Translating Quotes

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

silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
Robert Frost
You should write a book," Ron told Hermione as he cut up his potatoes, "translating mad things girls do so boys can understand them.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.
John Lennon
All language is but a poor translation.
Franz Kafka
We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Translations from the Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)
Almost seventy years later I remember clearly how the magic of translating the words in books into images enriched my life, breaking the barriers of time and space...
Mario Vargas Llosa
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy)
To be content with little is difficult; to be content with much, impossible.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (Aphorisms (STUDIES IN AUSTRIAN LITERATURE, CULTURE, AND THOUGHT TRANSLATION SERIES))
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
Martha Graham
V'lane: Are you busy tomorrow MacKayla ? Barrons: She's working on old texts with me. V'lane: Ah. Old texts. A banner day at the bookstore. Barrons: We're translating Kama Sutra...with interactive aids.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her.
Mark Twain (The Diaries of Adam & Eve: Translated by Mark Twain)
Per aspera ad astra. I’d heard a variety of translations, but the one I liked best was Through the thorns, to the stars.
M.L. Rio (If We Were Villains)
Toska - noun /ˈtō-skə/ - Russian word roughly translated as sadness, melancholia, lugubriousness. "No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.
Vladimir Nabokov
Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
George Orwell (1984)
That's just what translation is, I think. That's all speaking is. Listening to the other and trying to see past your own biases to glimpse what they're trying to say. Showing yourself to the world, and hoping someone else understands.
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief.
Anne Carson (Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides)
See that eye roll? It translates to, ‘How am I possibly keeping my hands off of you, Captain?
Marissa Meyer (Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4))
Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to “those who take care of us.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
The original is unfaithful to the translation.
Jorge Luis Borges
I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can't be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head.
Jasper Fforde (The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next, #3))
Lish tried to swear--which is always funny, because the computer won't translate it. It went something like this: "Bleep stupid bleep bleep faeries and their bleep bleep bleep obsessions. He had better stop bleep bleep bleep the bleep bleep rules or I will bleep bleep bleep the little bleeeeeeeeeeep.
Kiersten White (Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1))
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Poems and Translations)
So I hear we get to go to town this weekend. Want to catch a movie or something? --Z P.S. That is, if Jimmy doesn't mind. Translation: This weekend might be a good chance for us to see each other outside our school in a social environment, free of competetiton. I do not view other boys as threats, and I enjoy making them seem insignificant by calling them the wrong names. (Translation by Macey McHenry)
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
Sweet mother, I cannot weave – slender Aphrodite has overcome me with longing for a girl.
Sappho (Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works)
The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven. The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
Daemon spoke in his language. The lyrical quality of his words made no sense to me. “What did you say?” I asked. “There’s really no translation for it,” he said, “but the closest human words would be, you are beautiful to me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
I’m trying to translate what my cat says and put it in a book, but how many homonyms are there for meow?
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rainer Maria Rilke's The Book of Hours: A New Translation with Commentary (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture) (Volume 19))
To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Il n'est pas certain que tout soit incertain. (Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)
Blaise Pascal (Pascal's Pensees)
All people on the planet are children, except for a very few. No one is grown up except those free of desire.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Sam:"Okay, what words would you use then?" I leaned back in the seat, thinking, as Sam looked at me doubtfully. He was right to look doubtful. My head didn't work with words very well- at least not in this abstract, descriptive sort of way. Grace:"Sensitive" I tried. Sam translated: "Squishy" Grace:"Creative" Sam:"Dangerously emo" Grace:"Thoughtful" Sam:"Feng shui." I laughed so hard I snorted. Grace:"How did you get feng shui out of thoughtful?" Sam:"You know, because in feng shui, you arrange funiture and plants and stuff in thoughtful ways.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
The governor of Texas, who, when asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that ‘if English was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for me’.
Christopher Hitchens
Some might think that the creativity, imagination, and flights of fancy that give my life meaning are insanity.
Vladimir Nabokov
Tuqburni is used to describe the all-encompassing feeling of not being able to live without someone. Which is why the literal translation is, ‘You bury me.
Colleen Hoover (Without Merit)
The flower bloomed and faded. The sun rose and sank. The lover loved and went. And what the poets said in rhyme, the young translated into practice.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others
Martha Graham
Desperation translates into every language.
Nicola Yoon (The Sun is Also a Star)
Farsi Couplet: Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast. English Translation: If there is a paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this
Amir Khusrau (The Writings of Amir Khusrau: 700 Years After the Prophet: A 13th-14th Century Legend of Indian-Sub-Continent)
Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity.
Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching: A Literal Translation With an Introduction, Notes, and Commentary)
This is the Valdezinator, of course!’ He puffed out his chest. ‘It works by, um, translating your feelings into music as you manipulate the gears. It’s really meant for me, a child of Hephaestus, to use, though. I don’t know if you could –’ ‘I am the god of music!’ Apollo cried. ‘I can certainly master the Valdezinator. I must! It is my duty!
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Betrayal. Translation means doing violence upon the original, means warping and distorting it for foreign, unintended eyes. So then where does that leave us? How can we conclude, except by acknowledging that an act of translation is then necessarily always an act of betrayal?
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
We're translating the Kama Sutra," Barrons said, with interactive aids.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Translators are like ninjas. If you notice them, they’re no good.
Etgar Keret
Sensitive," I tried. Sam translated: "Squishy." "Creative." "Dangerously emo." "Thoughtful." "Feng shui." I laughed so hard I snorted. "How do you get feng shui out of 'thoughtful'?" "You know, because in feng shui, you arrange furniture and plants and stuff in thoughtful ways." Sam shrugged. "To make you calm. Zenlike. Or something. I'm not one hundred percent sure how it all works, besides the thoughtful part.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
You can't eat hope,' the woman said. You can't eat it, but it sustains you,' the colonel replied.
Gabriel García Márquez (El coronel no tiene quien le escriba)
He invented Kung Fu when translated to English means method by which short, bald guys can kick the bejeezus out of you.
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal)
Everyone wants you here. We have a saying in Farsi. It translates ‘your place was empty.’ We say it when we miss somebody." I sniffed. "Your place was empty before. But this is your family. You belong here.
Adib Khorram (Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1))
Boys! Are they always this impossible? Do they always say cryptic, indecipherable things? (Note to self: work with Liz to adapt her boy-to-English translator into a more mobile form—like maybe a watch or necklace.)
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
Glaring at the doctor, Kev spoke in Romany. "Ka xlia ma pe tute" (I'm going to shit on you.) "Which means," Rohan said hastily, "'Please forgive the misunderstanding; let's part as friends.'" "Te malavel les i menkiva," Kev added for good measure. (May you die of a malignant wasting disease.) "Roughly translated," Rohan said, "that means, 'May your garden be filled with fine, fat hedgehogs.' Which, I may add, is considered quite a blessing among the Rom.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
What a relationship looks like on the outside isn't the same as what it's like on the inside. You can be more in love with someone in your mind than with the person you see every day.
Jean Kwok (Girl in Translation)
But what is the opposite of fidelity?' asked Professor Playfair. He was approaching the end of his dialitic; now he needed only to draw it to a close with a punch. 'Betrayal. Translation means doing violence upon the original, it means warping and distorting it for foreign, unintended eyes. So, where does that leave us? How can we conclude except by acknowledging that an act of translation is always an act of betrayal?
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
lover, n. Oh, how I hated this word. So pretentious, like it was always being translated from the French. The tint and taint of illicit, illegitimate affections. Dictionary meaning: a person having a love affair. Impermanent. Unfamilial. Inextricably linked to sex. I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go back to the root of the word. For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted lover, and to be loved. There is no word for the recipient of the love. There is only a word for the giver. There is the assumption that lovers come in pairs. When I say, Be my lover, I don't mean, Let's have an affair. I don't mean Sleep with me. I don't mean, Be my secret. I want us to go back to that root. I want you to be the one who loves me. I want to be the one who loves you.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
So, you see, translators do not so much deliver a message as the rewrite the original. And herein lies the difficulty - rewriting is still writing, and writing always reflects the authors ideology and biases.
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing 'we' can do -- but who is that 'we'? -- and nothing 'they' can do either -- and who are 'they' -- then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
An unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English-speaking audiences.
Edith Wharton
A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; -- not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Get this. So he comes up to me at lunch, right? And he starts asking me all these questions about you. Like, how long have I known you, where are you from, did I ever meet your mom before she skipped town...' 'My mom? That's weird,' Helen interrupted. 'And I start answering him with my usual flair for clever repartee,' Claire said, a bit too innocently. 'Translation: you insulted him.
Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1))
The word 'translation' comes, etymologically, from the Latin for 'bearing across'. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.
Salman Rushdie (Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991)
In her usual manner, Merkel spoke in German. It is worth pointing out, however, that before the translator had an opportunity to convert her statements to English, Obama gave the chancellor and the press a big smile, saying, ‘I think what she said was good. I’m teasing.’ The laughter in the room drowned out the sounds of the cameras clicking and flashing, with Merkel’s giggle and smile among the loudest.
Claudia Clark (Dear Barack: The Extraordinary Partnership of Barack Obama and Angela Merkel)
Just one question, you arrogant fucking cocksucker" said Locke. "I'll grant the Lamora part is easy to spot; the truth is, I didn't know about the apt translation when I took the name. I borrowed it from this old sausage dealer who was kind to me once, back in Catchfire before the plague. I just liked the way it sounded. "But what the fuck" he said slowly, "ever gave you the idea that Locke was the first name I was actually born with?
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
Himmlisch ist's wenn ich bezwungen Meine irdische Begier; Aber doch wenn's nich gelungen Hatt' ich auch recht huebsch Plaisir! Loosely translated: It is heavenly, when I overcome My earthly desires But nevertheless, when I'm not successful, It can also be quite pleasurable.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Our stresses, anxieties, pains, and problems arise because we do not see the world, others, or even ourselves as worthy of love. (9)
Prem Prakash (The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion A Modern Translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras (Transformational Bo)
I created you from one soul, and from the soul I created its mate so that you may live in harmony and love.
M.H. Shakir (The Qur'an: Arabic Text and English Translation (Times to Remember))
Parla come magni,' It means, 'Speak the way you eat,' or in my personal translation: 'Say it like you eat it.' It's a reminder - when you're making a big deal out of explaining something, when you're searching for the right words - to keep your language as simple and direct as Roman rood. Don't make a big production out of it. Just lay it on the table.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
My mother died yesterday, yesterday many years ago. You know, what amazed me the most the next day after her leaving was the fact that the buildings were still in place, the streets were still full of cars running, full of people who were walking, seemingly ignoring that my whole world has just disappeared." (rough translation)
Marc Levy (If Only It Were True)
I suppose we decided to be girls because being boys seems to require giving up half your brain cells.
R.F. Kuang (Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution)
Written on the body is a secret code only visible in certain lights: the accumulations of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like Braille. I like to keep my body rolled up away from prying eyes, never unfold too much, or tell the whole story. I didn't know that Louise would have reading hands. She has translated me into her own book.
Jeanette Winterson
Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. “Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,” it says. “Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
No one's making any decisions today," Mom translated. "It's late, and we're all tired and a little overwhelmed. Besides, Lucius, Jessica is not ready to contemplate marriage. She hasn't even kissed a boy yet, for goodness' sake." Lucius smirked at me, raising one eyebrow. "Really? No suitors? How shocking. I would have thought your pitchfork skills would be attractive to certain bachelors here in farm country.
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
All incidents which we experience are warily interpreted and translated in the dark chamber of our mind. They inspire us how to behave, how to think, how to act and prompt our predilections and our way of visualizing the world. The mind opens itself then to welcome the enchantments of life or to tear up destructive thinking patterns. The brain becomes truly a precious resilient partner. ( "Camera obscura of the mind" )
Erik Pevernagie
THE FATHER: But don't you see that the whole trouble lies here? In words, words. Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding if I put in the words I utter the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.
Luigi Pirandello (Six Characters in Search of an Author)
I love the night passionately. I love it as I love my country, or my mistress, with an instinctive, deep, and unshakeable love. I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness. Skylarks sing in the sunshine, the blue sky, the warm air, in the fresh morning light. The owl flies by night, a dark shadow passing through the darkness; he hoots his sinister, quivering hoot, as though he delights in the intoxicating black immensity of space.
Guy de Maupassant
It is my mind, with its store of images, that gives the world color and sound; and that supremely real and rational certainty which I can "experience" is, in its most simple form, an exceedingly complicated structure of mental images. Thus there is, in a certain sense, nothing that is directly experienced except the mind itself. Everything is mediated through the mind, translated, filtered, allegorized, twisted, even falsified by it. We are . . . enveloped in a cloud of changing and endlessly shifting images.
C.G. Jung
Who can say if the thoughts you have in your mind as you read these words are the same thoughts I had in my mind as I typed them? We are different, you and I, and the qualia of our consciousnesses are as divergent as two stars at the ends of the universe. And yet, whatever has been lost in translation in the long journey of my thoughts through the maze of civilization to your mind, I think you do understand me, and you think you do understand me. Our minds managed to touch, if but briefly and imperfectly. Does that thought not make the universe seem just a bit kinder, a bit brighter, a bit warmer and more human? We live for such miracles.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
And, finally, I noticed that a hot flush was spreading over me, and that the look in his eyes was doing more to me than Jesse's kisses had. Dimitri was quiet and distant sometimes, but he also had a dedication and an intensity that I'd never seen in any other person. I wondered how that kind of power and strength translated into…well, sex. I wondered what it'd be like for him to touch me and—shit! What was I thinking? Was I out of my mind? Embarrassed, I covered my feelings with attitude. "You see something you like?" I asked. "Get dressed.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
Other people spoke, and I tried to keep up with the translations. All the stories were about Dimitri's kindness and strength of character. Even when not out battling the undead, Dimitri had always been there to help those who needed it. Almost everyone could recall sometime that Dimitri had stepped up to help others, going out of his way to do what was right, even in situations that could put him at risk. That was no surprise to me. Dimitri always did the right thing. And it was that attitude that had made me love him so much. I had a similar nature. I too rushed in when others needed me, sometimes when I shouldn't have. Others called me crazy for it, but Dimitri had understood. He'd always understood me, and part of what we'd worked on was how to temper that impulsive need to run into danger with reason and calculation. I had a feeling no one else in this world would ever understand me like he did.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
...unfortunately, it's true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. If you're not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience. Raw data will be compiled, will be translated into a more comprehensible language. The individual events of your life will be transmuted into another substance called memory and in the mechanism something will be lost and you will never be able to reverse it, you will never again have the original moment back in its uncategorized, preprocessed state. It will force you to move on and you will not have a choice in the matter.
Charles Yu (How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe)
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’ ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.
Robert A. Heinlein
I believe that there are people who think as I do, who have thought as I do, who will think as I do. There are those who will live, unconscious of me, but continuing my attitude, so to speak, as I continue, unknowingly, the similar attitude of those before me. I could write and write. All it takes is a motion of the hand in response to a brain impulse, trained from childhood to record in our own American brand of hieroglyphics the translations of external stimuli. How much of my brain is wilfully my own? How much is not a rubber stamp of what I have read and heard and lived? Sure, I make a sort of synthesis of what I come across, but that is all that differentiates me from another person? - - - That I have banged into and assimilated various things? That my environment and a chance combination of genes got me where I am?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Trying, he thought, to express some unutterable truth about themselves. Which was that translation was impossible. That the realm of pure meaning they captured and manifested would and could not ever be known. That the enterprise of this tower had been impossible from inception. For how could there ever be an Adamic language? The thought now made him laugh. There was no innate, perfectly comprehensible language. There was no candidate - not English, not French - that could bully and absorb enough to become one. Language was just difference. A thousand different ways of seeing, of moving through the world. No, a thousand worlds within one. And translation, a necessary endeavor however futile, to move between them.
R.F. Kuang (Babel)
Patience never wants Wonder to enter the house: because Wonder is a wretched guest. It uses all of you but is not careful with what is most fragile or irreplaceable. If it breaks you, it shrugs and moves on. Without asking, Wonder often brings along dubious friends: doubt, jealousy, greed. Together they take over; rearrange the furniture in every one of your rooms for their own comfort. They speak odd languages but make no attempt to translate for you. They cook strange meals in your heart that leave odd tastes and smells. When they finally go are you happy or miserable? Patience is always left holding the broom.
Jonathan Carroll (White Apples (Vincent Ettrich, #1))
All languages that derive from Latin form the word "compassion" by combining the prefix meaning "with" (com-) and the root meaning "suffering" (Late Latin, passio). In other languages, Czech, Polish, German, and Swedish, for instance - this word is translated by a noun formed of an equivalent prefix combined with the word that means "feeling". In languages that derive from Latin, "compassion" means: we cannot look on coolly as others suffer; or, we sympathize with those who suffer. Another word with approximately the same meaning, "pity", connotes a certain condescension towards the sufferer. "To take pity on a woman" means that we are better off than she, that we stoop to her level, lower ourselves. That is why the word "compassion" generally inspires suspicion; it designates what is considered an inferior, second-rate sentiment that has little to do with love. To love someone out of compassion means not really to love.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
He showed me a sketch he'd drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart. To find the balance you want," Ketut spoke through his translator, "this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
In fact I don't think of literature, or music, or any art form as having a nationality. Where you're born is simply an accident of fate. I don't see why I shouldn't be more interested in say, Dickens, than in an author from Barcelona simply because I wasn't born in the UK. I do not have an ethno-centric view of things, much less of literature. Books hold no passports. There's only one true literary tradition: the human.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
For Sayonara, literally translated, 'Since it must be so,' of all the good-bys I have heard is the most beautiful. Unlike the Auf Wiedershens and Au revoirs, it does not try to cheat itself by any bravado 'Till we meet again,' any sedative to postpone the pain of separation. It does not evade the issue like the sturdy blinking Farewell. Farewell is a father's good-by. It is - 'Go out in the world and do well, my son.' It is encouragement and admonition. It is hope and faith. But it passes over the significance of the moment; of parting it says nothing. It hides its emotion. It says too little. While Good-by ('God be with you') and Adios say too much. They try to bridge the distance, almost to deny it. Good-by is a prayer, a ringing cry. 'You must not go - I cannot bear to have you go! But you shall not go alone, unwatched. God will be with you. God's hand will over you' and even - underneath, hidden, but it is there, incorrigible - 'I will be with you; I will watch you - always.' It is a mother's good-by. But Sayonara says neither too much nor too little. It is a simple acceptance of fact. All understanding of life lies in its limits. All emotion, smoldering, is banked up behind it. But it says nothing. It is really the unspoken good-by, the pressure of a hand, 'Sayonara.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (North to the Orient)
My turn now. The story of one of my insanities. For a long time I boasted that I was master of all possible landscapes-- and I thought the great figures of modern painting and poetry were laughable. What I liked were: absurd paintings, pictures over doorways, stage sets, carnival backdrops, billboards, bright-colored prints, old-fashioned literature, church Latin, erotic books full of misspellings, the kind of novels our grandmothers read, fairy tales, little children's books, old operas, silly old songs, the naive rhythms of country rimes. I dreamed of Crusades, voyages of discovery that nobody had heard of, republics without histories, religious wars stamped out, revolutions in morals, movements of races and continents; I used to believe in every kind of magic. I invented colors for the vowels! A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green. I made rules for the form and movement of every consonant, and I boasted of inventing, with rhythms from within me, a kind of poetry that all the senses, sooner or later, would recognize. And I alone would be its translator. I began it as an investigation. I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.
Arthur Rimbaud
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)
As spiritual searchers we need to become freer and freer of the attachment to our own smallness in which we get occupied with me-me-me. Pondering on large ideas or standing in front of things which remind us of a vast scale can free us from acquisitiveness and competitiveness and from our likes and dislikes. If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy. Also recalling our own experiences in which we acted generously or with compassion for the simple delight of it without expectation of any gain can give us more confidence in the existence of a deeper goodness from which we may deviate. (39)
Ravi Ravindra (The Wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide)
When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me. He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn't want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me. It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left. As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about being a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it. Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was mo longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and gray like an old sweater you can't throw out but won't put on. He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me. Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don't want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don't know what to do, give me time. Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution. I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn't use language to make a war-zone of my heart. 'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face. He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic. But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn't be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love. 'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.' He asked me to shut up. He wasn't a hero. 'Then why should I be a heroine?' He didn't answer, he plucked at the blanket. I considered my choices. I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated. I could leave and be unhappy and dignified. I could Beg him to touch me again. I could live in hope and die of bitterness. I took some things and left. It wasn't easy, it was my home too. I hear he's replaced the back fence.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
Gareth sucked in a breath. Hyacinth’s brother wasn’t going to make this easy on him. But that didn’t matter. He had vowed to do this right, and he would not be cowed. He looked up, meeting the viscount’s dark eyes with steady purpose. “I would like to marry Hyacinth,” he said. And then, because the viscount did not say anything, because he didn’t even move, Gareth added, “Er, if she’ll have me.” And then about eight things happened at once. Or perhaps there were merely two or three, and it just seemed like eight, because it was all so unexpected. First, the viscount exhaled, although that did seem to understate the case. It was more of a sigh, actually—a huge, tired, heartfelt sigh that made the man positively deflate in front of Gareth. Which was astonishing. Gareth had seen the viscount on many occasions and was quite familiar with his reputation. This was not a man who sagged or groaned. His lips seemed to move through the whole thing, too, and if Gareth were a more suspicious man, he would have thought that the viscount had said, “Thank you, Lord.” Combined with the heavenward tilt of the viscount’s eyes, it did seem the most likely translation. And then, just as Gareth was taking all of this in, Lord Bridgerton let the palms of his hands fall against the desk with surprising force, and he looked Gareth squarely in the eye as he said, “Oh, she’ll have you. She will definitely have you.” It wasn’t quite what Gareth had expected. “I beg your pardon,” he said, since truly, he could think of nothing else. “I need a drink,” the viscount said, rising to his feet. “A celebration is in order, don’t you think?” “Er…yes?” Lord Bridgerton crossed the room to a recessed bookcase and plucked a cut-glass decanter off one of the shelves. “No,” he said to himself, putting it haphazardly back into place, “the good stuff, I think.” He turned to Gareth, his eyes taking on a strange, almost giddy light. “The good stuff, wouldn’t you agree?” “Ehhhh…” Gareth wasn’t quite sure what to make of this. “The good stuff,” the viscount said firmly. He moved some books to the side and reached behind to pull out what looked to be a very old bottle of cognac. “Have to keep it hidden,” he explained, pouring it liberally into two glasses. “Servants?” Gareth asked. “Brothers.” He handed Gareth a glass. “Welcome to the family.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
Jorge Luis Borges
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses. Flood waters await us in our avenues. Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche Over unprotected villages. The sky slips low and grey and threatening. We question ourselves. What have we done to so affront nature? We worry God. Are you there? Are you there really? Does the covenant you made with us still hold? Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air. The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship. It is the Glad Season. Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner. Flood waters recede into memory. Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us As we make our way to higher ground. Hope is born again in the faces of children It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets. Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things, Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors. In our joy, we think we hear a whisper. At first it is too soft. Then only half heard. We listen carefully as it gathers strength. We hear a sweetness. The word is Peace. It is loud now. It is louder. Louder than the explosion of bombs. We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence. It is what we have hungered for. Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace. A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies. Security for our beloveds and their beloveds. We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas. We beckon this good season to wait a while with us. We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come. Peace. Come and fill us and our world with your majesty. We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian, Implore you, to stay a while with us. So we may learn by your shimmering light How to look beyond complexion and see community. It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time. On this platform of peace, we can create a language To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other. At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ Into the great religions of the world. We jubilate the precious advent of trust. We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope. All the earth's tribes loosen their voices To celebrate the promise of Peace. We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers, Look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud. Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation. Peace, My Brother. Peace, My Sister. Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)