Sunday, April 22, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. April 22, 2007. Dark Ages, Darwinism, Daydreams and Death.

Dark Ages
Dark Ages 346 The things that made the Dark Ages so dark—the isolation, the lack of mobility, the lack of curiosity, the hopelessness…. Clark, Civilization.

Darwinism 361 Spencer: …that the theory of evolution might be applied in every science as well as biology; that it could explain not only species and genera but planet and strata, social and political history, moral and esthetic conceptions. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Daydream 57 I liked to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter into their lives…in my mind I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

Death 138 Chorus: No wedding march/ No dancing song/ A sudden vista down stark avenues/ To Hades halls;/ Then Death at last. Sophocles. Oedipus at Colonus.

Death 180 Antigone: We’ll all die anyway…And if this hurries me to death before my time/ Why, such a death is gain. Sophocles. Antigone.

Death 113 He left a world for which he was unfit; and we trust, that among the innumerable stars of heaven, there is one where he had found happiness. Hawthorne, Fanshawe

Death 404 For, as we have only the testimony of the eye to M. Du Miroir’s existence, while all the other senses would fail to inform us that such a figure stands at arm’s length, wherefore should there not be beings innumerable, close beside us filling heaven and earth with their multitude, yet of whom no corporeal perception can take cognizance? Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

Death “Tomorrow, the shadow on the wall be that of another.” 1963. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley.

Death 172 Death is the only successful collector. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Death 361 Fergus: But I am no boy, to sit down and weep because the luck has gone against me; I knew the stake which I risked; we played the game boldly, and the forfeit shall be paid manfully. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Death 363 Fergus on his pending execution: Nature has her tortures as well as art, and how happy should we think the man who escapes from the throes of a mortal and painful disorder, in the space of a short half hour? Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Death 243 Some kind gentleman take my love to my poor old father; five years ago, he said he wished that I had died a child…I wish I had…I wish I had…the nurse bent over the girl for a few seconds, and then drew the sheet over her face; it covered a corpse. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Death 494 Not five seconds had passed when he rose to the water’s surface—but what a change had taken place in that short time, in all his thoughts and feelings! Life-life in any form, poverty, misery starvation—anything but death. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Death 235 …and beyond the grave they will find nothing but death. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Death 478 "There's that little rockin' chair o' her'n, I set an' notice it an' think how strange 'tis a creatur' like her should be gone an' that chair be here right in its old place." Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Death 482 "Poor dear," I repeated to myself half aloud; "I wonder where she is and what she knows of the little world she left." Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Death 108 The notion that it is against human nature to want to die is…absurd[;] many men, in fact, show an active desire to die and have it over. Mencken, Minority Report.

Death 198 There was a new unsheltered grave on the slope above the river, the farm house door was shut and locked, and the light was out in the kitchen window. Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Death 206 Joel Sayre: …I hate everything that pertains to funerals: Not only undertakers themselves, not only undertakers proper, but tombstone cutters, florists, compounders of embalming fluid, drivers of …hearses, grave diggers, and even the little guy that arranges the folding chairs. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Death 123 Before the people had entered the house, there had been, I am sure, an indifferent, business-like look, but when they came out, all that was changed; their faces were awed by the presence of death, and the indifference had given place to uncertainty. Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

Death 343 Inscription on the dial-plate of Johnson’s watch: “The night cometh when no man can work.” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Death 378 Johnson on death: A man knows it must be so, and submits; it will do him no good to whine. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Death 391 Johnson: Every man…at last wishes for retreat: he sees his expectations frustrated in the world, and begins to wean himself from it, and to prepare for everlasting separation. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Darth 11 But in this last scene between death and ourselves there is no more counterfeiting. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 30 So many millions of men buried before us encourage us not to fear to go seek such company in the other world. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 85 He is killed, not conquered. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 120 It seemed to me that my life just hung upon the edge of my lips; I shut my eyes to help, so I thought, to thrust it out, and took pleasure in languishing and letting myself go…an idea that only floated on the surface of my mind, as weak and feeble as all the rest, but, in truth, not only free from distress, but mixed with that pleasant tranquillity felt by us when we are gliding into slumber. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 480 Dying is not a social role. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 488 I am particularly pleased that in dying I shall hardly please or displease anyone. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 571 Consider how artfully and gently she makes life distasteful to you and detaches you from the world…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Death 667 How many men, I wonder, does one meet with, in a lifetime, whom he would choose for his death-bed companions! Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Death 840 We all stood around the narrow niche in the cold earth; all saw the coffin lowered in, all heard the rattle of the crumbly soil upon its lid--that final if in the vain hope of bringing an echo from the spiritual world. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Death 618 It may be remembered, however, that, of all the events which constitute a person’s biography, there is scarcely one--none, certainly, of anything like a similar importance—to which the world so easily reconciles itself, as to his death. Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

Death 407 One dies and either finds out about everything or ceases asking. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Death 915 Prince Andrei: And tomorrow I shall be killed, perhaps not even by a Frenchman but by one of our own side, by a soldier discharging a musket close to my ear, as one of them did yesterday; and the French will come along and take me by my head and heels and pitch me into a hole that I may not stink under their noses; and life generally will go on under new conditions, just as natural in their turn as the old ones, and I shall not know about them, for I shall be no more. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Death 915 Prince Andrei: To be killed be no more...that all this should still be, but no me. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Death 915 He [Prince Andrei] pictured the world without himself...the birches with their light and shade, the curly clouds and the smoke of the camp-fires.... Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Death 1141 Then who was it who was executing him, killing him, taking his life—his, Pierre’s, with all his memories, yearnings, hopes and ideas? Tolstoi, War and Peace

Death 1158 She understood it to signify that he [Prince Andrei] had suddenly become gentle and resigned, and that this sweet humility could only be the precursor of death. Tolstoi, War and Peace

Death 1159 His speech, his voice, and especially that calm, almost antagonistic look betrayed the detachment from all earthly things which is so terrible for a living man to witness. Tolstoi, War and Peace

Death 1167 Natasha and Princess Maria wept too now, but they wept not because of their own personal grief: they wept from the emotion and awe which took possession of their souls before the simple and solemn mystery of death that had been accomplished before their eyes. Tolstoi, War and Peace

Death 98 All of that immense mass of flesh and bone and consciousness will disappear by absorption into the earth, without recognition by the transient survivors. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Death 52 ...there is still that permanent vanishing of consciousness to be accounted for: ...where on earth does it go? L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Death 193 Even as he [Hector] spoke, the end came, and death hid him;/ spirit from body fluttered to undergloom. Homer, Iliad.

Death 286 They little knew, who coldly talk of the poor man’s bereavements, as a happy release from pain to the departed, and a merciful relief from expense to the survivor--they little knew, I say, what the agony of those bereavements is. Dickens, Pickwick.

Death 628 But he had grown so like death in life, that they knew not when he died. Dickens, Pickwick.

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