Oeuvre Quotes

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

That dress…was a very, very good decision. I could write an entire poem on the virtues of your legs alone. You are a feast for the senses.” I laughed. “I don’t know about a feast. Maybe just an hors d'oeuvre.” He took my hand and wrapped it around his arm. “Not an hors d'oeuvre. The dessert. And I plan to spoil my appetite.
Colleen Houck
War is far worse. At least where politics is going on, there are usually nice hors d’oeuvres.
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1))
But I've just noticed that my mind is asleep.
Arthur Rimbaud (Une Saison en Enfer / Vers Nouveaux (Oeuvres, tome 2))
What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show. Jacques felt himself growing gloomy again. He was well aware that to live on earth a man must follow its fashions, and hearts were no longer worn.
Jean Cocteau (Le Grand Ecart / Thomas L'Imposteur / Les Enfants Terribles / Le fantome de (Oeuvres Completes de Jean Cocteau, volume 1))
Saki says that youth is like hors d'oeuvres: you are so busy thinking of the next courses you don't notice it. When you've had them, you wish you'd had more hors d'oeuvres.
Philip Larkin (Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica)
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
Happy belated birthday, Cat," he said, giving me a self-deprecating smile. "Aren't you glad Juan picked the place and not me? We wold have had lattes and hors d'oeuvres instead of liquor and G-strings. Anyone get you a gin yet?
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
Always destroy what is in you.
Tristan Tzara (Oeuvres Completes)
I believe that we do not know anything for certain, but everything probably.
Christiaan Huygens (Oeuvres Complètes (French Edition))
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Tout bonheur est un chef-d'oeuvre: la moindre erreur le fausse, la moindre hésitation l'altère, la moindre lourder le dépare, la moindre sottise l'abêtit.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
Remind me to show you the latest e-mail from Courtney," he said now, kicking at a rock on the sidewalk. "You won't believe how many different incorrect ways she spelled hors d'oeuvres within the span of a single paragraph.
Aimee Agresti (Illuminate (Gilded Wings, #1))
Out of the welter of life, a few people are selected for us by the accident of temporary confinement in the same circle. We never would have chosen these neighbors; life chose them for us. But thrown together on this island of living, we stretch to understand each other and are invigorated by the stretching. The difficulty with big city environment is that if we select—and we must in order to live and breathe and work in such crowded conditions—we tend to select people like ourselves, a very monotonous diet. All hors d’oeuvres and no meat; or all sweets and no vegetables, depending on the kind of people we are. But however much the diet may differ between us, one thing is fairly certain: we usually select the known, seldom the strange. We tend not to choose the unknown which might be a shock or a disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with. And yet it is the unknown with all its disappointments and surprises that is the most enriching.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
That Chippendale is a coffee table, Lieutenant, not a footstool." "How do you walk with that stick up your ass?" She left her feet where they were, propped comfortably on the table. "Does it hurt, or does it give you a nice little rush?" "Your dinner guests," he said, curling his lip, "have arrived." "Thank you, Summerset." Roarke got to his feet. "We'll have the hors d'oeuvres in here." He held out a hand to Eve. She waited, deliberately, until Summerset had stepped out again before swinging her feet to the floor. "In the interest of good fellowship," Roarke began as they started toward the foyer, "could you not mention the stick in Summerset's ass for the rest of the evening?" "Okay. If he rags on me I'll just pull it out and beat him over the head with it." "That should be entertaining.
J.D. Robb
It's time, Old Captain, lift anchor, sink! The land rots; we shall sail into the night; if now the sky and sea are black as ink our hearts, as you must know, are filled with light. Only when we drink poison are we well — we want, this fire so burns our brain tissue, to drown in the abyss — heaven or hell, who cares? Through the unknown, we'll find the new. ("Le Voyage")
Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition))
The old Paris is no more (the form of a city changes faster, alas! than a mortal's heart).
Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition))
 ‘L’homme c’est rien—l’oeuvre c’est tout,
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection)
Dans la stupidité il est un sérieux qui, mieux orienté, pourrait multiplier la somme des chefs-d'oeuvre.
Emil M. Cioran
Contra la policía/Against the Police My entire Oeuvre is against the police If I write a Love poem it’s against the police And if I sing the nakedness of bodies I sing against the police And if I make this Earth a metaphor I make a metaphor against the police If I speak wildly in my poems I speak against the police And if I manage to create a poem it’s against the police I haven’t written a single word, a verse, a stanza that isn’t against the police All my prose is against the police My entire Oeuvre Including this poem My whole Oeuvre Is against the police.
Miguel James
Thinking must never submit itself, neither to a dogma, nor to a party, nor to a passion, nor to an interest, nor to a preconceived idea, nor to whatever it may be, if not to facts themselves, because, for it, to submit would be to cease to be.
Jules Henri Poincaré (Oeuvres (Les grands classiques Gauthier-Villars) (French Edition))
the Devil's hand directs our every move the things we loathed become the things we love; day by day we drop through stinking shades quite undeterred on our descent to Hell.
Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition))
If I'm still wistful about On the Road, I look on the rest of the Kerouac oeuvre--the poems, the poems!--in horror. Read Satori in Paris lately? But if I had never read Jack Kerouac's horrendous poems, I never would have had the guts to write horrendous poems myself. I never would have signed up for Mrs. Safford's poetry class the spring of junior year, which led me to poetry readings, which introduced me to bad red wine, and after that it's all just one big blurry condemned path to journalism and San Francisco.
Sarah Vowell (Take the Cannoli)
The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.
Maximilien Robespierre (Oeuvres complètes: 8 (French Edition))
Mom has the Touch. She knows what flowers go with what occasions, what hors d'oeuvres work with what people. She believes passionately in the power of food to heal, restore, and stimulate relationships, and she has built a following of loyal customers who really hope she's right. If she's wrong, says Sonia, no one wants to know.
Joan Bauer (Thwonk)
Il ne fait aucun doute pour moi que la sagesse est le but principal de la vie et c'est pourquoi je reviens toujours aux stoïciens. Ils ont atteint la sagesse, on ne peut donc plus les appeler des philosophes au sens propre du terme. De mon point de vue, la sagesse est le terme naturel de la philosophie, sa fin dans les deux sens du mot. Une philosophie finit en sagesse et par là même disparaît.
Emil M. Cioran (Oeuvres)
L'espace et le silence pèsent d'un seul poids sur le coeur. Un brusque amour, une grande oeuvre, un acte décisif, une pensée qui transfigure à certains moments donnent la même intolérable anxiété, doublée d'un attrait irrésistible. Délicieuse angoisse d'être, proximité exquise d'un danger dont nous ne connaissons pas le nom, vivre, alors, est-ce courir à sa perte ? A nouveau, sans répit, courons à notre perte.
Albert Camus (Noces suivi de L'été)
[M]y mother read a horror novel every night. She had read every one in the library. When birthdays and Christmas would come, I would consider buying her a new one, the latest Dean R. Koontz or Stephen King or whatever, but I couldn't. I didn't want to encourage her. I couldn't touch my father's cigarettes, couldn't look at the Pall Mall cartons in the pantry. I was the sort of child who couldn't even watch commercials for horror movies - the ad for Magic, the movie where marionette kills people. sent me into a six-month nightmare frenzy. So I couldn't look at her books, would turn them over so their covers wouldn't show, the raised lettering and splotches of blood - especially the V.C. Andrews oeuvre, those turgid pictures of those terrible kids, standing so still, all lit in blue.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
La politique dans une oeuvre littéraire, c'est un coup de pistolet au milieu d'un concert, quelque chose de grossier et auquel pourtant il n'est pas possible de refuser son attention.
Stendhal
Reading is, with friendship, one of the surest contributions to the work of grieving. It helps us, more generally, to grieve for the limitations of our life, the limitations of the human condition.
Didier Anzieu (Le Corps De L'oeuvre)
La solitude qui enveloppe les oeuvres d'art est infinie, etil n'estrien qui permette de moins les atteindre que la critique. Seul l'amour peut les appréhender, les saisir et faire preuve de justesse à leur endroit:
Rainer Maria Rilke (Lettres à un jeune poète de Rainer Maria Rilke (Essai et dossier))
Thanks be to God, Who gives us suffering as sacred remedy for all our sins, that best and purest essence which prepares the strong in spirit for divine delights!
Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition))
Travailler et créer "pour rien", sculpter dans l'argile, savoir que sa création n'a pas d'avenir, voir son oeuvre détruite en un jour en étant conscient que, profondément, cela n'a pas plus d'importance que de bâtir pour des siècles, c'est la sagesse difficile que la pensée absurde autorise.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus)
quel guillochis oeuvre par la providence que la vie de l'homme! par combien de voies secretes et contraires les circonstances diverses ne precipitent-elles pas nos affections! aujourd'hui nous aimons ce que demain nous hairons,aujourd'hui nous recherchons ce que nous fuirons demain,aujourd'hui nous desirons ce que demain nous fera peur...
Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe.)
Ce que l'on conçoit bien s'énonce clairement, Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément.
Nicolas Boileau (Oeuvres de Boileau)
On est puceau de l'horreur comme on l'est de la volupté.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Voyage au bout de la nuit)
Sève qui monte et fleur qui pousse, Ton enfance est une charmille : Laisse errer mes doigts dans la mousse Où le bouton de rose brille.
Paul Verlaine (Oeuvres Poetiques*)
Et je redoute l'hiver parce que c'est la saison du comfort!
Arthur Rimbaud (Rimbaud, Oeuvres poetiques)
Il faut du temps pour vivre. Comme toute oeuvre d'art, la vie exige qu'on y pense.
Albert Camus (A Happy Death)
They had dined on horse meat, horse cheese, horse black pudding, horse d’oeuvres and a thin beer that Rincewind didn’t want to speculate about.
Terry Pratchett (The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2))
I [...] squarely and enthusiastically recommend ['Hey Boy' by A. W. W. Bremont][...]. [...][T]he start of a no doubt stellar oeuvre to come.
Dennis Cooper
«L’homme c’est rien, l’oeuvre c’est tout»,
Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes. Relatos 1)
Que ce coeur vous plaise ou vous fâche, n'importe, il a pris sa secousse, il est à vous.
Pierre de Marivaux (Journaux et oeuvres diverses (French Edition))
À ce moment là, j'ai dû comprendre pour la première fois que le mal est irrémédiable et qu'il est impossible de réparer un tort quoique l'on fasse ensuite. Le seul remède est de ne pas en commettre et ne pas en commettre est en ce monde l'oeuvre la plus ardue et secrète.
Erri De Luca (Pas ici, pas maintenant)
Elle a perdu des hommes Mais là, elle perd l'amour L'amour le lui a dit Revoilà l'inutile Elle vivra de projets Qui ne feront qu'attendre La revoilà fragile Avant que d'être à vendre
Jacques Brel (Jacques Brel - L'oeuvre Integrale)
(Lily and Rule discussing wedding plans...) "You want to get married by Carl?" "Your father's cook?" "Yes, and I've been wanting to talk about the doves." "Doves." Her eyes widened in horror. "My mother wanted doves." "Perhaps she had a point. Wouldn't it look splendid, releasing a few dozen white doves all at once to carry our message of hope and love up to --" "Your are so full of shit." But she started laughing. "Doves, sure. Our guests would love some flying hors d'oeuvres. Maybe we should have some cute little bunnies for them to chase after the ceremony instead of cake, sending our message of fuzzy, yummy love to flesh eaters everywhre.
Eileen Wilks (Death Magic (World of the Lupi, #8))
To read Salinger is to engage in an act of such intimacy that it, at times, makes you uncomfortable. In Salinger, characters don't sit around contemplating suicide. They pick up guns and shoot themselves in the head. All through that weekend, even as I ripped through his entire oeuvre, I kept having to put the books down and breathe. He shows us his characters at their most bald, bares their most private thoughts, most telling actions. It's almost too much. Almost.
Joanna Rakoff (My Salinger Year)
Terre en vacance d'oeuvres d'art. Je méprise ceux qui ne savent reconnaître la beauté que transcrite déjà et toute interprétée. Le peuple arabe a ceci d'admirable que, son art, il le vit, il le chante et le dissipe au jour le jour; il ne le fixe point et ne l'embaume en aucune oeuvre. C'est la cause et l'effet de l'absence de grands artistes. J'ai toujours cru les grands artistes ceux qui osent donner droit de beauté à des choses si naturelles qu'elles font dire après à qui les voit : 'Comment n'avais-je pas compris jusqu'alors que cela était aussi beau?...
André Gide (The Immoralist)
repaint, a child in my belly, a carpet to remove, a rickety man, to whom I mustn’t forget to give the change from the shopping, a dictionary, music, and L’Oeuvre de Dieu, la part du Diable to read.
Valérie Perrin (Fresh Water for Flowers)
O grande ville! c' est dans ton sein palpitant que j'ai trouve ce que je cherchais; mineur patient, j'ai remue tes entrailles pour en faire sortir le mal; maintenant, mon oeuvre est accomplie, ma mission est terminee; maintenant tu ne peux plus m'ofrir ni joies ni douleurs. Adieu, Paris,! adieu!
Alexandre Dumas (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo: Tome 1)
Would it be all right to top the crab kachoris with date chutney foam, so the hors d'oeuvre could be circulated without a mess? Should the chicken be served over a bed of pulav or plated individually in bowls?
Sonali Dev (Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes, #1))
. . . car il n'est point vrai que l'oeuvre de l'homme est finie que nous n'avons rien à faire au monde que nous parasitons le monde qu'il suffit que nous nous mettions au pas du monde mais l'oeuvre de l'homme vient seulement de commencer et il reste à l'homme à conquérir toute interdiction immobilisée aux coins de sa ferveur et aucune race ne possède le monopole de la beauté, de l'intelligence, de la force . . .
Aimé Césaire (Cahier d'un retour au pays natal)
Toute grande oeuvre est soit une Iliade soit une Odysée, les odysées étant beaucoup plus nombreuse que les iliades: le Satiricon, La Divine Comédie, Pantagruel, Don Quichotte, et naturellement Ulysse (où l'on reconnaît d'ailleurs l'influence directe de Bouvard et Pécuchet) sont des odysées, c'est-à-dire des récits de temps pleins. Les iliades sont au contraire des recherches du temps perdu: devant Troie, sur une île déserte ou chez les Guermantes.
Raymond Queneau
Maybe I’m a bad writer.” “No. You’re a very good writer. Kalipso was a chef d’oeuvre. So beautiful, Arthur. I admired it a lot.” Now Less is stumped. He probes his weaknesses. Too magniloquent? Too spoony? “Too old?” he ventures. “We’re all over fifty, Arthur. It’s not that you’re a bad writer.” Finley pauses for effect. “It’s that you’re a bad gay.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less (Arthur Less, #1))
What good is it looking for our happiness in the opinion of others if we can find it in ourselves?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
Life’s going to stomp you no matter what. Wouldn’t you rather get stomped here, in a mansion, surrounded by champagne and hors d’oeuvres? If they’re going to own you one way or the other, why not enjoy it? Lean in, Shay. Look at me, in this Gucci dress. These bruises? They’re Gucci bruises. It’s the VIP option, trust me. All the other options are this, but worse.
Ashley Winstead (The Last Housewife)
(from his random observations after reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens) In the Old Curiosity Shop I discovered that in the character of Dick Swiveller, Dickens provided P.G. Wodehouse with pretty much the whole of his oeuvre. In David Copperfield, David's bosses Spenlow and Jorkins are what must be the earliest fictional representations of good cop/bad cop.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
J'aperçois Dieu partout dans ses oeuvres ; je le sens en moi, je le vois tout autour de moi ; mais sitôt que je veux le contempler en lui-même, sitôt que je veux chercher où il est, ce qu'il est, quelle est sa substance, il m'échappe et mon esprit troublé n'aperçoit plus rien.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
The mind has its needs, just as the body does. The latter are the foundations of society; from the former emerge the pleasures of society. While government and laws take care of the security and the well being of men in groups, the sciences, letters, and the arts, less despotic and perhaps more powerful, spread garlands of flowers over the iron chains which weigh men down, snuffing out in them the feeling of that original liberty for which they appear to have been born, and make them love their slavery by turning them into what are called civilized people.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
When innocent and virtuous men liked to have gods as witnesses of their actions, they lived with them in the same huts. But having soon become evil, they grew weary of these inconvenient spectators and relegated them to magnificent temples.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
But so long as power remains by itself on one side, and enlightenment and wisdom isolated on the other, wise men will rarely think of great things, princes will more rarely carry out fine actions, and the people will continue to be vile, corrupt, and unhappy.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
And the least stupid, fleeing the herd where fate has penned them fast, take refuge in the wards of opium, so much for what is news around the world.
Charles Baudelaire (Flowers of Evil and Other Works/Les Fleurs du Mal et Oeuvres Choisies : A Dual-Language Book (Dover Foreign Language Study Guides) (English and French Edition))
Un cœur, c'est peut-être malpropre. C'est de l'ordre de la table d'anatomie et de l'étal de boucher. Je préfère ton corps.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Oeuvres Romanesques (French Edition) Bibliotheque de la Pleiade)
I have not encouraged talk about man’s holy privacy, although I do respect and defend man’s right to have it.
Mie Hansson (Where Pain Thrives)
When we see the world, the image we see is not only a reflection of the world, it is also a reflection of us.
Simone Weil (Simone Weil Oeuvres (French Edition))
si en confessant l’existence de Dieu il lui refuse la prescience, cela revient encore à dire avec l’insensé dont parle l’Ecriture : Il n’y a point de Dieu. En effet, celui qui ne connaît point l’avenir n’est point Dieu.
Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustin: les 9 oeuvres majeures et complètes (Les confessions, La cité de Dieu, De la trinité, Traité du libre arbitre...) (French Edition))
I will simply ask: What is philosophy? What do the writings of the best known philosophers contain? What are the lessons of these friends of wisdom? To listen to them, would one not take them for a troupe of charlatans crying out in a public square, each from his own corner: "Come to me. I'm the only one who is not wrong"?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
La mort ? Un rendez-vous inéluctable et éternellement manqué puisque sa présence signifiait notre absence. Elle s'installe à l'instant où nous cessons d'être. C'est elle ou nous. Nous pouvons en toute conscience aller au-devant d'elle, mais pouvons-nous la connaître, ne fût-ce que le temps d'un éclair ? J'allais être à tout jamais séparée de qui j'aimais le mieux au monde. Le "jamais plus" était à notre porte. Je savais que nul lien, sauf mon amour, ne nous relierait . Si certaines cellules plus subtiles que l'on appelle âme continuent à exister, je me disais qu'elles ne pouvaient être douées de mémoire et que notre séparation serait éternelle. Je me répétais que la mort n'est rien, que seules la peur, la souffrance physique et la douleur de quitter ceux que l'on aime ou l'oeuvre entreprise rendent son approche atroce et que cela te serait épargné. Mais ne plus être présent au monde !
Anne Philipe (Le Temps d'un Soupir)
Elle variait ses hallucinations à son gré. Elle ne se contentait pas du passé; elle escomptait l'avenir! Elle changeait le présent selon sa volonté; elle mentait et se trompait elle-même, mais comme ses mensonges étaient ses propres oeuvres, elle les chérissait. Pour de brefs instants, elle était heureuse. Il n'y avait plus à son bonheur ces limites imposées par le réel. Tout était possible, tout était à sa portée. D'abord, la guerre était finie.
Irène Némirovsky (Suite Française)
Alyosha-Bob and I have an interesting hobby that we indulge whenever possible. We think of ourselves as The Gentlemen Who Like To Rap. Our oeuvre stretches from the old school jams of Ice Cube, Ice-T, and Public Enemy to the sensuous contemporary rhythyms of ghetto tech, a hybrid of Miami bass, Chicago ghetto tracks, and Detroit electronica. The modern reader may be familiar with 'Ass-N-Titties' by DJ Assault, perhaps the seminal work of the genre
Gary Shteyngart (Absurdistan)
Un acte qui nous prouverait, ainsi qu'à lui-même, qu'il était réellement possible de mettre en oeuvre les principes élevés que nous avait enseignés Julian. Devoir, piété, loyauté, sacrifice. Je me rappelle son reflet dans le miroir alors qu'il levait le revolver vers sa tête. Il avait une expression de concentration extatique, presque de triomphe, celle d'un plongeur de haut vol courant à l'extrémité du tremplin : joyeux, les yeux fermés, dans l'attente du grand plongeon.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Chers Amis, Ce que vous avez pris pour mes oeuvres n’était que les déchets de moi-même, ces raclures de l’âme que l’homme normal n’accueille pas. Que mon mal depuis lors ait reculé ou avancé, la question pour moi n’est pas là, elle est dans la douleur et la sidération persistante de mon esprit. Me voici de retour à M..., où j’ai retrouvé la sensation d’engourdissement et de vertige, ce besoin brusque et fou de sommeil, cette perte soudaine de mes forces avec un sentiment de vaste douleur, d’abrutissement instantané.
Antonin Artaud (L'Ombilic des Limbes: suivi de Le Pèse-nerfs et autres textes)
There is no such thing as hell, of course, but if there was, then the sound track to the screaming, the pitchfork action and the infernal wailing of damned souls would be a looped medley of “show tunes” drawn from the annals of musical theater. The complete oeuvre of Lloyd Webber and Rice would be performed, without breaks, on a stage inside the fiery pit, and an audience of sinners would be forced to watch—and listen—for eternity. The very worst among them, the child molesters and the murderous dictators, would have to perform them.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
I’m always astonished when readers suggest that I must write my novels while high on pot or (God forbid!) LSD. Apparently, there are people who confuse the powers of imagination with the effects of intoxication. Not one word of my oeuvre, not one, has been written while in an artificially altered state. Unlike many authors, I don’t even drink coffee when I write. No coffee, no cola, no cigarettes. There was a time when I smoked big Havana cigars while writing, not for the nicotine (I didn’t inhale) but as an anchor, something to hold on to, I told myself, to keep from falling over the edge of the earth. Eventually, I began to wonder what it would be like to take that fall. So one day I threw out the cigars and just let go. Falling, I must say, has been exhilarating -- though I may change my mind when I hit bottom.
Tom Robbins (Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life)
If I now consider man in his isolated capacity, I find that dogmatic belief is no less indispensable to him in order to live alone than it is to enable him to co-operate with his fellows. If man were forced to demonstrate for himself all the truths of which he makes daily use, his task would never end. He would exhaust his strength in preparatory demonstrations without ever advancing beyond them. As, from the shortness of his life, he has not the time, nor, from the limits of his intelligence, the capacity, to act in this way, he is reduced to take on trust a host of facts and opinions which he has not had either the time or the power to verify for himself, but which men of greater ability have found out, or which the crowd adopts. On this groundwork he raises for himself the structure of his own thoughts; he is not led to proceed in this manner by choice, but is constrained by the inflexible law of his condition. There is no philosopher in the world so great but that he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. (Tocqueville 1945 2:9-10; Oeuvres Completes (M) 1(2):16-17, (B) 3:15-16).
Alexis de Tocqueville (Tocqueville : Oeuvres completes, tome 2 (Bibliotheque de la Pleiade) (French Edition))
Et dans mon kiosque d'aiguilles qui procure une illusion de chaleur, je regarde le puits noir du lac. La masse de glace m'apparait comme un creuset cauchemardesque. Je perçois la force à l'oeuvre sous ce couvercle. Dans le caveau, un univers grouille de bêtes qui broient, dévorent et sectionnent. Dans les profondeurs, des éponges balancent lentement leurs branches. Des coquillages enroulent leurs spires, battant la mesure du temps et créent des bijoux de nacre en forme de constellation. Des silures monstrueux rôdent dans les vasières. Des poissons carnassiers migrent vers la surface pour le festin nocturne et les holocaustes de crustacés. Des bancs d'ombles tracent leurs chorégraphies benthiques. Des bactéries barattent les scories, les digèrent, purifient l'eau. Ce morne malaxage s'opère en silence, sous le miroir où les étoiles n'ont même pas la force de se refléter.
Sylvain Tesson (Dans les forêts de Sibérie)
Le chien est un animal si difforme, d’un caractère si désordonné, que de tout temps il a été considéré comme un monstre, né et formé en dépit de toutes les lois. En effet, lorsque le repos est l’état naturel, comment expliquer qu’un animal soit toujours remuant, affairé, et cela sans but ni besoin, lors même qu’il est repu et n’a point peur ? Lorsque la beauté consiste universellement dans la souplesse, la grâce et la prudence, comment admettre qu’un animal soit toujours brutal, hurlant, fou, se jetant au nez des gens, courant après les coups de pied et les rebuffades ? Lorsque le favori et le chef-d’oeuvre de la création est le chat, comment comprendre qu’un animal le haïsse, coure sur lui sans en avoir reçu une seule égratignure, et lui casse les reins sans avoir envie de manger sa chair ? Ces contrariétés prouvent que les chien sont des damnés ; très certainement les âmes coupables et punies passent dans leurs corps. Elles y souffrent : c’est pourquoi ils se tracassent et s’agitent sans cesse. Elles ont perdu la raison : c’est pourquoi ils gâtent tout, se font battre, et sont enchaînés les trois quarts du jour. Elles haïssent le beau et le bien : c’est pourquoi ils tâchent de nous étrangler.
Hippolyte Taine
WINSLOW REMINGTON HOUNDSTOOTH was not a hero. There was nothing within him that cried out for justice or fame. He did not wear a white hat—he preferred his grey one, which didn’t show the bloodstains. He could have been a hero, had he been properly motivated, but there were more pressing matters at hand. There were fortunes to be snatched from the hands of fate. There were hors d’oeuvres like the fine-boned young man in front of him, ripe for the plucking. There was swift vengeance to be inflicted on those who would interfere with his ambitions. There was Ruby. Winslow Houndstooth didn’t take the job to be a hero. He took it for the money, and he took it for revenge. The
Sarah Gailey (River of Teeth (River of Teeth, #1))
Le créateur, ou l´artiste, ne se contente pas de produire un objet utile, mais il investit cet objet de sa subjectivité, de son ressenti personnel: il va incarner dans son oeuvre son 'idea', c´est-à-dire le projet, la vision qu´il porte en lui et dans laquelle d´autres vont se retrouver, car la création artistique, acte gratuit, sans "utilité" réelle, est une activité symbolique qui s´adresse au plus profond de l´être. D´ailleurs, pour la qualifier, nous utilisons le language du coeur et de l´âme: face à une oeuvre d´art nous nous déclarons "émus", "touchés", "bouleversés". Ce n´est pas l´usage que nous pouvons en faire qui nous interpelle mais sa dimension esthétique et symbolique gratuite.
Frédéric Lenoir (Petit traité de vie intérieure)
Le point final du processus dialectique represente l'esprit qui se reconnait comme l'ultime realite, et realise que tout ce qu'il a considere jusqu'alors comme etranger et hostile a lui-meme, en verite, en fait partie integrante. Il s'agit simultanement d'un etat de connaissance absolue ou l'esprit s'identifie enfin comme etant l'ultime realite, mais aussi un etat de liberte totale dans lequel l'esprit, au lieu d'etre controlee par des forces exterieures, est capable d'organiser le monde d'une facon rationnelle. Il prend alors conscience que le monde est en fait lui-meme, et qu'il lui suffit simplement de mettre en oeuvre ses propres principes de rationalite afin de l'organizer rationalement.
Peter Singer
When Prince Napoleon, the cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte III, visited Washington in early August, Mary organized an elaborate dinner party. She found the task of entertaining much simpler than it had been in Springfield days. “We only have to give our orders for the dinner, and dress in proper season,” she wrote her friend Hannah Shearer. Having learned French when she was young, she conversed easily with the prince. It was a “beautiful dinner,” Lizzie Grimsley recalled, “beautifully served, gay conversation in which the French tongue predominated.” Two days later, her interest in French literature apparently renewed, Mary requested Volume 9 of the Oeuvres de Victor Hugo from the Library of Congress.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
This is the thing: if you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that's how you know you're on board the ship that serves hors d'oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who've never even heard of the words hors d'oeuvres of fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause and undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefather. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
L’ÉTRANGER. Il me semble que je distingue une grande et terrible espèce d’ignorance, capable de balancer à elle seule toutes les autres. THÉÉTÈTE. Laquelle? L’ÉTRANGER. D’imaginer qu’on sait ce qu’on ne sait pas; car c’est peut-être de là que viennent toutes les erreurs dans lesquelles tombe notre esprit. THÉÉTÈTE. Cela est vrai. L’ÉTRANGER. C’est proprement ce qu’on appelle sottise.
Plato (Platon: Oeuvres complètes - Les 43 titres)
If I now consider man in his isolated capacity, I find that dogmatic belief is no less indispensable to him in order to live alone than it is to enable him to co-operate with his fellows. If man were forced to demonstrate for himself all the truths of which he makes daily use, his task would never end. He would exhaust his strength in preparatory demonstrations without ever advancing beyond them. As, from the shortness of his life, he has not the time, nor, from the limits of his intelligence, the capacity, to act in this way, he is reduced to take on trust a host of facts and opinions which he has not had either the time or the power to verify for himself, but which men of greater ability have found out, or which the crowd adopts. On this groundwork he raises for himself the structure of his own thoughts; he is not led to proceed in this manner by choice, but is constrained by the inflexible law of his condition. There is no philosopher in the world so great but that he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. (Tocqueville 1945 2:9-10; Oeuvres Completes (M) 1(2):16-17, (B) 3:15-16).
Alexis de Tocqueville (Tocqueville : Oeuvres completes, tome 2 (Bibliotheque de la Pleiade) (French Edition))
But life is fragile. Earth’s occasional encounters with large, wayward comets and asteroids, a formerly common event, wreaks intermittent havoc upon our ecosystem. A mere sixty-five million years ago (less than two percent of Earth’s past), a ten-trillion-ton asteroid hit what is now the Yucatan Peninsula and obliterated more than seventy percent of Earth’s flora and fauna—including all the famous outsized dinosaurs. Extinction. This ecological catastrophe enabled our mammal ancestors to fill freshly vacant niches, rather than continue to serve as hors d’oeuvres for T. rex. One big-brained branch of these mammals, that which we call primates, evolved a genus and species (Homo sapiens) with sufficient intelligence to invent methods and tools of science—and to deduce the origin and evolution of the universe.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry Series))
Nowadays, when more subtle studies and more refined taste have reduced the art of pleasing into principles, a vile and misleading uniformity governs our customs, and all minds seem to have been cast in the same mould: incessantly politeness makes demands, propriety issues orders, and incessantly people follow customary usage, never their own inclinations. One does not dare to appear as what one is. And in this perpetual constraint, men who make up this herd we call society, placed in the same circumstances, will all do the same things, unless more powerful motives prevent them. Thus, one will never know well the person one is dealing with.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau: Avec Des Notes Historiques, Volume 9 (French Edition))
Ladles and Jellyspoons, all rise for...ʻTRIUMPHʼ. And by Jupiter what a triumph it is! ... For yet again the unfeasibly huge, nay the monstrously Gigantic, creative genius of the inimitable Mr. Greg Broadmore, delivers us from evil. Expanding the universe according to Dr.Grordbort, which teems with its ever growing cast of splendiferous characters, creatures, and (most importantly) weapons, and is led by the greatest bombast in the history of fiction, Lord Cockswain himself, GBʼs latest tome of magnificence once more separates the mere pretender from the true originator of fantasy art. This outing has me feeling that we have reached a tipping point in the evolution of the oeuvre, where we cannot BUT believe that this world is real, that these microscopically detailed inventions are not fanciful conceptual constructs, but an authentic a depiction as any of our Glorious past, present... and perhaps our future.
Andy Serkis
Muscle and pluck forever! What invigorates life, invigorates death, And the dead advance as much as the living advance, And the future is no more uncertain than the present, And the roughness of the earth and of man encloses as much as the delicatesse of the earth and of man, And nothing endures but personal qualities. What do you think endures? Do you think the great city endures? Or a teeming manufacturing state? or a prepared constitution? or the best-built steamships? Or hotels of granite and iron? or any chef-d’oeuvres of engineering, forts, armaments? Away! These are not to be cherish’d for themselves; They fill their hour, the dancers dance, the musicians play for them; The show passes, all does well enough of course, All does very well till one flash of defiance. The great city is that which has the greatest man or woman; If it be a few ragged huts, it is still the greatest city in the whole world." -from "Song of the Broad-Axe
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Vous n’êtes pas très malin, hein? Alors, vous vous imaginez que ce sont les livres "à message" qui peuvent changer un individu? Quand ce sont ceux qui les changent le moins. Non, les livres qui marquent et qui métamorphosent, ce sont les autres, les livres de désir, de plaisir, les livres de génie et surtout les livres de beauté. Tenez, prenons un grand livre de beauté : Voyage au bout de la nuit. Comment ne pas être un autre après l'avoir lu? Eh bien, la majorité des lecteurs réussissent ce tour de force sans difficulté. Ils vous disent après : "Ah oui, Céline, c'est formidable", et puis reviennent à leurs moutons. Evidemment, Céline, c'est un cas extrême, mais je pourrais parler des autres aussi. On n'est jamais le même après avoir lu un livre, fut-il aussi modeste qu'un Léo Malet : ça vous change, un Léo Malet. On ne regarde plus les jeunes filles en imperméable comme avant, quand on a lu un Léo Malet? Ah mais, c'est très important! Modifier le regard : c'est ça, notre grand-oeuvre.
Amélie Nothomb (Hygiène de l'assassin)
Among the darker nations, Paris is famous for two betrayals. The first came in 1801, when Napoleon Bonaparte sent General Victor Leclerc to crush the Haitian Revolution, itself inspired by the French Revolution. The French regime could not allow its lucrative Santo Domingo to go free, and would not allow the Haitian people to live within the realm of the Enlightenment's " Rights of Man." The Haitians nonetheless triumphed, and Haiti became the first modern colony to win its independence. The second betrayal came shortly after 1945, when a battered France, newly liberated by the Allies, sent its forces to suppress the Vietnamese, West Indians, and Africans who had once been its colonial subjects. Many of these regions had sent troops to fight for the liberation of France and indeed Europe, but they returned home emptyhanded. As a sleight of hand, the French government tried to maintain sovereignty over its colonies by repackaging them as " overseas territories." A people hungry for liberation did not want such measly hors d'oeuvres.
Vijay Prashad (The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World)
Tu viens d'incendier la Bibliothèque ? - Oui. J'ai mis le feu là. - Mais c'est un crime inouï ! Crime commis par toi contre toi-même, infâme ! Mais tu viens de tuer le rayon de ton âme ! C'est ton propre flambeau que tu viens de souffler ! Ce que ta rage impie et folle ose brûler, C'est ton bien, ton trésor, ta dot, ton héritage Le livre, hostile au maître, est à ton avantage. Le livre a toujours pris fait et cause pour toi. Une bibliothèque est un acte de foi Des générations ténébreuses encore Qui rendent dans la nuit témoignage à l'aurore. Quoi! dans ce vénérable amas des vérités, Dans ces chefs-d'oeuvre pleins de foudre et de clartés, Dans ce tombeau des temps devenu répertoire, Dans les siècles, dans l'homme antique, dans l'histoire, Dans le passé, leçon qu'épelle l'avenir, Dans ce qui commença pour ne jamais finir, Dans les poètes! quoi, dans ce gouffre des bibles, Dans le divin monceau des Eschyles terribles, Des Homères, des jobs, debout sur l'horizon, Dans Molière, Voltaire et Kant, dans la raison, Tu jettes, misérable, une torche enflammée ! De tout l'esprit humain tu fais de la fumée ! As-tu donc oublié que ton libérateur, C'est le livre ? Le livre est là sur la hauteur; Il luit; parce qu'il brille et qu'il les illumine, Il détruit l'échafaud, la guerre, la famine Il parle, plus d'esclave et plus de paria. Ouvre un livre. Platon, Milton, Beccaria. Lis ces prophètes, Dante, ou Shakespeare, ou Corneille L'âme immense qu'ils ont en eux, en toi s'éveille ; Ébloui, tu te sens le même homme qu'eux tous ; Tu deviens en lisant grave, pensif et doux ; Tu sens dans ton esprit tous ces grands hommes croître, Ils t'enseignent ainsi que l'aube éclaire un cloître À mesure qu'il plonge en ton coeur plus avant, Leur chaud rayon t'apaise et te fait plus vivant ; Ton âme interrogée est prête à leur répondre ; Tu te reconnais bon, puis meilleur; tu sens fondre, Comme la neige au feu, ton orgueil, tes fureurs, Le mal, les préjugés, les rois, les empereurs ! Car la science en l'homme arrive la première. Puis vient la liberté. Toute cette lumière, C'est à toi comprends donc, et c'est toi qui l'éteins ! Les buts rêvés par toi sont par le livre atteints. Le livre en ta pensée entre, il défait en elle Les liens que l'erreur à la vérité mêle, Car toute conscience est un noeud gordien. Il est ton médecin, ton guide, ton gardien. Ta haine, il la guérit ; ta démence, il te l'ôte. Voilà ce que tu perds, hélas, et par ta faute ! Le livre est ta richesse à toi ! c'est le savoir, Le droit, la vérité, la vertu, le devoir, Le progrès, la raison dissipant tout délire. Et tu détruis cela, toi ! - Je ne sais pas lire.
Victor Hugo
Barbara and I had arrived early, so I got to admire everyone’s entrance. We were seated at tables around a dance floor that had been set up on the lawn behind the house. Barbara and I shared a table with Deborah Kerr and her husband. Deborah, a lovely English redhead, had been brought to Hollywood to play opposite Clark Gable in The Hucksters. Louis B. Mayer needed a cool, refined beauty to replace the enormously popular redhead, Greer Garson, who had married a wealthy oil magnate and retired from the screen in the mid-fifties. Deborah, like her predecessor, had an ultra-ladylike air about her that was misleading. In fact, she was quick, sharp, and very funny. She and Barbara got along like old school chums. Jimmy Stewart was also there with his wife. It was the first time I’d seen him since we’d worked for Hitchcock. It was a treat talking to him, and I felt closer to him than I ever did on the set of Rope. He was so genuinely happy for my success in Strangers on a Train that I was quite moved. Clark Gable arrived late, and it was a star entrance to remember. He stopped for a moment at the top of the steps that led down to the garden. He was alone, tanned, and wearing a white suit. He radiated charisma. He really was the King. The party was elegant. Hot Polynesian hors d’oeuvres were passed around during drinks. Dinner was very French, with consommé madrilène as a first course followed by cold poached salmon and asparagus hollandaise. During dessert, a lemon soufflé, and coffee, the cocktail pianist by the pool, who had been playing through dinner, was discreetly augmented by a rhythm section, and they became a small combo for dancing. The dance floor was set up on the lawn near an open bar, and the whole garden glowed with colored paper lanterns. Later in the evening, I managed a subdued jitterbug with Deborah Kerr, who was much livelier than her cool on-screen image. She had not yet done From Here to Eternity, in which she and Burt Lancaster steamed up the screen with their love scene in the surf. I was, of course, extremely impressed to be there with Hollywood royalty that evening, but as far as parties go, I realized that I had a lot more fun at Gene Kelly’s open houses.
Farley Granger (Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself.
Tommy Orange (There There)
La différence de ceux qui sont frappés demeure dans la ressemblance des maux qui les frappent ; et pour être exposés aux mêmes tourments, la vertu et le vice ne se confondent pas. Car, comme un même feu fait briller l’or et noircir la paille, comme un même fléau écrase le chaume et purifie le froment, ou encore, comme le marc ne se mêle pas avec l’huile, quoiqu’il soit tiré de l’olive par le même pressoir, ainsi un même malheur, venant à tomber sur les bons et sur les méchants, éprouve, purifie et fait resplendir les uns, tandis qu’il damne, écrase et anéantit les autres. C’est pour cela qu’en une même affliction, les méchants blasphèment contre Dieu, les bons, au contraire, le prient et le bénissent : tant il importe de considérer, non les maux qu’on souffre, mais l’esprit dans lequel on les subit ; car le même mouvement qui tire de la boue une odeur fétide, imprimé à un vase de parfums, en fait sortir les plus douces exhalaisons.
Augustine of Hippo (Saint Augustin: les 9 oeuvres majeures et complètes (Les confessions, La cité de Dieu, De la trinité, Traité du libre arbitre...) (French Edition))
Only those who have lost as much as we have see the particularly nasty slice of smile on someone who thinks they’re winning when they say “Get over it.” This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered. If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family whose ancestors directly benefited from genocide and/or slavery, maybe you think the more you don’t know, the more innocent you can stay, which is a good incentive to not find out, to not look too deep, to walk carefully around the sleeping tiger. Look no further than your last name. Follow it back and you might find your line paved with gold, or beset with traps.
Tommy Orange (There There)
I came to feel a certain kind of shame at the aquarium […] [T]here was a shame in being human: the shame of knowing that twenty of the roughly thirty-five classified species of sea horse worldwide are threatened with extinction because they are killed "unintentionally" in seafood production. The shame of indiscriminate killing for no nutritional necessity or political cause or irrational hatred or intractable human conflict. I felt shame in the deaths my culture justified by so thin a concern as the taste of canned tuna […] or the fact that shrimp make convenient hors d’oeuvres […] I felt shame for living in a nation of unprecedented prosperity--a nation that spends a smaller percentage of income on food than any other civilization has in human history--but in the name of affordability treats the animals it eats with cruelty so extreme it would be illegal if inflicted on a dog.
Jonathan Safran Foer
The 1950s and 1960s: philosophy, psychology, myth There was considerable critical interest in Woolf ’s life and work in this period, fuelled by the publication of selected extracts from her diaries, in A Writer’s Diary (1953), and in part by J. K. Johnstone’s The Bloomsbury Group (1954). The main critical impetus was to establish a sense of a unifying aesthetic mode in Woolf ’s writing, and in her works as a whole, whether through philosophy, psychoanalysis, formal aesthetics, or mythopoeisis. James Hafley identified a cosmic philosophy in his detailed analysis of her fiction, The Glass Roof: Virginia Woolf as Novelist (1954), and offered a complex account of her symbolism. Woolf featured in the influential The English Novel: A Short Critical History (1954) by Walter Allen who, with antique chauvinism, describes the Woolfian ‘moment’ in terms of ‘short, sharp female gasps of ecstasy, an impression intensified by Mrs Woolf ’s use of the semi-colon where the comma is ordinarily enough’. Psychological and Freudian interpretations were also emerging at this time, such as Joseph Blotner’s 1956 study of mythic patterns in To the Lighthouse, an essay that draws on Freud, Jung and the myth of Persephone.4 And there were studies of Bergsonian writing that made much of Woolf, such as Shiv Kumar’s Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel (1962). The most important work of this period was by the French critic Jean Guiguet. His Virginia Woolf and Her Works (1962); translated by Jean Stewart, 1965) was the first full-length study ofWoolf ’s oeuvre, and it stood for a long time as the standard work of critical reference in Woolf studies. Guiguet draws on the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre to put forward a philosophical reading of Woolf; and he also introduces a psychobiographical dimension in the non-self.’ This existentialist approach did not foreground Woolf ’s feminism, either. his heavy use of extracts from A Writer’s Diary. He lays great emphasis on subjectivism in Woolf ’s writing, and draws attention to her interest in the subjective experience of ‘the moment.’ Despite his philosophical apparatus, Guiguet refuses to categorise Woolf in terms of any one school, and insists that Woolf has indeed ‘no pretensions to abstract thought: her domain is life, not ideology’. Her avoidance of conventional character makes Woolf for him a ‘purely psychological’ writer.5 Guiguet set a trend against materialist and historicist readings ofWoolf by his insistence on the primacy of the subjective and the psychological: ‘To exist, for Virginia Woolf, meant experiencing that dizziness on the ridge between two abysses of the unknown, the self and
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
Extract from 'Quixotic Ambitions': The crowd stared at Katy expectantly. She looked at them - old women in black, exhausted young women with pasty-faced children, youths in jeans and leather blousons chewing gum. She tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come. Then, with a sudden burst of energy, she blurted out her short speech, thanking the people of Shkrapova for their welcome and promising that if she won the referendum she would work for the good of Maloslavia. There was some half-hearted applause and an old lady hobbled up to her, knelt down with difficulty, and kissed the hem of her skirt. She looked at Katy with tears rolling down her face and gabbled something excitedly. Dimitar translated: ‘She says that she remembers the reign of your grandfather and that God has sent you to Maloslavia.’ Katy was embarrassed but she smiled at the woman and helped her to her feet. At this moment the People’s Struggle Pioneers appeared on the scene, waving their banners and shouting ‘Doloy Manaheeyoo! Popnikov President!’ Police had been stationed at strategic points and quickly dispersed the demonstrators without any display of violence, but the angry cries of ‘Down with the monarchy!’ had a depressing effect on the entertainment that had been planned; only a few people remained to watch it. A group of children aged between ten and twelve ran into the square and performed a series of dances accompanied by an accordian. They stamped their feet and clapped their hands frequently and occasionally collided with one another when they forgot their next move. The girls wore embroidered blouses, stiffly pleated skirts and scarlet boots and the boys were in baggy linen shirts and trousers, the legs of which were bound with leather thongs. Their enthusiasm compensated for their mistakes and they were loudly applauded. The male voice choir which followed consisted of twelve young men who sang complicated polyphonic melodies with a high, curiously nasal tenor line accompanied by an unusually deep droning bass. Some of their songs were the cries of despair of a people who had suffered under Turkish occupation; others were lively dance tunes for feast days and festivals. They were definitely an acquired taste and Katy, who was beginning to feel hungry, longed for them to come to an end. At last, at two o’clock, the performance finished and trestle tables were set up in the square. Dishes of various salads, hors-d’oeuvres and oriental pastries appeared, along with casks of beer and bottles of the local red wine. The people who had disappeared during the brief demonstration came back and started piling food on to paper plates. A few of the People’s Struggle Pioneers also showed up again and mingled with the crowd, greedily eating anything that took their fancy.
Pamela Lake (Quixotic Ambitions)
Simonton finds that on average, creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality. “The odds of producing an influential or successful idea,” Simonton notes, are “a positive function of the total number of ideas generated.” Consider Shakespeare: we’re most familiar with a small number of his classics, forgetting that in the span of two decades, he produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets. Simonton tracked the popularity of Shakespeare’s plays, measuring how often they’re performed and how widely they’re praised by experts and critics. In the same five-year window that Shakespeare produced three of his five most popular works—Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello—he also churned out the comparatively average Timon of Athens and All’s Well That Ends Well, both of which rank among the worst of his plays and have been consistently slammed for unpolished prose and incomplete plot and character development. In every field, even the most eminent creators typically produce a large quantity of work that’s technically sound but considered unremarkable by experts and audiences. When the London Philharmonic Orchestra chose the 50 greatest pieces of classical music, the list included six pieces by Mozart, five by Beethoven, and three by Bach. To generate a handful of masterworks, Mozart composed more than 600 pieces before his death at thirty-five, Beethoven produced 650 in his lifetime, and Bach wrote over a thousand. In a study of over 15,000 classical music compositions, the more pieces a composer produced in a given five-year window, the greater the spike in the odds of a hit. Picasso’s oeuvre includes more than 1,800 paintings, 1,200 sculptures, 2,800 ceramics, and 12,000 drawings, not to mention prints, rugs, and tapestries—only a fraction of which have garnered acclaim. In poetry, when we recite Maya Angelou’s classic poem “Still I Rise,” we tend to forget that she wrote 165 others; we remember her moving memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and pay less attention to her other 6 autobiographies. In science, Einstein wrote papers on general and special relativity that transformed physics, but many of his 248 publications had minimal impact. If you want to be original, “the most important possible thing you could do,” says Ira Glass, the producer of This American Life and the podcast Serial, “is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.” Across fields, Simonton reports that the most prolific people not only have the highest originality; they also generate their most original output during the periods in which they produce the largest volume.* Between the ages of thirty and thirty-five, Edison pioneered the lightbulb, the phonograph, and the carbon telephone. But during that period, he filed well over one hundred patents for other inventions as diverse as stencil pens, a fruit preservation technique, and a way of using magnets to mine iron ore—and designed a creepy talking doll. “Those periods in which the most minor products appear tend to be the same periods in which the most major works appear,” Simonton notes. Edison’s “1,093 patents notwithstanding, the number of truly superlative creative achievements can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)