I have been Since I was born into this solitude. Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon: But here I pray that none whom once I loved Is dying to-night or lying still awake Solitary, listening to the rain, Either in pain or thus in sympathy Helpless among the living and the dead, Like a cold water among broken reeds, Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff, Like me who have no love which this wild rain Has not dissolved except the love of death, If love it be towards what is perfect and Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.
Edward Thomas
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses If there were water And no rock If there were rock And also water And water A spring A pool among the rock If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada And dry grass singing But sound of water over a rock Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But there is no water - The Waste Land (ll. 322-358)
T.S. Eliot
I see life as a roadside inn where I have to stay until the coach from the abyss pulls up. I don’t know where it will take me, because I don’t know anything. I could see this inn as a prison, for I’m compelled to wait in it; I could see it as a social centre, for it’s here that I meet others. But I’m neither impatient nor common. I leave who will to stay shut up in their rooms, sprawled out on beds where they sleeplessly wait, and I leave who will to chat in the parlours, from where their songs and voices conveniently drift out here to me. I’m sitting at the door, feasting my eyes and ears on the colours and sounds of the landscape, and I softly sing – for myself alone – wispy songs I compose while waiting. Night will fall on us all and the coach will pull up. I enjoy the breeze I’m given and the soul I was given to enjoy it with, and I no longer question or seek. If what I write in the book of travellers can, when read by others at some future date, also entertain them on their journey, then fine. If they don’t read it, or are not entertained, that’s fine too
Fernando Pessoa
We deem it a settled point that the destiny of the colored man is bound up with that of the white people of this country. ... We are here, and here we are likely to be. To imagine that we shall ever be eradicated is absurd and ridiculous. We can be remodified, changed, assimilated, but never extinguished. We repeat, therefore, that we are here; and that this is our country; and the question for the philosophers and statesmen of the land ought to be, What principles should dictate the policy of the action toward us? We shall neither die out, nor be driven out; but shall go with this people, either as a testimony against them, or as an evidence in their favor throughout their generations.
Frederick Douglass
Cat Rambo: Where do you think the perennial debate between what is literary fiction and what is genre is sited? Norman Spinrad: I think it’s a load of crap. See my latest column in Asimov’s, particularly re The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I detest the whole concept of genre. A piece of fiction is either a good story well told or it isn’t. The supposed dichotomy between “literary fiction” and “popular fiction” is ridiculous. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mailer, did not have serious literary intent? As writers of serious literary intent, they didn’t want to be “popular,” meaning sell a lot of books? They wanted to be unpopular and have terrible sales figures to prove they were “serious”? I say this is bullshit and I say the hell with it. “Genre,” if it means anything at all, is a restrictive commercial requirement. “Westerns” must be set in the Old West. “Mysteries” must have a detective solving a crime, usually murder. “Nurse Novels” must have a nurse. And so forth. In the strictly literary sense, neither science fiction nor fantasy are “genres.” They are anti-genres. They can be set anywhere and anywhen except in the mimetic here and now or a real historical period. They are the liberation of fiction from the constraints of “genre” in an absolute literary sense.
Norman Spinrad
They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft. At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most terrifying shriek; the visitors started in alarm, the women turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed by another, louder and yet more agonizing--for once started upon that journey, the hog never came back; at the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley and went sailing down the room. And meantime another was swung up, and then another, and another, until there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot and kicking in frenzy--and squealing. The uproar was appalling, perilous to the ear-drums; one feared there was too much sound for the room to hold--that the walls must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony; there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh outburst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. It was too much for some of the visitors--the men would look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them; one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. It was all so very businesslike that one watched it fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork-making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the hogs; they were so innocent, they came so very trustingly; and they were so very human in their protests--and so perfectly within their rights! They had done nothing to deserve it; and it was adding insult to injury, as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a visitor wept, to be sure; but this slaughtering-machine ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, buried out of sight and of memory.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… . And one fine morning —— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
If we get rid of all wishful thinking and dubious metaphysical speculations, we can hardly doubt that – at a time not too distant – each one of us will simply cease to be. It won’t be like going into darkness forever, for there will be neither darkness, nor time, nor sense of futility, nor anyone to feel anything about it. Try as best you can to imagine this, and keep at it. The universe will, supposedly, be going on as usual, but for each individual it will be as if it had never happened at all; and even that is saying too much, because there won’t be anyone for whom it never happened. Make this prospect as real as possible: the one total certainty. You will be as if you had never existed, which was, however, the way you were before you did exist – and not only you but everything else. Nevertheless, with such an improbable past, here we are. We begin from nothing and end in nothing. You can say that again. Think it over and over, trying to conceive the fact of coming to never having existed. After a while you will begin to feel rather weird, as if this very apparent something that you are is at the same time nothing at all. Indeed, you seem to be rather firmly and certainly grounded in nothingness, much as your sight seems to emerge from that total blankness behind your eyes. The weird feeling goes with the fact that you are being introduced to a new common sense, a new logic, in which you are beginning to realize the identity of ku and shiki, void and form. All of a sudden it will strike you that this nothingness is the most potent, magical, basic, and reliable thing you ever thought of, and that the reason you can’t form the slight idea of it is that it’s yourself. But not the self you thought you were.
Alan W. Watts
But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guarantied by the supreme law of the land are involved.
John Marshall Harlan
Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by: they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. This is a hard sight for man to see; for, though he thinks himself better than the animals because he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness – what they have, a life neither bored nor painful, is precisely what he wants, yet he cannot have it because he refuses to be like an animal… [Man] also wonders at himself, that he cannot learn to forget but clings relentlessly to the past: however far and fast he may run, this chain runs with him. And it is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away – and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man’s lap. Then the man says ‘I remember’ and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and fog and is extinguished forever.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Untimely Meditations)
The takeaway message here, as Jablonski points out, is that there is no such thing as different races of humans. Any differences we traditionally associate with race are a product of our need for vitamin D and our relationship to the Sun. Just a few clusters of genes control skin color; the changes in skin color are recent; they’ve gone back and forth with migrations; they are not the same even among two groups with similarly dark skin; and they are tiny compared to the total human genome. So skin color and “race” are neither significant nor consistent defining traits. We all descended from the same African ancestors, with little genetic separation from each other. The different colors or tones of skin are the result of an evolutionary response to ultraviolet light in local environments. Everybody has brown skin tinted by the pigment melanin. Some people have light brown skin. Some people have dark brown skin. But we all are brown, brown, brown.
Bill Nye (Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (Kindle Edition))
Here’s harmony!” said she; “here’s repose! Here’s what may leave all painting and all music behind, and what poetry only can attempt to describe! Here’s what may tranquillise every care, and lift the heart to rapture! When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.
Jane Austen (Mansfield Park)
I enjoyed perfect health of body, and tranquillity of mind; I did not feel the treachery or inconstancy of a friend, nor the injuries of a secret or open enemy.  I had no occasion of bribing, flattering, or pimping, to procure the favour of any great man, or of his minion; I wanted no fence against fraud or oppression: here was neither physician to destroy my body, nor lawyer to ruin my fortune; no informer to watch my words and actions, or forge accusations against me for hire: here were no gibers, censurers, backbiters, pickpockets, highwaymen, housebreakers, attorneys, bawds, buffoons, gamesters, politicians, wits, splenetics, tedious talkers, controvertists, ravishers, murderers, robbers, virtuosos; no leaders, or followers, of party and faction; no encouragers to vice, by seducement or examples; no dungeon, axes, gibbets, whipping-posts, or pillories; no cheating shopkeepers or mechanics; no pride, vanity, or affectation; no fops, bullies, drunkards, strolling whores, or poxes; no ranting, lewd, expensive wives; no stupid, proud pedants; no importunate, overbearing, quarrelsome, noisy, roaring, empty, conceited, swearing companions; no scoundrels raised from the dust upon the merit of their vices, or nobility thrown into it on account of their virtues; no lords, fiddlers, judges, or dancing-masters.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. For relationships too must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits -- islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
On the morning of our second day, we were strolling down the Champs-Elysées when a bird shit on his head. ‘Did you know a bird’s shit on your head?’ I asked a block or two later. Instinctively Katz put a hand to his head, looked at it in horror – he was always something of a sissy where excrement was concerned; I once saw him running through Greenwood Park in Des Moines like the figure in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ just because he had inadvertently probed some dog shit with the tip of his finger – and with only a mumbled ‘Wait here’ walked with ramrod stiffness in the direction of our hotel. When he reappeared twenty minutes later he smelled overpoweringly of Brut aftershave and his hair was plastered down like a third-rate Spanish gigolo’s, but he appeared to have regained his composure. ‘I’m ready now,’ he announced. Almost immediately another bird shit on his head. Only this time it really shit. I don’t want to get too graphic, in case you’re snacking or anything, but if you can imagine a pot of yoghurt upended onto his scalp, I think you’ll get the picture. ‘Gosh, Steve, that was one sick bird,’ I observed helpfully. Katz was literally speechless. Without a word he turned and walked stiffly back to the hotel, ignoring the turning heads of passers-by. He was gone for nearly an hour. When at last he returned, he was wearing a windcheater with the hood up. ‘Just don’t say a word,’ he warned me and strode past. He never really warmed to Paris after that.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
Dr. Kristin Neff is a researcher and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She runs the Self-Compassion Research Lab, where she studies how we develop and practice self-compassion. According to Neff, self-compassion has three elements: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Here are abbreviated definitions for each of these: Self-kindness: Being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Common humanity: Common humanity recognizes that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience—something we all go through rather than something that happens to “me” alone. Mindfulness: Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Involved. At least that was the right word, Alsana reflected, as she liftes her foot off the pedal, and let the wheel spin a few times alone before coming to a squeaky halt. Sometimes, here in England, especially at bus-stops and on the daytime soaps, you heard people say “We’re involved with each other,” as if this were a most wonderful state to be in, as if one chose it and enjoyed it. Alsana never thought of it that way. Involved happened over a long period of time, pulling you in like quicksand. Involved is what befell the moon-faced Alsana Begum and the handsome Samad Miah one week after they’d been pushed into a Delhi breakfast room together and informed they were to marry. Involved was the result when Clara Bowden met Archie Jones at the bottom of some stairs. Involved swallowed up a girl called Ambrosia and a boy called Charlie (yes, Clara had told her that sorry tale) the second they kissed in the larder of a guest house. Involved is neither good, nor bad. It is just a consequence of living, a consequence of occupation and immigration, of empires and expansion, of living in each other’s pockets… one becomes involved and it is a long trek back to being uninvolved. And the woman was right, one didn’t do it for one’s health. Nothing this late in the century was done with health in mind. Alsana was no dummy when it came to the Modern Condition. She watched the talk shows, all day long she watched the talk shows — My wife slept with my brother, My mother won’t stay out of my boyfriend’s life — and the microphone holder, whether it be Tanned Man with White Teeth or Scary Married Couple, always asked the same damn silly question: But why do you feel the need…? Wrong! Alsana had to explain it to them through the screen. You blockhead; they are not wanting this, they are not willing it — they are just involved, see? They walk IN and they get trapped between the revolving doors of those two v’s. Involved. Just a tired inevitable fact. Something in the way Joyce said it, involved — wearied, slightly acid — suggested to Alsana that the word meant the same thing to hear. An enormous web you spin to catch yourself.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
After it had all been explained to me, my first thought was for poor old Mohammed. He had to go to the mountains, but not Anna. She neither went to the mountains nor did she fetch the mountain to her she merely said "Scat." And they scatted. Mind you, although I knew by then that the mountains were not really there, and that I could move about freely and unhampered, there are occasions not many, I'm glad to say when I get the distinct feeling that I've been brought up pretty sharpish-like by a clunk on the head. It certainly feels as if I have walked into a mountain, even though I can't see it. Perhaps one day I shall be able to walk about freely, without ducking occasionally. As for my problem about the heres and the theres, the explanation went like this : "Where are you?" she had said. "Here, of course," I replied. "Where's me then?" "There!" "Where do you know about me?" "Inside myself someplace." "Then you know my middle in your middle." "Yes, I suppose so." "Then you know Mister God in my middle in your middle, and everything you know,every person you know, you know in your middle. Every person and everything that you know has got Mister God in his middle, and so you have got his Mister God in your middle too. It's easy.
Fynn (Mister God, This is Anna)
I could not give up either of these worlds, neither the book I am holding nor the gleaming forest, though I have told you almost nothing of what is said here on these grim pages, from the sentences of which I’ve conjured images of a bleak site years ago. Here in this room, I suppose, is to be found the interior world of the book; but it opens upon a world beyond the windows, where no event has been collapsed into syntax, where the vocabulary, it seems, is infinite. The indispensable connection for me lies with the open space (of the open window ajar year round, never closed) that lets the breath of every winter storm, the ripping wind and its pelting rain, enter the room.
Barry Lopez (About This Life)
He was rowed down from the north in a leather skiff manned by a crew of trolls. His fur cape was caked with candle wax, his brow stained blue by wine - though the latter was seldom noticed due to the fox mask he wore at-all times. A quill in his teeth, a solitary teardrop a-squirm in his palm, he was the young poet prince of Montreal, handsome, immaculate, searching for sturdier doors to nail his poignant verses on. In Manhattan, grit drifted into his ink bottle. In Vienna, his spice box exploded. On the Greek island of Hydra, Orpheus came to him at dawn astride a transparent donkey and restrung his cheap guitar. From that moment on, he shamelessly and willingly exposed himself to the contagion of music. To the secretly religious curiosity of the traveler was added the openly foolhardy dignity of the troubadour. By the time he returned to America, songs were working in him like bees in an attic. Connoisseurs developed cravings for his nocturnal honey, despite the fact that hearts were occasionally stung. Now, thirty years later, as society staggers towards the millennium - nailing and screeching at the while, like an orangutan with a steak knife in its side - Leonard Cohen, his vision, his gift, his perseverance, are finally getting their due. It may be because he speaks to this wounded zeitgeist with particular eloquence and accuracy, it may be merely cultural time-lag, another example of the slow-to-catch-on many opening their ears belatedly to what the few have been hearing all along. In any case, the sparkle curtain has shredded, the boogie-woogie gate has rocked loose from its hinges, and here sits L. Cohen at an altar in the garden, solemnly enjoying new-found popularity and expanded respect. From the beginning, his musical peers have recognized Cohen´s ability to establish succinct analogies among life´s realities, his talent for creating intimate relationships between the interior world of longing and language and the exterior world of trains and violins. Even those performers who have neither "covered" his compositions nor been overtly influenced by them have professed to admire their artfulness: the darkly delicious melodies - aural bouquets of gardenia and thistle - that bring to mind an electrified, de-Germanized Kurt Weill; the playfully (and therefore dangerously) mournful lyrics that can peel the apple of love and the peach of lust with a knife that cuts all the way to the mystery, a layer Cole Porter just could`t expose. It is their desire to honor L. Cohen, songwriter, that has prompted a delegation of our brightest artists to climb, one by one, joss sticks smoldering, the steep and salty staircase in the Tower of Song.
Tom Robbins
Here is what I really think. White people are jealous of us. If it hadn't been for your religion you would have lived just like us from the first minute you got to this land. You knew we were right. You started wearing our clothes. You started eating our food. You learned how to hunt like us. When you fought the English you even fought like us. “You came to this country because you really wanted to be like us. But when you got here you got scared and tried to build the same cages you had run away from. If you had listened to us instead of trying to convert us and kill us, what a country this would be.” “Hannh, hannh,” Grover said in a subdued gesture of approval. “That's damn straight, Dan.” Dan
Kent Nerburn (Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder)
Children, only animals live entirely in the Here and Now. Only nature knows neither memory nor history. But man – let me offer you a definition – is the story-telling animal. Wherever he goes he wants to leave behind not a chaotic wake, not an empty space, but the comforting marker-buoys and trail-signs of stories. He has to go on telling stories, he has to keep on making them up. As long as there’s a story, it’s all right. Even in his last moments, it’s said, in the split second of a fatal fall – or when he’s about to drown – he sees, passing rapidly before him, the story of his whole life.
Graham Swift (Waterland)
A thousand years from now" Leonidas declared, "two thousand, three thousand years hence, men a hundred generations yet unborn may, for their private purposes, make journey to our country. They will come, scholars perhaps, or travelers from beyond the sea, prompted by curiosity regarding the past, or appetite for knowledge of the ancients. They will peer out across our plain and probe among the stone and rubble of our nation. What will they learn about us? Their shovels will unearth neither brilliant palaces nor temples. Their picks will prize forth no everlasting architecture or art. What will remain of the Spartans? Not monuments of marble or bronze, but this......what we do here, today." Out beyond the narrows, the enemy trumpets sounded.
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
Leave!’ Hazel Motes cried. ‘Go ahead and leave! The truth don’t matter to you. Listen,’ he said, pointing his finger at the rest of them, ‘the truth don’t matter to you. If Jesus had redeemed you, what difference would it make to you? You wouldn’t do nothing about it. Your faces wouldn’t move, neither this way nor that, and if it was three crosses there and Him hung on the middle one, that wouldn’t mean no more to you and me than the other two. Listen here. What you need is something to take the place of Jesus, something that would speak plain. The Church Without Christ don’t have a Jesus but it needs one! It needs a new jesus! It needs one that’s all man, without blood to waste, and it needs one that don’t look like any other man so you’ll look at him. Give me such a jesus, you people. Give me such a new jesus and you’ll see how far the Church Without Christ can go!
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
I don’t know why religious zealots have this compulsion to try to convert everyone who passes before them – I don’t go around trying to make them into St Louis Cardinals fans, for Christ’s sake – and yet they never fail to try. Nowadays when accosted I explain to them that anyone wearing white socks with Hush Puppies and a badge saying HI! I’M GUS! probably couldn’t talk me into getting out of a burning car, much less into making a lifelong commitment to a deity, and ask them to send someone more intelligent and with a better dress sense next time, but back then I was too meek to do anything but listen politely and utter non-committal ‘Hmmmm’s’ to their suggestions that Jesus could turn my life around. Somewhere over the Atlantic, as I was sitting taking stock of my 200 cubic centimetres of personal space, as one does on a long plane flight, I spied a coin under the seat in front of me, and with protracted difficulty leaned forward and snagged it. When I sat up, I saw my seatmate was at last looking at me with that ominous glow. ‘Have you found Jesus?’ he said suddenly. ‘Uh, no, it’s a quarter,’ I answered and quickly settled down and pretended for the next six hours to be asleep, ignoring his whispered entreaties to let Christ build a bunkhouse in my heart.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
nature. Take courage. Being free is neither difficult nor distant. I know it has often been conceived, perceived and presented to be rare, remote and difficult, but all that is delusion—a great seeming. I don’t know why awakening happens in one heart so completely and in another there is some delay or postponement. I am not deeply concerned about this. But I know that the voice that calls you is true, and where you are being called to is real and true. Heaven is inside your own heart. This is why I am here. I
Mooji (White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji)
But the problem is this: I can’t stay out here forever, neither physically nor mentally. As much as I might want to live in the woods where my phone doesn’t work, or shun newspapers with Michael Weiss at his cabin in the Catskills, or devote my life to contemplating potatoes in Epicurus’s garden, total renunciation would be a mistake. The story of the communes teaches me that there is no escaping the political fabric of the world [...] The world needs my participation now more than ever. Again it is not a question of whether, but how.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Perhaps as he was lying awake then, his life may have passed before him--his early hopeful struggles, his manly successes and prosperity, his downfall in his declining years, and his present helpless condition--no chance of revenge against Fortune, which had had the better of him--neither name nor money to bequeath--a spent-out, bootless life of defeat and disappointment, and the end here! Which, I wonder, brother reader, is the better lot, to die prosperous and famous, or poor and disappointed? To have, and to be forced to yield; or to sink out of life, having played and lost the game? That must be a strange feeling, when a day of our life comes and we say, “To-morrow, success or failure won’t matter much, and the sun will rise, and all the myriads of mankind go to their work or their pleasure as usual, but I shall be out of the turmoil.
William Makepeace Thackeray (Vanity Fair)
I think of the beauty in the obvious, the way it forces us to admit how it exists, the way it insists on being pointed out like a bloody nose, or how every time it snows there is always someone around to say, “It’s snowing.” But the obvious isn’t showing off, it’s only reminding us that time passes, and that somewhere along the way we grow up. Not perfect, but up and out. It teaches us something about time, that we are all ticking and tocking, walking the fine line between days and weeks, as if each second speaks of years, and each month has years listening to forever but never hearing anything beyond centuries swallowed up by millenniums, as if time was calculating the sums needed to fill the empty belly of eternity. We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go, we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone. My chest is a cannon that I have used to take aim and shoot my heart upon this world. I love the way an uncurled fist becomes a hand again, because when I take notes, I need it to underline the important parts of you: happy, sad, lovely. Battle cry ballistic like a disaster or a lipstick earthquaking and taking out the monuments of all my hollow yesterdays. We’ll always have the obvious. It reminds us who, and where we are, it lives like a heart shape, like a jar that we hand to others and ask, “Can you open this for me?” We always get the same answer: “Not without breaking it.” More often than sometimes, I say go for it.
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
The present is the transition point between the past and future and flows like a river moving towards the ocean of one’s life. One who lives in the present is neither burdened by the weight of the past nor troubled by foreseen events in the future. One who lives in the present is open to all experiences --the gentle sound of the wind rustling in the leaves, the blazing sight of the setting sun, the light touch of a spring rain, the fresh smell of green grass, the salty taste of ocean spray. The present is the past and future rolled into one. The present is here. The present is now.
Francis Fesmire
So it is with the mind, Nandini. Allow it to be in balance. Avoid extremes: the middle way is better. Neither force the mind too hard into concentration nor let it wander aimlessly. Meditation is to pay attention, to be aware of your breathing, your posture, your feelings, your perceptions, your thoughts, and all that passes through your mind and the mind itself; whatever is going on within you and between you and the universe. Meditation is not just sitting for an hour here or an hour there; meditation is a way of life. It is practiced all the time. There is no separation between meditation and everyday living. When you have ceased to be bound by the past or by the future, when you are fully present in the here and now, then it is meditation.
Satish Kumar (The Buddha and the Terrorist)
He looks a bit like Robert Pattinson—if you genetically spliced him with Buzz Lightyear. He has dark, quiffy hair and wide-spaced eyes, though his skin is tanned as opposed to diamond sparkly white. He has a very square jaw with a dimple in the center of his chin but alas no jet 65 THE SOUND SARAH ALDERSON pack. I note that his eyebrow is cocked and the smile on his face is half sneer, half smirk as if he’s laughing at Eliza but she doesn’t seem to realize. I shake my head. I’m making a lot of assumptions here and the only two that I can safely claim are true are the ones about him being neither a vampire nor a space ranger.
Sarah Alderson (The Sound)
Here, then, is the message of Easter, or at least the beginning of that message. The resurrection of Jesus doesn’t mean, “It’s all right. We’re going to heaven now.” No, the life of heaven has been born on this earth. It doesn’t mean, “So there is a life after death.” Well, there is, but Easter says much, much more than that. It speaks of a life that is neither ghostly nor unreal, but solid and definite and practical. The Easter stories come at the end of the four gospels, but they are not about an “end.” They are about a beginning. The beginning of God’s new world. The beginning of the kingdom. God is now in charge, on earth as in heaven. And God’s “being-in-charge” is focused on Jesus himself being king and Lord. The title on the cross was true after all. The resurrection proves it.
N.T. Wright (Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters)
But most of all, as summer slanted to an end, he was learning to love idleness, idleness no longer as stretches of freedom reclaimed by stealth here and there from involuntary labour, surreptitious thefts to be enjoyed sitting on his heels before a flowerbed with the fork dangling from his fingers, but as a yielding up of himself to time, to a time flowing slowly like oil from horizon to horizon over the face of the world, washing over his body, circulating in his armpits and his groin, stirring his eyelids. He was neither pleased nor displeased when there was work to do; it was all the same. He could lie all afternoon with his eyes open, staring at the corrugations in the roof-iron and the tracings of rust; his mind would not wander, he would see nothing but the iron, the lines would not transform themselves into pattern or fantasy; he was himself, lying in his own house, the rust was merely rust, all that was moving was time, bearing him onward in its flow.
J.M. Coetzee (Life and Times of Michael K)
Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. To this must be added the violent fanaticism which came into play once the struggle had broken out. Leaders of parties in the cities had programmes which appeared admirable – on one side political equality for the masses, on the other the safe and sound government of the aristocracy – but in professing to serve the public interest they were seeking to win the prizes for themselves. In their struggles for ascendancy nothing was barred; terrible indeed were the actions to which they committed themselves, and in taking revenge they went farther still. Here they were deterred neither by the claims of justice nor by the interests of the state; their one standard was the pleasure of their own party at that particular moment, and so, either by means of condemning their enemies on an illegal vote or by violently usurping power over them, they were always ready to satisfy the hatreds of the hour. Thus neither side had any use for conscientious motives; more interest was shown in those who could produce attractive arguments to justify some disgraceful action. As for the citizens who held moderate views, they were destroyed by both the extreme parties, either for not taking part in the struggle or in envy at the possibility that they might survive.
Thucydides (The History of the Peloponnesian War)
The purchaser draws boundaries, fences himself in, and says, “This is mine; each one by himself, each one for himself.” Here, then, is a piece of land upon which, henceforth, no one has a right to step, save the proprietor and his friends; which can benefit nobody, save the proprietor and his servants. Let these sales multiply, and soon the people — who have been neither able nor willing to sell, and who have received none of the proceeds of the sale — will have nowhere to rest, no place of shelter, no ground to till. They will die of hunger at the proprietor’s door, on the edge of that property which was their birthright; and the proprietor, watching them die, will exclaim, “So perish idlers and vagrants!
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (What Is Property?)
Here I would point out, as a symptom equally worthy of notice, the ABSENCE OF FEELING which usually accompanies laughter. It seems as though the comic could not produce its disturbing effect unless it fell, so to say, on the surface of a soul that is thoroughly calm and unruffled. Indifference is its natural environment, for laughter has no greater foe than emotion. I do not mean that we could not laugh at a person who inspires us with pity, for instance, or even with affection, but in such a case we must, for the moment, put our affection out of court and impose silence upon our pity. In a society composed of pure intelligences there would probably be no more tears, though perhaps there would still be laughter; whereas highly emotional souls, in tune and unison with life, in whom every event would be sentimentally prolonged and re-echoed, would neither know nor understand laughter.
Henri Bergson (Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic)
Local fog in Venice has a name: nebbia. It obliterates all reflections ... and everything that has a shape: buildings, people, colonnades, bridges, statues. Boat services are canceled, airplanes neither arrive, nor take off for weeks, stores are closed and mail ceases to litter one’s threshold. The effect is as though some raw hand had turned all those enfilades inside out and wrapped the lining around the city... the fog is thick, blinding, and immobile... this is a time for reading, for burning electricity all day long, for going easy on self-deprecating thoughts of coffee, for listening to the BBC World Service, for going to bed early. In short, a time for self-oblivion, induced by a city that has ceased to be seen. Unwittingly, you take your cue from it, especially if, like it, you’ve got company. Having failed to be born here, you at least can take some pride in sharing its invisibility...
Joseph Brodsky (Watermark)
It is not as if an 'I' exists independently over here and then simply loses a 'you' over there, especially if the attachment to 'you' is part of what composes who 'I' am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who 'am' I, without you? When we lose some of these ties by which we are constituted, we do not know who we are or what to do. On one level, I think I have lost 'you' only to discover that 'I' have gone missing as well. At another level, perhaps what I have lost 'in' you, that for which I have no vocabulary, is a relationality that is composed neither exclusively of myself nor you, but is to be conceived as *the tie* by which those terms are differentiated and related.
Judith Butler (Precarious Life)
Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions and run into the woods; then you will starve for wronging your friends. Why are you jealous of us? We are unarmed, and willing to give you what you ask, if you come in a friendly manner, and not so simple as not to know that it is much better to eat good meat, sleep comfortably, live quietly with my wives and children, laugh and be merry with the English, and trade for their copper and hatchets, than to run away from them, and to lie cold in the woods, feed on acorns, roots and such trash, and be so hunted that I can neither eat nor sleep. In these wars, my men must sit up watching, and if a twig break, they all cry out “Here comes Captain Smith!” So I must end my miserable life. Take away your guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy, or you may all die in the same manner.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Really, Nan could be very odious when she liked. Yet somehow she [Gay] didn't hate her as before. She felt very indifferent to her. She found herself looking at her with cool, appraising eyes, seeing her as she had never seen her before. An empty, selfish little creature, who had always to be amused like a child. ...A girl who posed as a sophisticate before her country cousins but who was really more provincial than they were, knowing nothing of real life or real love or real emotion of any kind. Gay wondered, as she looked, how she could ever have hated this girl—ever been jealous of her. She was not worth hating. Gay spoke at last. She stood up and looked levelly at Nan. There was contempt in her quiet voice. "I suppose you came here to hurt me, Nan. You haven't—you can never hurt me again. You've lost the power. I think I even feel a little sorry for you. You've always been a taker, Nan. All through your life you've taken whatever you wanted. But you've never been a giver—you couldn't be because you've nothing to give. Neither love nor truth nor understanding nor kindness nor loyalty. Just taking all the time and giving nothing—oh, it has made you very poor. So poor that nobody need envy you.
L.M. Montgomery (A Tangled Web)
This was not the first time that the world didn’t listen. In college I read Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Fourteen years before the first shot was fired, Hitler announced his plan to destroy the parliamentary system in Germany, to attack France and Eastern Europe, and to eliminate the Jews. Why, I asked the professor, did neither ordinary Germans voting in the Reichstag elections in July 1932, nor foreign leaders reacting to the rise of Nazism, believe him? Why was anyone surprised when he simply did what he said he would do? She had no answer. The fall of my senior year at Princeton, nineteen deeply religious young men flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. During the decade before 9/11, Osama Bin Laden had shouted out his warnings of mass murder using all the means of modern communication. And still we were surprised when he did what he said he would do. So I suppose what happened here is that they said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do.
Frederic C. Rich (Christian Nation)
As far as he could discover, there were no signs of spring. The decay that covered the surface of the mottled ground was not the kind in which life generates. Last year, he remembered, May had failed to quicken these soiled fields. It had taken all the brutality of July to torture a few green spikes through the exhausted dirt. What the little park needed, even more than he did, was a drink. Neither alcohol nor rain would do. Tomorrow, in his column, he would ask Broken-hearted, Sick-of-it-all, Desperate, Disillusioned-with-tubercular-husband and the rest of his correspondents to come here and water the soil with their tears. Flowers would then spring up, flowers that smelled of feet. "Ah, humanity..." But he was heavy with shadow and the joke went into a dying fall. He trist to break its fall by laughing at himself.
Nathanael West (Miss Lonelyhearts)
They told tales as they sat at their work, and every one related what wonderful things he had seen or experienced. One afternoon I heard an old man among them say that God knew every thing, both what had happened and what would happen. That idea occupied my whole mind, and towards evening, as I went alone from the court, where there was a deep pond, and stood upon some stones which were just within the water, the thought passed through my head, whether God actually knew everything which was to happen there. Yes, he has now determined that I should live and be so many years old, thought I; but, if I now were to jump into the water here and drown myself, then it would not be as he wished; and all at once I was firmly and resolutely determined to drown myself. I ran to where the water was deepest, and then a new thought passed through my soul. "It is the devil who wishes to have power over me!" I uttered a loud cry, and, running away from the place as if I were pursued, fell weeping into my mother's arms. But neither she nor any one else could wring from me what was amiss with me.
Hans Christian Andersen (The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography)
I have kept thee long in waiting, dear Romuald, and thou mayst well have thought that I had forgotten thee. But I have come from a long distance and from a place from which no one has ever before returned; there is neither moon nor sun in the country from which I come; there is naught but space and shadow; neither road nor path; no ground for the foot, no air for the wing; and yet here I am, for love is stronger than death, and it will end by vanquishing it. Ah! what gloomy faces and what terrible things I have seen in my journeying! What a world of trouble my soul, returned to this earth by the power of my will, has had in finding its body and reinstating itself therein! What mighty efforts I had to put forth before I could raise the stone with which they had covered me! See! the palms of my poor hands are all blistered from it. Kiss them to make them well, dear love!
Théophile Gautier (Clarimonde)
The Atlantic is a stormy moat, and the Mediterranean, The blue pool in the old garden, More than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice Of ships and blood and shines in the sun; but here the Pacific: The ships, planes, wars are perfectly irrelevant. Neither our present blood-feud with the brave dwarfs Nor any future world-quarrel of westering And eastering man, the bloody migrations, greed of power, battle-falcons, Are a mote of dust in the great scale-pan. Here from this mountain shore, headland beyond stormy headland plunging like dolphins through the grey sea-smoke Into pale sea, look west at the hill of water: it is half the planet: this dome, this half-globe, this bulging Eyeball of water, arched over to Asia, Australia and white Antarctica: those are the eyelids that never close; this is the staring unsleeping Eye of the earth, and what it watches is not our wars.
Robinson Jeffers (The Selected Poetry)
It is incomprehensible that he should want to have these futile people here, and still more incomprehensible that he should be able to sit and listen to them and their stupid chatter. I can understand that he may occasionally listen to poets reciting their verses; they can be regarded as buffoons such as are always kept at court. They laud the lofty purity of the human soul, great events and heroic feats, and there is nothing to be said against all that, particularly if their songs flatter him. Human beings need flattery; otherwise they do not fulfill their purpose, not even in their own eyes. And both the present and the past contain much that is beautiful and noble which, without due praise, would have been neither noble nor beautiful. Above all, they sing the praises of love, which is quite as it should be, for nothing else is in such need of transformation into something different. The ladies are filled with melancholy and their breasts heave with sighs; the men gaze vaguely and dreamily into space, for they all know what it is really like and realize that this must be an especially beautiful poem.
Pär Lagerkvist (The Dwarf)
What, in fact, is a novel but a universe in which action is endowed with form, where final words are pronounced, where people possess one another completely, and where life assumes the aspect of destiny? 3 The world of the novel is only a rectification of the world we live in, in pursuance of man's deepest wishes. For the world is undoubtedly the same one we know. The suffering, the illusion, the love are the same. The heroes speak our language, have our weaknesses and our strength. Their universe is neither more beautiful nor more enlightening than ours. But they, at least, pursue their destinies to the bitter end and there are no more fascinating heroes than those who indulge their passions to the fullest, Kirilov and Stavrogin, Mme Graslin, Julien Sorel, or the Prince de Cleves. It is here that we can no longer keep pace with them, for they complete things that we can never consummate
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Let me here add a word of Christian counsel. To enter upon the marriage union is one of the most deeply important events of life. It cannot be too prayerfully treated. Our happiness, our usefulness, our living for God or for ourselves afterwards, are often most intimately connected with our choice. Therefore, in the most prayerful manner, this choice should be made. Neither beauty, nor age, nor money, nor mental powers, should be that which prompt the decision; but 1st, Much waiting upon God for guidance should be used; 2nd, A hearty purpose, to be willing to be guided by Him should be aimed after; 3rd, True godliness without a shadow of doubt, should be the first and absolutely needful qualification, to a Christian, with regard to a companion for life. In addition to this, however, it ought to be, at the same time, calmly and patiently weighed, whether, in other respects, there is a suitableness. For
George Müller (Answers to Prayer From George Müller's Narratives)
It wouldn't bother me in the least if all the dogs in the world weere placed in a large sack and taken to some distant island - Greenland springs attractively to mind - where they could romp around and sniff each other's anuses to their hearts' content and would never bother or terrorize me again. The only kind of dog I would excuse from this roundup is poodles. Poodles I would shoot. To my mind, the only possible pet is a cow. Cows love you. They are harmless, they look nice, they don't need a box to crap in, they keep the grass down, and they are so trusting and stupid that you can't help but lose your heart to them. Where I live in Yorkshire, there's a herd of cows down the lane. You can stand by the wall at any hour of the day or night, and after a minute the cows will all waddle over and stand with you, much too stupid to know what to do next, but happy just to be with you. They will stand there all day, as far as I can tell, possibly till the end of time. They will listen to your problems and never ask a thing in return. They will be your friends forever. And when you get tired of the, you can kill them and eat them. Perfect.
Bill Bryson
Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done weeping. All the kind of the Launces have this very fault. I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son, and am going with Sir Proteus to the Imperial's court. I think Crab, my dog, be the sourest-natured dog that lives. My mother weeping, my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howling, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted cur shed one tear. He is a stone, a very pebble stone, and has no more pity in him than a dog. A Jew would have wept to have seen our parting. Why, my grandam, having no eyes, look you, wept herself blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the manner of it. This shoe is my father. No, this left shoe is my father. No, no, this left shoe is my mother. Nay, that cannot be so neither. Yes, it is so, it is so -- it hath the worser sole. This shoe with the hole in it is my mother, and this my father. A vengeance on't! There 'tis. Now, sir, this staff is my sister, for, look you, she is as white as a lily and as small as a wand. This hat is Nan, our maid. I am the dog. No, the dog is himself, and I am the dog -- O, the dog is me, and I am myself. Ay, so, so. Now come I to my father: 'Father, your blessing.' Now should not the shoe speak a word for weeping. Now should I kiss my father -- well, he weeps on. Now come I to my mother. O, that she could speak now like a wood woman! Well, I kiss her -- why, there 'tis: here's my mother's breath up and down. Now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes. Now the dog all this while sheds not a tear nor speaks a word!
William Shakespeare (The Two Gentlemen of Verona)
For me life is an inn where I must stay until the carriage from the abyss calls to collect me [...] I could consider this inn to be a prison, since I’m compelled to stay here; I could consider it a kind of club, because I meet other people here. However, unlike others, I am neither impatient nor sociable. I leave those who chatter in the living room, from where the cosy sound of music and voices reaches me. I sit at the door and fill my eyes and ears with the colours and sounds of the landscape and slowly, just for myself, I sing vague songs that I compose while I wait. Night will fall on all of us and the carriage will arrive. I enjoy the breeze given to me and the soul given to me to enjoy it and I ask no more questions, look no further. If what I leave written in the visitors’ book is one day read by others and entertains them on their journey, that’s fine. If no one reads it or is entertained by it, that’s fine too.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
12.  If we do not wish to fight, we can prevent the enemy from engaging us even though the lines of our encampment be merely traced out on the ground. All we need do is to throw something odd and unaccountable in his way. [This extremely concise expression is intelligibly paraphrased by Chia Lin: “even though we have constructed neither wall nor ditch.” Li Ch’uan says: “we puzzle him by strange and unusual dispositions;” and Tu Mu finally clinches the meaning by three illustrative anecdotes—one of Chu-ko Liang, who when occupying Yang-p’ing and about to be attacked by Ssu-ma I, suddenly struck his colors, stopped the beating of the drums, and flung open the city gates, showing only a few men engaged in sweeping and sprinkling the ground. This unexpected proceeding had the intended effect; for Ssu-ma I, suspecting an ambush, actually drew off his army and retreated. What Sun Tzu is advocating here, therefore, is nothing more nor less than the timely use of “bluff.”]
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
The travelers emerged into a spacious square. In the middle of this square were several dozen people on a wooden bandstand like in a public park. They were the members of a band, each of them as different from one another as their instruments. Some of them looked round at the approaching column. Then a grey-haired man in a colorful cloak called out and they reached for their instruments. There was a burst of something like cheeky, timid bird-song and the air – air that had been torn apart by the barbed wire and the howl of sirens, that stank of oily fumes and garbage – was filled with music. It was like a warm summer cloud-burst ignited by the sun, flashing as it crashed down to earth. People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself. A sob passed down the column. Everything seemed transformed, everything had come together; everything scattered and fragmented -home, peace, the journey, the rumble of wheels, thirst, terror, the city rising out of the mist, the wan red dawn – fused together, not into a memory or a picture but into the blind, fierce ache of life itself. Here, in the glow of the gas ovens, people knew that life was more than happiness – it was also grief. And freedom was both painful and difficult; it was life itself. Music had the power to express the last turmoil of a soul in whose blind depths every experience, every moment of joy and grief, had fused with this misty morning, this glow hanging over their heads. Or perhaps it wasn't like that at all. Perhaps music was just the key to a man's feelings, not what filled him at this terrible moment, but the key that unlocked his innermost core. In the same way, a child's song can appear to make an old man cry. But it isn't the song itself he cries over; the song is simply a key to something in his soul.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
Is that dog shit on the bottom of your shoe?’ I sat up a fraction. ‘What?’ ‘Is that dog shit on the bottom of your shoe?’ ‘I don’t know, the lab report’s not back yet,’ I replied drily. ‘I’m serious, is that dog shit?’ ‘How should I know?’ Katz leaned far enough forward to give it a good look and a cautious sniff. ‘It is dog shit,’ he announced with an odd tone of satisfaction. ‘Well, keep quiet about it or everybody’ll want some.’ ‘Go and clean it off, will ya? It’s making me nauseous.’ And here the bickering started, in intense little whispers. ‘You go and clean it off.’ ‘It’s your shoes.’ ‘Well, I kind of like it. Besides, it kills the smell of this guy next to me.’ ‘Well, it’s making me nauseous.’ ‘Well, I don’t give a shit.’ ‘Well, I think you’re a fuck-head.’ ‘Oh, you do, do you?’ ‘Yes, as a matter of fact. You’ve been a fuck-head since Austria.’ ‘Well, you’ve been a fuck-head since birth.’ ‘Me?’ A wounded look. ‘That’s rich. You were a fuck-head in the womb, Bryson. You’ve got three kinds of chromosomes: X, Y and fuck-head.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
If Samkhya-Yoga philosophy does not explain the reason and origin of the strange partnership between the spirit and experience, at least tries to explain the nature of their association, to define the character of their mutual relations. These are not real relationships, in the true sense of the word, such as exist for example between external objects and perceptions. The true relations imply, in effect, change and plurality, however, here we have some rules essentially opposed to the nature of spirit. “States of consciousness” are only products of prakriti and can have no kind of relation with Spirit the latter, by its very essence, being above all experience. However and for SamPhya and Yoga this is the key to the paradoxical situation the most subtle, most transparent part of mental life, that is, intelligence (buddhi) in its mode of pure luminosity (sattva), has a specific quality that of reflecting Spirit. Comprehension of the external world is possible only by virtue of this reflection of purusha in intelligence. But the Self is not corrupted by this reflection and does not lose its ontological modalities (impassibility, eternity, etc.). The Yoga-sutras (II, 20) say in substance: seeing (drashtri; i.e., purusha) is absolute consciousness (“sight par excellence”) and, while remaining pure, it knows cognitions (it “looks at the ideas that are presented to it”). Vyasa interprets: Spirit is reflected in intelligence (buddhi), but is neither like it nor different from it. It is not like intelligence because intelligence is modified by knowledge of objects, which knowledge is ever-changing whereas purusha commands uninterrupted knowledge, in some sort it is knowledge. On the other hand, purusha is not completely different from buddhi, for, although it is pure, it knows knowledge. Patanjali employs a different image to define the relationship between Spirit and intelligence: just as a flower is reflected in a crystal, intelligence reflects purusha. But only ignorance can attribute to the crystal the qualities of the flower (form, dimensions, colors). When the object (the flower) moves, its image moves in the crystal, though the latter remains motionless. It is an illusion to believe that Spirit is dynamic because mental experience is so. In reality, there is here only an illusory relation (upadhi) owing to a “sympathetic correspondence” (yogyata) between the Self and intelligence.
Mircea Eliade (Yoga: Immortality and Freedom)
It is a curious fate to write for a people other than one’s own, and it is even stranger to write to the conquerors of one’s people. Wonder was expressed at the acrimony of the first colonized writers. Do they forget that they are addressing the same public whose tongue they have borrowed? However, the writer is neither unconscious, nor ungrateful, nor insolent. As soon as they dare speak, what will they tell just those people, other than of their malaise and revolt? Could words of peace or thoughts of gratitude be expected from those who have been suffering from a loan that compounds so much interest? For a loan which, besides, will never be anything but a loan. We are here, it is true, putting aside fact for conjecture. But it is so easy to read, so obvious. The emergence of a literature of a colonized people, the development of consciousness by North African writers for example, is not an isolated occurrence. It is part of the development of the self-consciousness of an entire human group. The fruit is not an accident or miracle of a plant but a sign of its maturity. At most, the surging of the colonized artist is slightly ahead of the development of collective consciousness in which he participates and which he hastens by participating in it. And the most urgent claim of a group about to revive is certainly the liberation and restoration of its language.
Albert Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized)
Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. If this is true here at home, so it is true elsewhere in world.
Robert F. Kennedy
And here she was, an old woman now, living and hoping, keeping faith, afraid of evil, full of anxiety for the living and an equal concern for the dead; here she was, looking at the ruins of her home, admiring the spring sky without knowing that she was admiring it, wondering why the future of those she loved was so obscure and the past so full of mistakes, not realizing that this very obscurity and unhappiness concealed a strange hope and clarity, not realizing that in the depths of her soul she already knew the meaning of both her own life and the lives of her nearest and dearest, not realizing that even though neither she herself nor any of them could tell what was in store, even though they all knew only too well that at times like these no man can forge his own happiness and that fate alone has the power to pardon and chastise, to raise up to glory and to plunge into need, to reduce a man to labour- camp dust, nevertheless neither fate, nor history, nor the anger of the State, nor the glory or infamy of battle has any power to affect those who call themselves human beings. No, whatever life holds in store – hard-won glory, poverty and despair, or death in a labour camp – they will live as human beings and die as human beings, the same as those who have already perished; and in this alone lies man's eternal and bitter victory over all the grandiose and inhuman forces that ever have been or will be.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
Listen up, pal, the moon is way up in the sky. Aren’t you scared? The helplessness that comes from nature. That moonlight, think about it, that moonlight, paler than a corpse’s face, so silent and far away, that moonlight witnessed the cries of the first monsters to walk the earth, surveyed the peaceful waters after the deluges and the floods, illuminated centuries of nights and went out at dawns throughout centuries . . . Think about it, my friend, that moonlight will be the same tranquil ghost when the last traces of your great-grandsons’ grandsons no longer exist. Prostrate yourself before it. You’ve shown up for an instant and it is forever. Don’t you suffer, pal? I . . . I myself can’t stand it. It hits me right here, in the center of my heart, having to die one day and, thousands of centuries later, undistinguished in humus, eyeless for all eternity, I, I!, for all eternity . . . and the indifferent, triumphant moon, its pale hands outstretched over new men, new things, different beings. And I Dead! Think about it, my friend. It’s shining over the cemetery right now. The cemetery, where all lie sleeping who once were and never more shall be. There, where the slightest whisper makes the living shudder in terror and where the tranquility of the stars muffles our cries and brings terror to our eyes. There, where there are neither tears nor thoughts to express the profound misery of coming to an end.
Clarice Lispector (The Complete Stories)
Over the years I have had much occasion to ponder this word, the intelligentsia. We are all very fond of including ourselves in it—but you see not all of us belong. In the Soviet Union this word has acquired a completely distorted meaning. They began to classify among the intelligentsia all those who don't work (and are afraid to) with their hands. All the Party, government, military, and trade union bureaucrats have been included. All bookkeepers and accountants—the mechanical slaves of Debit. All office employees. And with even greater ease we include here all teachers (even those who are no more than talking textbooks and have neither independent knowledge nor an independent view of education). All physicians, including those capable only of making doodles on the patients' case histories. And without the slightest hesitation all those who are only in the vicinity of editorial offices, publishing houses, cinema studios, and philharmonic orchestras are included here, not even to mention those who actually get published, make films, or pull a fiddle bow. And yet the truth is that not one of these criteria permits a person to be classified in the intelligentsia. If we do not want to lose this concept, we must not devalue it. The intellectual is not defined by professional pursuit and type of occupation. Nor are good upbringing and good family enough in themselves to produce and intellectual. An intellectual is a person whose interests in and preoccupation with the spiritual side of life are insistent and constant and not forced by external circumstances, even flying in the face of them. An intellectual is a person whose thought is nonimitative.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV)
The thing that weighed on him most, however, was the irrationality of the world in which he now found himself. To some extent he was a prisoner of his own training. As a historian, he had come to view the world as the product of historical forces and the decisions of more or less rational people, and he expected the men around him to behave in a civil and coherent manner. But Hitler’s government was neither civil nor coherent, and the nation lurched from one inexplicable moment to another. Even the language used by Hitler and party officials was weirdly inverted. The term “fanatical” became a positive trait. Suddenly it connoted what philologist Victor Klemperer, a Jewish resident of Dresden, described as a “happy mix of courage and fervent devotion.” Nazi-controlled newspapers reported an endless succession of “fanatical vows” and “fanatical declarations” and “fanatical beliefs,” all good things. Göring was described as a “fanatical animal lover.” Fanatischer Tierfreund. Certain very old words were coming into darkly robust modern use, Klemperer found. Übermensch: superman. Untermensch: sub-human, meaning “Jew.” Wholly new words were emerging as well, among them Strafexpedition—“punitive expedition”—the term Storm Troopers applied to their forays into Jewish and communist neighborhoods. Klemperer detected a certain “hysteria of language” in the new flood of decrees, alarms, and intimidation—“This perpetual threatening with the death penalty!”—and in strange, inexplicable episodes of paranoid excess, like the recent nationwide search. In all this Klemperer saw a deliberate effort to generate a kind of daily suspense, “copied from American cinema and thrillers,” that helped keep people in line. He also gauged it to be a manifestation of insecurity among those in power. In late July 1933 Klemperer saw a newsreel in which Hitler, with fists clenched and face contorted, shrieked, “On 30 January they”—and here Klemperer presumed he meant the Jews—“laughed at me—that smile will be wiped off their faces!” Klemperer was struck by the fact that although Hitler was trying to convey omnipotence, he appeared to be in a wild, uncontrolled rage, which paradoxically had the effect of undermining his boasts that the new Reich would last a thousand years and that all his enemies would be annihilated. Klemperer wondered, Do you talk with such blind rage “if you are so sure of this endurance and this annihilation”?
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.
Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth)
Witcher,’ Three Jackdaws suddenly said, ‘I want to ask you a question.’ ‘Ask it.’ ‘Why don’t you turn back?’ The Witcher looked at him in silence for a moment. ‘Do you really want to know?’ ‘Yes, I do,’ Three Jackdaws said, turning his face towards Geralt. ‘I’m riding with them because I’m a servile golem. Because I’m a wisp of oakum blown by the wind along the highway. Tell me, where should I go? And for what? At least here some people have gathered with whom I have something to talk about. People who don’t break off their conversations when I approach. People who, though they may not like me, say it to my face, and don’t throw stones from behind a fence. I’m riding with them for the same reason I rode with you to the log drivers’ inn. Because it’s all the same to me. I don’t have a goal to head towards. I don’t have a destination at the end of the road.’ Three Jackdaws cleared his throat. ‘There’s a destination at the end of every road. Everybody has one. Even you, although you like to think you’re somehow different.’ ‘Now I’ll ask you a question.’ ‘Ask it.’ ‘Do you have a destination at the end of the road?’ ‘I do.’ ‘Lucky for you.’ ‘It is not a matter of luck, Geralt. It is a matter of what you believe in and what you serve. No one ought to know that better than… than a witcher.’ ‘I keep hearing about goals today,’ Geralt sighed. ‘Niedamir’s aim is to seize Malleore. Eyck of Denesle’s calling is to protect people from dragons. Dorregaray feels obligated to something quite the opposite. Yennefer, by virtue of certain changes which her body was subjected to, cannot fulfil her wishes and is terribly undecided. Dammit, only the Reavers and the dwarves don’t feel a calling, and simply want to line their pockets. Perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to them?’ ‘You aren’t drawn to them, Geralt of Rivia. I’m neither blind nor deaf. It wasn’t at the sound of their name you pulled out that pouch. But I surmise…’ ‘There’s no need to surmise,’ the Witcher said, without anger. ‘I apologise.’ ‘There’s no need to apologise.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Miecz przeznaczenia (Saga o Wiedźminie, #0.7))
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Now, if Peter baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ after Jesus told him to baptize in the name of Father, Son, Holy Ghost, he done contrary to what Jesus said. Is that true? Now, there's got to be something there. Now, let's just find out, and ask the Holy Ghost to show us. Now, the first place, now let's take—let's take the first Scripture, Matthew 28:19. Go ye therefore,… teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father,… Son,… the Holy Ghost: Look down on your Bible and see if that says, "in the names of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost." Does it? No, sir. Did it say, "in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, in the name of the Holy Ghost"? It said, "In the Name!" Is that right? Well, the "name" was singular. Is that right? Well, which name did He want them to baptize, the name of the Father, or the name of the Son, or the name of the Holy Ghost? He said, "In the Name." Well, frankly, there isn't either one of them a name. How many fathers is in here, let's see your name, or, your hand. All right. Which one of you is named "Father"? Father is not a name; father is "a title." How many sons are in here? Sure, every man, every male, they're sons. Well, which one of you is named "Son"? It's not a name; it's a title. Is that right? It's not a name; it's a title. Well, which one of you is named "Human"? How many humans is here? All of you. Well, which one of you is named "Human"? There is no such a thing; that's what you are. The Holy Ghost is not a name; that's what It is. I'm a human. So neither Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost is "name"; they're just three titles that goes to one Name. Quote From: 54-0515 - Questions And Answers
Rev. William Marrion Branham
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City)
In the moment all is dear to me, dear that in this logic there is no redemption, the city itself being the highest form of madness and each and every part, organic or inorganic, an expression of this same madness. I feel absurdly and humbly great, not as megalomaniac, but as human spore, as the dead sponge of life swollen to saturation. I no longer look into the eyes of the woman I hold in my arms but I swim through, head and arms and legs, and I see that behind the sockets of the eyes there is a region unexplored, the world of futurity, and here there is no logic whatever, just the still germination of events unbroken by night and day, by yesterday and tomorrow. The eye, accustomed to concentration on points in space, now concentrates on points in time; the eye sees forward and backward at will. The eye which was the I of the self no longer exists; this selfless eye neither reveals nor illuminates. It travels along the line of the horizon, a ceaseless, uninformed voyager. Trying to retain the lost body I grew in logic as the city, a point digit in the anatomy of perfection. I grew beyond my own death, spiritually bright and hard. I was divided into endless yesterdays, endless tomorrows, resting only on the cusp of the event, a wall with many windows, but the house gone. I must shatter the walls and windows, the last shell of the lost body, if I am to rejoin the present. That is why I no longer look into the eyes or through the eyes, but by the legerdemain of will swim through the eyes, head and arms and legs to explore the curve of vision. I see around myself as the mother who bore me once saw round the comers of time. I have broken the wall created by birth and the line of voyage is round and unbroken, even as the navel. No form, no image, no architecture, only concentric flights of sheer madness. I am the arrow of the dream's substantiality. I verify by flight. I nullify by dropping to earth.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn (Tropic, #1))
I have spoken of reinventing marriage, of marriages achieving their rebirth in the middle age of the partners. This phenomenon has been called the 'comedy of remarriage' by Stanley Cavell, whose Pursuits of Happiness, a film book, is perhaps the best marriage manual ever published. One must, however, translate his formulation from the language of Hollywood, in which he developed it, into the language of middle age: less glamour, less supple youth, less fantasyland. Cavell writes specifically of Hollywood movies of the 1930s and 1940s in which couples -- one partner is often the dazzling Cary Grant -- learn to value each other, to educate themselves in equality, to remarry. Cavell recognizes that the actresses in these movie -- often the dazzling Katherine Hepburn -- are what made them possible. If read not as an account of beautiful people in hilarious situations, but as a deeply philosophical discussion of marriage, his book contains what are almost aphorisms of marital achievement. For example: ....'[The romance of remarriage] poses a structure in which we are permanently in doubt who the hero is, that is, whether it is the male or female who is the active partner, which of them is in quest, who is following whom.' Cary grant & Katherine Hepburn "Above all, despite the sexual attractiveness of the actors in the movies he discusses, Cavell knows that sexuality is not the ultimate secret in these marriage: 'in God's intention a meet and happy conversation is the chiefest and noblest end of marriage. Here is the reason that these relationships strike us as having the quality of friendship, a further factor in their exhilaration for us.' "He is wise enough, moreover, to emphasize 'the mystery of marriage by finding that neither law nor sexuality (nor, by implication, progeny) is sufficient to ensure true marriage and suggesting that what provides legitimacy is the mutual willingness for remarriage, for a sort of continuous affirmation. Remarriage, hence marriage, is, whatever else it is, an intellectual undertaking.
Carolyn G. Heilbrun (Writing a Woman's Life)
We have no obligation to endure or enable certain types of certain toxic relationships. The Christian ethic muddies these waters because we attach the concept of long-suffering to these damaging connections. We prioritize proximity over health, neglecting good boundaries and adopting a Savior role for which we are ill-equipped. Who else we'll deal with her?, we say. Meanwhile, neither of you moves towards spiritual growth. She continues toxic patterns and you spiral in frustration, resentment and fatigue. Come near, dear one, and listen. You are not responsible for the spiritual health of everyone around you. Nor must you weather the recalcitrant behavior of others. It is neither kind nor gracious to enable. We do no favors for an unhealthy friend by silently enduring forever. Watching someone create chaos without accountability is not noble. You won't answer for the destructive habits of an unsafe person. You have a limited amount of time and energy and must steward it well. There is a time to stay the course and a time to walk away. There's a tipping point when the effort becomes useless, exhausting beyond measure. You can't pour antidote into poison forever and expect it to transform into something safe, something healthy. In some cases, poison is poison and the only sane response is to quit drinking it. This requires honest self evaluation, wise counselors, the close leadership of the Holy Spirit, and a sober assessment of reality. Ask, is the juice worth the squeeze here. And, sometimes, it is. You might discover signs of possibility through the efforts, or there may be necessary work left and it's too soon to assess. But when an endless amount of blood, sweat and tears leaves a relationship unhealthy, when there is virtually no redemption, when red flags are frantically waved for too long, sometimes the healthiest response is to walk away. When we are locked in a toxic relationship, spiritual pollution can murder everything tender and Christ-like in us. And a watching world doesn't always witness those private kill shots. Unhealthy relationships can destroy our hope, optimism, gentleness. We can lose our heart and lose our way while pouring endless energy into an abyss that has no bottom. There is a time to put redemption in the hands of God and walk away before destroying your spirit with futile diligence.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
I fancy my father thought me an odd child, and had little fondness for me; though he was very careful in fulfilling what he regarded as a parent's duties. But he was already past the middle of life, and I was not his only son. My mother had been his second wife, and he was five-and-forty when he married her. He was a firm, unbending, intensely orderly man, in root and stem a banker, but with a flourishing graft of the active landholder, aspiring to county influence: one of those people who are always like themselves from day to day, who are uninfluenced by the weather, and neither know melancholy nor high spirits. I held him in great awe, and appeared more timid and sensitive in his presence than at other times; a circumstance which, perhaps, helped to confirm him in the intention to educate me on a different plan from the prescriptive one with which he had complied in the case of my elder brother, already a tall youth at Eton. My brother was to be his representative and successor; he must go to Eton and Oxford, for the sake of making connexions, of course: my father was not a man to underrate the bearing of Latin satirists or Greek dramatists on the attainment of an aristocratic position. But intrinsically, he had slight esteem for "those dead but sceptred spirits"; having qualified himself for forming an independent opinion by reading Potter's Aeschylus, and dipping into Francis's Horace. To this negative view he added a positive one, derived from a recent connexion with mining speculations; namely, that scientific education was the really useful training for a younger son. Moreover, it was clear that a shy, sensitive boy like me was not fit to encounter the rough experience of a public school. Mr. Letherall had said so very decidedly. Mr. Letherall was a large man in spectacles, who one day took my small head between his large hands, and pressed it here and there in an exploratory, suspicious manner - then placed each of his great thumbs on my temples, and pushed me a little way from him, and stared at me with glittering spectacles. The contemplation appeared to displease him, for he frowned sternly, and said to my father, drawing his thumbs across my eyebrows - 'The deficiency is there, sir-there; and here,' he added, touching the upper sides of my head, 'here is the excess. That must be brought out, sir, and this must be laid to sleep.' I was in a state of tremor, partly at the vague idea that I was the object of reprobation, partly in the agitation of my first hatred - hatred of this big, spectacled man, who pulled my head about as if he wanted to buy and cheapen it. ("The Lifted Veil")
George Eliot (The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics))
. . . waves of desert heat . . . I must’ve passed out, because when I woke up I was shivering and stars wheeled above a purple horizon. . . . Then the sun came up, casting long shadows. . . . I heard a vehicle coming. Something coming from far away, gradually growing louder. There was the sound of an engine, rocks under tires. . . . Finally it reached me, the door opened, and Dirk Bickle stepped out. . . . But anyway so Bickle said, “Miracles, Luke. Miracles were once the means to convince people to abandon reason for faith. But the miracles stopped during the rise of the neocortex and its industrial revolution. Tell me, if I could show you one miracle, would you come with me and join Mr. Kirkpatrick?” I passed out again, and came to. He was still crouching beside me. He stood up, walked over to the battered refrigerator, and opened the door. Vapor poured out and I saw it was stocked with food. Bickle hunted around a bit, found something wrapped in paper, and took a bottle of beer from the door. Then he closed the fridge, sat down on the old tire, and unwrapped what looked like a turkey sandwich. He said, “You could explain the fridge a few ways. One, there’s some hidden outlet, probably buried in the sand, that leads to a power source far away. I figure there’d have to be at least twenty miles of cable involved before it connected to the grid. That’s a lot of extension cord. Or, this fridge has some kind of secret battery system. If the empirical details didn’t bear this out, if you thoroughly studied the refrigerator and found neither a connection to a distant power source nor a battery, you might still argue that the fridge had some super-insulation capabilities and that the food inside had been able to stay cold since it was dragged out here. But say this explanation didn’t pan out either, and you observed the fridge staying the same temperature week after week while you opened and closed it. Then you’d start to wonder if it was powered by some technology beyond your comprehension. But pretty soon you’d notice something else about this refrigerator. The fact that it never runs out of food. Then you’d start to wonder if somehow it didn’t get restocked while you slept. But you’d realize that it replenished itself all the time, not just while you were sleeping. All this time, you’d keep eating from it. It would keep you alive out here in the middle of nowhere. And because of its mystery you’d begin to hate and fear it, and yet still it would feed you. Even though you couldn’t explain it, you’d still need it. And you’d assume that you simply didn’t understand the technology, rather than ascribe to it some kind of metaphysical power. You wouldn’t place your faith in the hands of some unknowable god. You’d place it in the technology itself. Finally, in frustration, you’d come to realize you’d exhausted your rationality and the only sensible thing to do would be to praise the mystery. You’d worship its bottles of Corona and jars of pickled beets. You’d make up prayers to the meats drawer and sing about its light bulb. And you’d start to accept the mystery as the one undeniable thing about it. That, or you’d grow so frustrated you’d push it off this cliff.” “Is Mr. Kirkpatrick real?” I asked. After a long gulp of beer, Bickle said, “That’s the neocortex talking again.
Ryan Boudinot (Blueprints of the Afterlife)
The difficulties connected with my criterion of demarcation (D) are important, but must not be exaggerated. It is vague, since it is a methodological rule, and since the demarcation between science and nonscience is vague. But it is more than sharp enough to make a distinction between many physical theories on the one hand, and metaphysical theories, such as psychoanalysis, or Marxism (in its present form), on the other. This is, of course, one of my main theses; and nobody who has not understood it can be said to have understood my theory. The situation with Marxism is, incidentally, very different from that with psychoanalysis. Marxism was once a scientific theory: it predicted that capitalism would lead to increasing misery and, through a more or less mild revolution, to socialism; it predicted that this would happen first in the technically highest developed countries; and it predicted that the technical evolution of the 'means of production' would lead to social, political, and ideological developments, rather than the other way round. But the (so-called) socialist revolution came first in one of the technically backward countries. And instead of the means of production producing a new ideology, it was Lenin's and Stalin's ideology that Russia must push forward with its industrialization ('Socialism is dictatorship of the proletariat plus electrification') which promoted the new development of the means of production. Thus one might say that Marxism was once a science, but one which was refuted by some of the facts which happened to clash with its predictions (I have here mentioned just a few of these facts). However, Marxism is no longer a science; for it broke the methodological rule that we must accept falsification, and it immunized itself against the most blatant refutations of its predictions. Ever since then, it can be described only as nonscience—as a metaphysical dream, if you like, married to a cruel reality. Psychoanalysis is a very different case. It is an interesting psychological metaphysics (and no doubt there is some truth in it, as there is so often in metaphysical ideas), but it never was a science. There may be lots of people who are Freudian or Adlerian cases: Freud himself was clearly a Freudian case, and Adler an Adlerian case. But what prevents their theories from being scientific in the sense here described is, very simply, that they do not exclude any physically possible human behaviour. Whatever anybody may do is, in principle, explicable in Freudian or Adlerian terms. (Adler's break with Freud was more Adlerian than Freudian, but Freud never looked on it as a refutation of his theory.) The point is very clear. Neither Freud nor Adler excludes any particular person's acting in any particular way, whatever the outward circumstances. Whether a man sacrificed his life to rescue a drowning, child (a case of sublimation) or whether he murdered the child by drowning him (a case of repression) could not possibly be predicted or excluded by Freud's theory; the theory was compatible with everything that could happen—even without any special immunization treatment. Thus while Marxism became non-scientific by its adoption of an immunizing strategy, psychoanalysis was immune to start with, and remained so. In contrast, most physical theories are pretty free of immunizing tactics and highly falsifiable to start with. As a rule, they exclude an infinity of conceivable possibilities.
Karl Popper
On the labour front in 1919 there was an unprecedented number of strikes involving many millions of workers. One of the lager strikes was mounted by the AF of L against the United States Steel Corporation. At that time workers in the steel industry put in an average sixty-eight-hour week for bare subsistence wages. The strike spread to other plants, resulting in considerable violence -- the death of eighteen striking workers, the calling out of troops to disperse picket lines, and so forth. By branding the strikers Bolsheviks and thereby separating them from their public support, the Corporation broke the strike. In Boston, the Police Department went on strike and governor Calvin Coolidge replaced them. In Seattle there was a general strike which precipitated a nationwide 'red scare'. this was the first red scare. Sixteen bombs were found in the New York Post Office just before May Day. The bombs were addressed to men prominent in American life, including John D. Rockefeller and Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. It is not clear today who was responsible for those bombs -- Red terrorists, Black anarchists, or their enemies -- but the effect was the same. Other bombs pooped off all spring, damaging property, killing and maiming innocent people, and the nation responded with an alarm against Reds. It was feared that at in Russia, they were about to take over the country and shove large cocks into everyone's mother. Strike that. The Press exacerbated public feeling. May Day parades in the big cities were attacked by policemen, and soldiers and sailors. The American Legion, just founded, raided IWW headquarters in the State of Washington. Laws against seditious speech were passed in State Legislatures across the country and thousands of people were jailed, including a Socialist Congressman from Milwaukee who was sentenced to twenty years in prison. To say nothing of the Espionage and Sedition Acts of 1917 which took care of thousands more. To say nothing of Eugene V. Debs. On the evening of 2 January 1920, Attorney General Palmer, who had his eye on the White House, organized a Federal raid on Communist Party offices throughout the nation. With his right-hand assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, at his right hand, Palmer effected the arrest of over six thousand people, some Communist aliens, some just aliens, some just Communists, and some neither Communists nor aliens but persons visiting those who had been arrested. Property was confiscated, people chained together, handcuffed, and paraded through the streets (in Boston), or kept in corridors of Federal buildings for eight days without food or proper sanitation (in Detroit). Many historians have noted this phenomenon. The raids made an undoubted contribution to the wave of vigilantism winch broke over the country. The Ku Klux Klan blossomed throughout the South and West. There were night raidings, floggings, public hangings, and burnings. Over seventy Negroes were lynched in 1919, not a few of them war veterans. There were speeches against 'foreign ideologies' and much talk about 'one hundred per cent Americanism'. The teaching of evolution in the schools of Tennessee was outlawed. Elsewhere textbooks were repudiated that were not sufficiently patriotic. New immigration laws made racial distinctions and set stringent quotas. Jews were charged with international conspiracy and Catholics with trying to bring the Pope to America. The country would soon go dry, thus creating large-scale, organized crime in the US. The White Sox threw the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. And the stage was set for the trial of two Italian-born anarchists, N. Sacco and B. Vanzetti, for the alleged murder of a paymaster in South Braintree, Mass. The story of the trial is well known and often noted by historians and need not be recounted here. To nothing of World War II--
E.L. Doctorow (The Book of Daniel)
Well, what happened to your scruples in the woodcutter’s cottage? You knew I thought you’d already left when I went inside.” “Why did you stay,” he countered smoothly, “when you realized I was still there?” In confused distress Elizabeth raked her hair off her forehead. “I knew I shouldn’t do it,” she admitted. “I don’t know why I remained.” “You stayed for the same reason I did,” he informed her bluntly. “We wanted each other.” “I was wrong,” she protested a little wildly. “Dangerous and-foolish!” “Foolish or not,” he said grimly, “I wanted you. I want you now.” Elizabeth made the mistake of looking at him, and his amber eyes captured hers against her will, holding them imprisoned. The shawl she’d been clutching as if it was a lifeline to safety slid from her nerveless hand and dangled at her side, but Elizabeth didn’t notice. “Neither of us has anything to gain by continuing this pretense that the weekend in England is over and forgotten,” he said bluntly. “Yesterday proved that it wasn’t over, if it proved nothing else, and it’s never been forgotten-I’ve remembered you all this time, and I know damn well you’ve remembered me.” Elizabeth wanted to deny it; she sensed that if she did, he’d be so disgusted with her deceit that he’d turn on his heel and leave her. She lifted her chin, unable to tear her gaze from his, but she was too affected by the things he’d just admitted to her to lie to him. “All right,” she said shakily, “you win. I’ve never forgotten you or that weekend. How could I?” she added defensively. He smiled at her angry retort, and his voice gentled to the timbre of rough velvet. “Come here, Elizabeth.” “Why?” she whispered shakily. “So that we can finish what we began that weekend.” Elizabeth stared at him in paralyzed terror mixed with violet excitement and shook her head in a jerky refusal. “I’ll not force you,” he said quietly, “nor will I force you to do anything you don’t want to do once you’re in my arms. Think carefully about that,” he warned, “because if you come to me now, you won’t be able to tell yourself in the morning that I made you do this against your will-or that you didn’t know what was going to happen. Yesterday neither of us knew what was going to happen. Now we do.” Some small, insidious voice in her mind urged her to obey, reminded her that after the public punishment she’d taken for the last time they were together she was entitled to some stolen passionate kisses, if she wanted them. Another voice warned her not to break the rules again. “I-I can’t,” she said in a soft cry. “There are four steps separating us and a year and a half of wanting drawing us together,” he said. Elizabeth swallowed. “Couldn’t you meet me halfway?” The sweetness of the question was almost Ian’s undoing, but he managed to shake his head. “Not this time. I want you, but I’ll not have you looking at me like a monster in the morning. If you want me, all you have to do is walk into my arms.” “I don’t know what I want,” Elizabeth cried, looking a little wildly at the valley below, as if she were thinking of leaping off the path. “Come here,” he invited huskily, “and I’ll show you.” It was his tone, not his words, that conquered her. As if drawn by a will stronger than her own, Elizabeth walked forward and straight into his arms that closed around her with stunning force. “I didn’t think you were going to do it,” he whispered gruffly against her hair.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))