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"You may be right; I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for."
-- Billy Joel, You May Be Right
"If you can't tie good knots, tie plenty of them."
-- Gary Jovson, yachtsman
"I incline to believe that the greatest power that older persons have over the young is sympathy with them, especially as they grow up towards manhood. If we don't allow for the strange varieties of character and often for their extreme, almost unintelligible unlikeness to ourselves, we lose influence over them and they become alienated from thinking that they are not understood."
-- Benjamin Jowett
"Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Fury lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."
-- James Joyce, The Dead
"For I think it is always the case that inferior musicians, though they annoy their audiences, give very great pleasure to themselves."
"For you applaud men instead of the gods; Or rather, instead of the gods you flatter me, who am a mere man. But it would be best, I think, not to flatter even the gods, but to worship them with temperate hearts."
-- Julian, Misopogon
"We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it."
-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Ruskin's problem -- and his greatness -- was that he "could not help feeling." He could not avoid the human implications of the picturesque scene before him: to do so would have required that he become purely a seeing creature, that he use human beings for aesthetic pleasure, that he treat them purely as objects."
-- George P. Landow, The Aesthetic and Critical Theories of John Ruskin
"In other words, considered in relation to the interior state of the speaker the pathetic (or emotional) fallacy tells the truth, for by presenting the world as experienced by a man under the influence of powerful emotion, this device can tell us much about the inner life of another. From this point of view, then, the distorting effects of emotion, once understood correctly, are not solipsistic, are not isolating. Rather, by manipulating a portion of reality which both speaker and listener share, the pathetic fallacy allows one to glimpse the passions within the consciousness of another human being."
-- George P. Landow, The Aesthetic and Critical Theories of John Ruskin
"A vivid shame went through him. 'After all,' he thought, 'I wanted them to love with dead bodies. If I had kissed Judas with live love, perhaps he would never have kissed me with death. Perhaps he loved me in the flesh, and I willed that he should love me bodilessly, with the corpse of love.'"
-- D. H. Lawrence, The Man Who Died
"When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep"
-- Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. To avoid the first danger, one should plant a garden, preferably where there is no grocer to confuse the issue....To avoid the second, he should lay a good split of oak upon the andirons, preferably where there is no furnace, and let it warm his shins while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside."
-- Aldo Leopold
"Can it be that the materialist worldview, in which there is no intrinsic meaning, is slowly murdering our souls?"
-- Ian MacDonald, The People's Music - Selected Journalism
"In a sense, our job is a bit like fishing. We can do our best to get all the equipment, but you just never know whether there are going to be fish there. And it's the same with songs. When you get a big song, it's just mad because you don't feel you can take any credit for it."
-- Chris Martin
"I walked back inside me/I'd gone back for my youth/As I came down the fire escape/It must have stayed up on the roof"
-- Ian McCulloch, Candleland
"My fingerprints/Have left their traces/On all the things/The people and the places/I ever felt/And felt a part of/I touched the life/And kissed the heart of"
-- Ian McCulloch, Start Again
"Modernism is sniff 'n' scratch, you'll never get the flavor. It's like a packet of crisps. You'll never get the real flavor of sea salted prawn cocktail. It's artificial. The whole sodding thing is artificial, and I'm just trying to do me best to make things a little bit real."
-- Ian McCulloch, November 24th, 1995
"Let her life be torn and streaming like the flag of battle, it must be forward to the end."
-- George Meredith, Beauchamp's Career
"Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time."
-- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
"Beyond this flood a frozen Continent/Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms/Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land/Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems/Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,/A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog/Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old,/Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air/Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire."
-- John Milton, Paradise Lost (II; 587-595)
"But a man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works. Not only his own thoughts, but the thoughts of the men of past ages guide his hands; and, as part of the human race, he creates. If we work thus we shall be men, and our days will be happy and eventful."
-- William Morris, Useful Work versus Useless Toil, 1883
"Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,/I cannot ease the burden of your fears,/ Or make quick-coming death a little thing,/Or bring again the pleasure of past years."
-- William Morris, The Earthly Paradise
"Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,/ Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?/Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme/Beats with light wing against the ivory gate"
-- William Morris. The Earthly Paradise
"Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,/Think but one thought of me up in the stars"
-- William Morris, Summer Dawn
"If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
-- William Morris
"... the aurora borealis shakes over the vault of heaven its veil of glittering silver - changing now to yellow, now to green, now to red. It spreads, it contracts again, in restless change, next it breaks into waving, many-folded bands of shining silver, over which shoot billows of glittering rays; and then the glory vanishes. Presently it shimmers in tongues of flame over the very zenith; and then again it shoots a bright ray up from the horizon, until the whole melts away in the moonlight, and it is as though one heard the sigh of a departing spirit. Here and there are left a few waving streamers of light, vague as a foreboding - they are the dust from the aurora's glittering cloak. But now it is growing again; new lightnings shoot up; and the endless game begins afresh. And all the time this utter stillness, impressive as the symphony of infinitude."
-- Fridtjof Nansen, Farthest North (1897)
"History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon."
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