READIN

(Some quotes I've found meaningful)

See my blog for more thoughts about reading.

Understanding makes the mind lazy.
-- Penelope Fitzgerald
That's the trouble with being innocent, you don't know what really happened.
-- Tomek Zaleska
Only imbeciles are innocent.
-- Orhan Pamuk
If he hadn't been so tired, ... he might have seen at the start that he was setting out on a journey that would change his life forever and chosen to turn back.
-- Orhan Pamuk
Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth.
-- Kurt Mondaugen
The city is a recapitulation of the cave, by other means.
-- Hans Blumenberg
So man became, by way of his passage through the cave, the dreaming animal.
-- Hans Blumenberg
What was venerated as style was nothing more than an imperfection or flaw that revealed the guilty hand.
-- Orhan Pamuk
All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.
-- Bokonon
The bastards that destroy our lives are sometimes just ourselves.
-- Robyn Hitchcock
Language speaks, because speaking is its pleasure and it can do nothing else.
-- Penelope Fitzgerald
All I wanna do is fall in love, while there's still time.
-- Robyn Hitchcock
It must have been a long time before men thought of giving a common name to the manifold objects of their senses, and of placing themselves in opposition to them.
-- Novalis
Can you win anything better than the useless rewards of a fantastical imagination! Is there any greater honor?
-- Moominpappa
Be quiet the doctor's wife said gently, let's all keep quiet, there are times when words serve no purpose, if only I, too, could weep, say everything with tears, not have to speak in order to be understood.
-- José Saramago
The gate is wide open, the madmen escape.
-- José Saramago
At first I didn't quite know what I would do with the book, other than read it over and over again. My distrust of history then was still strong, and I wanted to concentrate on the story for its own sake, rather than on the manuscript's scientific, cultural, anthropological, or 'historical' value. I was drawn to the author himself.
-- Orhan Pamuk
If you take away from our reality the symbolic fictions which regulate it, you lose reality itself.
-- Slavoj Žižek
By definition anyone with ideals is a hypocrite.
-- Girl
I was born with a mind that suffers from the incurable disease of worrying precisely about what could or might have been.
-- Cipriano Algor
We say to the apathetic, Where there's a will, there's a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head.
-- José Saramago
Dream is not a revelation. If a dream affords the dreamer some light on himself, it is not the person with closed eyes who makes the discovery but the person with open eyes lucid enough to fit thoughts together. Dream -- a scintillating mirage surrounded by shadows -- is essentially poetry.
-- Michel Leiris
If we do not say all words, however absurd, we will never say the essential words.
-- José Saramago
Slugs leave trails, sheep leave droppings, bees make honey, and humans leave two things: art and garbage. Where these meet is called entertainment.
-- Robyn Hitchcock
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
-- John Stuart Mill
The only real thing that exists at this moment on earth is our being here together...
-- José Saramago
Somehow, Cleveland has survived, with her gray banner unfurled -- the banner of Archangelsk and Detroit, of Kharkov and Liverpool -- the banner of men and women who would settle the most ignominious parts of the earth, and there, with the hubris born neither of faith nor ideology but biology and longing, bring into the world their whimpering replacements.
-- Gary Shteyngart
Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.
-- Gabriel García Márquez
Battle perfection with incompetence!
-- Grrl
Even the denial of a true idea creates a space which vibrates with possibility.
-- James Hamilton-Paterson
What word will be spoken that will give meaning to all this?
-- José Saramago
Songs are just interesting things to do with the air.
-- Tom Waits
We poets will write a thousand words to get at a single one.
-- Roberto Bolaño
Fix your eyes where the lonely sun sets in the immense sea.
-- Miguel de Unamuno
Sometimes I would forget Time altogether, and nestle into "now" as if it were a soft bed.
-- Orhan Pamuk
When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.
-- Augusto Monterroso
A willingness to let things wash over you can be the difference between sublimity and seasickness.
-- Garth Risk Hallberg
The alternatives are not placid servitude on the one hand and revolt against servitude on the other. There is a third way, chosen by thousands and millions of people every day. It is the way of quietism, of willed obscurity, of inner emigration.
-- J.M. Coetzee
Hay peores cárceles que las palabras.
-- Nuria Monfort
Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
-- I John 3:18
Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
-- William Blake
Even now, I persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing I might be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar.
-- Jeffrey Eugenides
The very idea of the (definitive) translation is misguided, Borges tells us; there are only drafts, approximations.
-- Andrew Hurley
One never stops reading, though books come to an end, just as one never stops living, even though death is a certainty.
-- Roberto Bolaño
He became so absorbed in his reading that he spent his nights reading from dusk to dawn, and his days from dawn to dusk; and thus, from so little sleep and from so much reading, his brain dried up, so that he came to lose all judgement.
-- Miguel de Cervantes
To write is to translate. It will always be, even when we're writing in our own language.
-- José Saramago
Between your two wings is where the journey occurs.
-- Eduardo Galeano
Ce n'est pas avec des idées qu'on fait des vers, c'est avec des mots.
-- Stéphane Mallarmé
Los verdaderos poemas son incendios. La poesía se propaga por todas partes, iluminando sus consumaciones con estremecimientos de placer o de agonía.
-- Vicente Huidobro
One must write in a tongue which is not one's mother tongue
-- Vicente Huidobro
In Solomon's mind, not wanting and not knowing form part of a much larger question about the world in which he finds himself.
-- José Saramago
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
-- Sir Francis Bacon
Finding a way to talk about the reading experience is, I’ve realised, the greatest pleasure of writing; where it ends is of no importance.
-- Stephen Mitchelmore
Liberty is not a woman walking the streets, she is not sitting on a bench waiting for an invitation to dinner, to come sleep in our bed for the rest of her life.
-- José Saramago
We all know where we were born, o my brothers, but not where our bones will lie buried.
-- el Cristo de Elqui
If you think, “I breathe,” the “I” is extra. There is no you to say “I.” What we call “I” is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale or when we exhale.
-- Shun Ryu Suzuki
When I want to freak myself out, “I” think about “me” thinking about having an “I.” The only thing stupider than puppets talking to puppets is a puppet talking to itself.
-- Daryl Gregory
Lo primordial, hermanos míos, no es nuestro sufrimiento, sino cómo lo llevamos a lo largo de la vía.
-- el Cristo de Elqui
A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
-- John Milton
Nonsense is only another language.
-- Penelope Fitzgerald
Decide that you like college life. In your dorm you meet many nice people. Some are smarter than you. And some, you notice, are dumber than you. You will continue, unfortunately, to view the world in exactly these terms for the rest of your life.
-- Lorrie Moore
With all due respect to Pink Floyd, a lot of classrooms I've been in could have used some dark sarcasm
-- Lore Sjöberg
I have enough trouble as it is in trying to say what I think I know.
-- Samuel Beckett
Listen, this process called poetry is an exercise in imagining memory, and then having that memory snare and cherish imagination.
-- Breyten Breytenbach
Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow
-- Orhan Pamuk
A memorandum-book does not, provided it is neatly written, appear confused to an illiterate person, or to the owner who understands it thoroughly, but to any other person able to read it appears to be inextricably confused.
-- James Clerk Maxwell
There is a constant barrier between the reader and his consciousness of immediate contact with the world.
-- William Carlos Williams
Although I have done it all these thirty years or more, although I live my life surrounded by other people who are always doing it, still I think that there are few activities so worthy of inspection as the reading of novels.
-- Juan Gabriel Várgas
He'd had the sense, moments earlier, that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being "depressed," and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. He would forfeit his moral certainties; every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never win an argument.
-- Jonathan Franzen
If there is a scheme,
perhaps this too is in the scheme,
-- Charles Reznikoff