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Archive for the ‘quote for the week’ Category

Living on the edge

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

(Read all “quote for the week” posts on this blog)

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I find this passage from Arianna Huffington’s old article “Bernard Levin remembered” rather poignant for several  reasons. The italics are mine.

We started a relationship which was to last until the end of 1980, when I left London to move to New York. And he was, in many ways, the reason I left London. I was by then 30, still deeply in love with him, but longing to have children. He, on the other hand, never wanted to get married or have children. What was touching is that he saw this not as a badge of independence and freedom but as a character flaw, almost a handicap. As he wrote in 1983 in his book “Enthusiasms”, which he movingly dedicated to me even though we were no longer together: “What fear of revealing, of vulnerability, of being human, grips us so fiercely, and above all why? What is it that, down there in the darkness of the psyche, cries its silent No to the longing for Yes?” It was a No that often coincided with retreating into depression — the “black dog” that he described as “that dark lair where the sick soul’s desire for solitude turns into misanthropy.”

The whole article is in fact extremely touching, as I suspect such things often are. Read it.

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“That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”

P.C. Hodgell

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“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law; for nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”

Albert Einstein, on prohibition in the US.

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“A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.”

Thomas Szasz.

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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality”

Dante Alighieri

[Edit: A reader points out that this quote is actually due to JFK, who (incorrectly) attributed it to Dante]

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“Many philosophers of the present day are convinced that every existing thing and event is logically unconnected with any other and could disappear from the world without necessarily affecting anything else. Such a rubbish-heap view of the world I cannot accept.”

Brand Blanshard.

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