A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 29 December 2008

Their Passions A Quotation?

A final, reflective trawl through my personal notebooks of quotations... I hope you enjoy these astute remarks and observations as much as I've enjoyed rediscovering them. They are not particularly connected, though some readers will no doubt see connections...

I have never been married, of course, but often a spectator can see rather more of the game than some of the players. A CATHOLIC PRIEST on Marriage.

You can learn nothing from experience, at least in my experience. SIMON GRAY.

Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. FRENCH PROVERB.

Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence. JOHN MUIR on Expedition Planning.

Brevity is the sister of talent. ANTON CHEKHOV.

There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness and truth are absent. From War and Peace by LEO TOLSTOY.

Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. The Biblical Book of PROVERBS.

Attention is the natural prayer of the soul. NICOLAS MALEBRANCHE.

In the mother's body Man knows the universe; in birth he forgets it. JEWISH SAYING.

Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. OSCAR WILDE. From De Profundis.

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children, children love hamsters. ALICE THOMAS ELLIS.

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. H. L. MENCKEN.

Life is a sexually transmitted disease. R. D. LAING.

We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire. FRANCOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD.

Entre deux amants il y a un qui aime et un qui se laisse aimer. FRANCOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD.

The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it. FRANCOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD.

Thoughts are the shadows of our sensations - always darker, emptier, simpler than these. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE.

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE.

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE.

I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE.

Life without music would be a mistake. FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE.

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. THOMAS MANN.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. WILLIAM BLAKE.

He who binds to himself a Joy/Does the wingèd life destroy;/But he who kisses the joy as it flies/Lives in Eternity's sunrise. WILLIAM BLAKE.

I certainly feel, looking back on my life, that few pleasures I have known have excelled digging with a wooden spade in wet sand. J. C. POWYS. From his Autobiography.

My mysticism is not to try to know. It is to live and not think about it. FERNANDO PESSOA. From his poem The Keeper Of Sheep.

'That is the nature of women,' said Don Quixote. 'They reject the man who loves them and love the man who despises them!' MIGUEL DE CERVANTES.

The man for whom the development of personality is all that counts has totally lost all sense of the sacred. SIMONE WEIL.

The work of most writers is born out of contradiction. DAVID HARE writing in The Guardian about HAROLD PINTER being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Not a day goes by that I don't ride, 'til the infinite, the horse of my imagination. SALVADOR DALI.

I always thought that music was more important than sex. Then I thought, if I don't hear a concert for a year and a half it doesn't bother me... WOODY ALLEN.

I really enjoyed keying these out. I hope you enjoyed reading them. I wonder what this collection of some of my favourite quotations says about me?


Raph G. Neckmann said...

Thank you SW, really enjoyed these - lots of food for thought.

What do these quotes say about you? What springs immediately to mind is that you are not like Pessoa, just living and not thinking about it.

The one I identify with most is Dali's - using the word 'giraffe' instead of 'horse'!

The Solitary Walker said...

You're quite right. The Pessoa is the ideal. Not there yet! It can be a tortuous path to get to simplicity through difficulty. Then again - according to Zen it's the easiest thing in the world.

I love the Dali one. I saw it under one of Dali's drawings of Don Quixote in the Dali Museum in Figueres.

Rachel Fox said...

A great selection. I haven't read any Nietzsche for about 20 years but those are some great lines from him.
Also liked the Muir and the Tolstoy and the Laing.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely the flinging a loaf of bread in a sack and jumping over the back fence idea. (in theory) but am afraid I just cannot be like that - how I envy those who can. Happy New Year to you both.

forest wisdom said...

I really enjoyed reading these, SW. I'll take a few of them with me for further pondering. Thanks.

The Solitary Walker said...

I used to read a lot of Nietzsche when I studied German Literature at uni (rather more than 20 years ago!) He always seemed slightly dangerous - an appealing quality to a romantically inclined, slightly rebellious student.

My 2 Caminos were organised in a rather Muir-like way. Lots of the walking sites I visit are terribly earnest about preparation and planning - which is obviously important for many trips. However I'm afraid I get bored very easily with all this - and tend to just get up and go. A propensity which has led to many a downfall...