Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Last Post (for a while, anyway)

After 125 epigrams in 125 days, I'm calling "Hurry up please it's time" on this blog. In the future, I might add an occasional post from time to time, but this is my last daily post, a quote from Kafka that sums up this entire blog:

"In a world of lies the lie is not removed from the world by means of its opposite, but only by means of a world of truth." -- Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks

F.Y.I.  I will continue to blog on literature and other things at Mindful Pleasures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

de la mort...

"Neither the sun nor death can be looked at steadily." -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pascal on September 11 (and other atrocities too numerous to mention)

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious convictions." -- Blaise Pascal, Pensees

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Picasso on art and truth

"We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand." -- Pablo Picasso, Statement, 1923

Friday, March 11, 2011

On radical statement

"We will know we have succeeded in saying something that matters when we are told that it won't be tolerated." -- Curtis White, The Middle Mind

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Freud, religion and cultural criticism

"Having recognized religious doctrines as illusions, we are at once faced by a further question: may not other cultural assets of which we hold a high opinion and by which we let our lives be ruled be of a similar nature? Must not the assumptions that determine our political regulations be called illusions as well? and is it not the case that in our civilization the relations between the sexes are disturbed by an erotic illusion or a number of such illusions? And once our suspicion has been aroused, we shall not shrink from asking too whether our conviction that we can learn something about external reality through the use of observation and reasoning in scientific work--whether this conviction has any better foundation. Nothing ought to keep us from directing our observation to our own selves or from applying our thought to criticism of itself." -- Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Philip Roth on American consciousness

"It's not as though Marx or Freud or Darwin or Stalin or Hitler or Mao had never happened--it's as though Sinclair Lewis had not happened. It's, he thought, as though Babbitt had never been written. It's as though not even that most basic level of imaginative thought had been admitted into consciousness to cause the slightest disturbance." -- Philip Roth, The Human Stain

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kant the woodman

"Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing can ever be made." -- Immanuel Kant

Monday, March 7, 2011

Triangular Theology

"If triangles made a god, they would give him three sides." -- Montesquieu

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Greatness

"The glory of great men should always be measured against the means they used to acquire it." -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Contemporary Existentialist

"The possibility of freedom first arises when one knows one is living a lie." -- Walter A. Davis, Inwardness and Existence

Friday, March 4, 2011

Frankly, I'd rather worship Falstaff

"...the Western worship of God--by Jews, Christians and Moslems--is the worship of a literary character..." -- Harold Bloom, The Western Canon

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adorno Revises Himself (sort of)

"To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." -- Theodor W. Adorno, "Cultural Criticism and Society," Prisms

"Perennial suffering has as much right to expression as a tortured man has to scream; hence it may have been wrong to say that after Auschwitz you could no longer write poems. But it is not wrong to raise the less cultural question whether after Auschwitz you can go on living..." -- Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Robert Frost's Reply to Pascal

"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread." -- Blaise Pascal, Pensees

"They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places."

                             -- Robert Frost, "Desert Places"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How to Survive in the Modern World

"What matters finally is not the world's judgment of oneself but one's own judgment of the world." -- Gore Vidal, United States : Essays 1952-1992