Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quotes: Scholar. Science.

The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quotation that follows.

He was a scholar who studied without any purpose.
Scholar 352 …a scholar, throughout life, though always an indolent one, because his studies had no definite object either of public advantage or personal ambition. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches.

The scholar’s life is a peaceful life.
Scholar 132 …the fine quiet of the scholar which is nearest of all things to heavenly peace. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

Characteristics of a scholar.
Scholar 63 ...the self-accusation, the faint heart, the frequent uncertainty and loss of time, which are the nettles and tangling vines in the way of the self-relying and self-directed; and the state of virtual hostility in which he seems to stand to society, and especially educated society. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Scholars soon learn that it is not what they study but what they do with what they study that counts.
Scholar 110 He [the scholar] will learn, that it is not much matter what he reads [but] what he does. Emerson, Literary Ethics.

In a world of despondent people, the scholar brings hope to the world.
Scholar 116 Whilst the multitude of men degrade each other, and give currency to desponding doctrines, the scholar must be a bringer of hope, and must reinforce man against himself. Emerson, Method of Nature.

A medical man interested only in his experiments with people, not about the people themselves.
Science 124 [“Rappaccini’s Daughter”]: Giovanni’s mentor, Professor Baglioni, warns him about Rappaccini, describing his colleague as a man who ‘cares infinitely more for science than for mankind...his patients...[are] interesting to him only as subjects for some new experiment.’ Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

I have given a record of what one scientist thought as he pursued his research.
Science 310 “I have given the record of what one man has thought as he pursued research and pressed his hand against the confining walls of [the] scientific method.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

We can’t even grasp the complexities of a single cell.
Science 149 German biologist von Bertalanffy: “To grasp in detail the physico-chemical organization of the simplest cell is far beyond our capacity.” Eiseley, The Immense Journey

Two types of scientists: one still sees the wonder and mystery in life.
Science 190 [Two types of practitioners in science]: One is the educated man who still has a controlled sense of wonder before the universal mystery, whether it hides in a snail’s eye or within the light that impinges on that delicate organ. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

The second type of scientist is the analyzer who takes all of the mystery and wonder out of life.
Science 190 The second kind of observer is the extreme reductionist who is so busy stripping things apart that the tremendous mystery has been reduced to a trifle…. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Einstein believed in the intelligibility of the world that is the object of scientific research.
Science 191 Einstein: “A conviction akin to religious feeling of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a high order.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Science is interested in the coherence of nature.
Science 229 Alfred North Whitehead: “Science is concerned not with the causes but the coherence of nature.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Scientific knowledge is verifiable and cumulative.
Science 273 From a single point his [the scientist’s] discovery is verifiable by other men who may then, on the basis of corresponding data, accept the innovation and elaborate upon it in the cumulative fashion which is one of the great triumphs of science. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

The effects of the study of science on the scientist.
Science 291 “The special value of science,” a perceptive philosopher once wrote, “lies not in what it makes of the world, but in what it makes of the knower.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

If we journey into space, we should do so with hopes of expanding the human spirit.
Science 298 I remain oppressed by the thought that the venture into space is meaningless unless it coincides with a certain interior expansion. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

The ingenuity of science and the inability of man to get along with his fellows makes this a particularly dangerous time for the human race.
Science 576 JFK: “Because of the ingenuity of science and man’s own inability to control his relationships with one another…we happen to live in the most dangerous time in the history of the human race.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Science now defines the world mathematically, not by sense perception.
Science 8 In accepting a mathematical description of nature, physicists have been forced to abandon the ordinary world of experience, the world of sense perception. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

Man’s perceptions of the world are limited by his visual sense.
Science 11 Man’s perceptions of the universe in which he dwells are thus restricted by the limitations of his visual sense. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

When man observes his world, he changes that world because of his observation.
Science 25 Whenever he [man] attempts to penetrate and spy on the “real” objective world, he changes and distorts its workings by the very process of his observation. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein.

Nothing can move faster than light.
Science 47 …nothing can ever move faster than light, no matter what forces are applied. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Matter and energy are the same thing, but in different states.
Science 54 In other words matter is energy and energy is matter, and the distinction is simply one of temporary state. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

In July 1945 man demonstrated the ability to change mass into energy and the atomic bomb.
Science 55 If matter sheds its mass and travels with the speed of light we call it radiation or energy; and conversely if energy congeals and takes on a different form we call it matter...since July 16,1945, man has been able to transform one into the other...on that night at Alamogordo, New Mexico, man for the first time transmuted a substantial quantity of matter into the light, heat, sound, and motion which we call energy. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

We can’t feel the motion of the earth.
Science 63 ...we can’t feel our motion through space; nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the earth actually is in motion. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

It’s not the magnet, but the magnet’s magnetic field that attracts pieces of iron.
Science 73 Today scientists no longer say that a magnet “attracts” a piece of iron by some kind of mysterious but instantaneous action-at-a-distance...say rather that the magnet creates a certain physical condition in the space around it, which they term a magnetic field; and that this magnetic field then acts upon the iron and makes it behave in a certain predictable fashion. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Like magnets, celestial objects create fields and determine the properties around them.
Science 74 Just as Maxwell and Faraday assumed that a magnet creates certain properties in surrounding space, so Einstein concluded that stars, moons and other celestial objects individually determine the properties of the space around them. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

We can’t physically visualize Einstein’s universe; it can only be described mathematically.
Science 86 Like most of the concepts of modern science, Einstein’s finite, spherical universe cannot be visualized...its properties can be described mathematically. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

A sunbeam traveling at the rate of 186,000 miles per second would take 200 billion terrestrial years to traverse the universe and return to its starting point.
Science 87 A sunbeam, setting out through space at the rate of 186,000 miles a second would, in this universe, describe a great cosmic circle and return to its source after little more than 200 billion terrestrial years. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Mathematical equations describe the fundamental phenomena beyond the range of vision; equations work, as the creation of the atomic bomb showed.
Science 25 …the equations of quantum physics define more accurately than any mechanical model the fundamental phenomena beyond the range of vision…[equations] work, as the calculations which hatched the atomic bomb spectacularly proved. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

The facts of the heat of the sun measured in centigrade.
Science 94 The temperature of the sun, which is an average star, ranges from 550 degrees centigrade at the surface up to 40,000,000 degrees in the interior. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Scientists try to construct theories that cover the greatest number of facts.
Science 104 A complete Unified Field Theory touches the “grand aim of all science,” which, as Einstein once defined it, is “to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.” Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Science tries to find the unity that underlies the immense variety of the natural world.
Science 105 The urge to consolidate premises, to unify concepts, to penetrate the variety and particularity of the manifest world to the undifferentiated unity that lies beyond is not only the leaven of science; it is the loftiest passion of the human intellect. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Man must worry that his attempt to discover changes what he is observing.
Science 107 In his descent into the microcosm [man] has encountered indeterminacy, duality, paradox--barriers that seem to admonish him he cannot pry too inquisitively into the heart of things without altering and vitiating the processes he seeks to observe. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Early Americans made discoveries because they were not limited by the rigid patterns of thought of their European counterparts.
Science 251 On a rare occasion, an American could discover something, even in physics, simply because he was less learned than his European colleagues [because] ignorance of the respectable paths of scientific thought might leave him freer to wander off whenever facts beckoned. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Franklin discovered the identity of lightning and electricity because his thinking was not locked into electrical machines, laboratory experiments and theoretical arguments.
Science 256 The identity of lightning and electricity had already been suspected by Europeans, but they had found no way to prove it; Franklin’s contribution was a simple device that, as he said, “might have occurred to any electrician,” but which somehow had not occurred to Europeans physicists preoccupied with their “electrical machines,” their laboratory experiments, and their theoretical arguments among themselves. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Problems of scientific research.
Science Cover …the boredom of tedious experiment, and the aggressive miscalculations resulting from wrong notions stubbornly held to or facts only half understood…hard competition between men and labs as well as theories…dull conferences to attend…. Watson, The Double Helix.

Science does not proceed logically as it is supposed to, but is affected by personalities and cultural traditions.
Science xi …science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders…its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles. Watson, The Double Helix.

People in general are ignorant of how science actually works.
Science xii …there remains general ignorance about how science is “done.” Watson, The Double Helix.

An idea so simple had to be right.
Science 114 The idea was so simple that it had to be right. Watson, The Double Helix.

Such a beautiful model suggested that the structure had to exist.
Science 205 …telling each other that a structure this pretty just had to exist. Watson, The Double Helix.

Cures are the work of hundreds of researchers, each of whom makes a small contribution.
Science 11 Most cures are based on the work of hundreds of researchers, all of whom make minute contributions. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Writing about our failures is as important as writing about our successes.
Science 55 Professor Theodor Billroth…was…the first with the courage to publish reports on his operations; since surgeons lost more cases than they saved, the reports were macabre reading…”failures must be acknowledged, at once and publicly, without glossing over our mistakes; an unsuccessful case is more important to know about than a dozen successful operations.” Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

A scientist believes only what can be measured.
Science 225 He was a scientist…one [who] believed only what could be measured. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Science replaced Divine authority with observation, experience and experiment.
Science 193 …the revolution that replaced Divine Authority by experience, experiment, and observation. Clark, Civilization.

We kill when we dissect or analyze.
Science 279 Wordsworth: We murder to dissect. Clark, Civilization.

With Einstein, science began to focus on science, not on human needs.
Science 344 But from the time of Einstein, Niels Bohr and the Cavendish Laboratory, science no longer existed to serve human needs, but in its own right. Clark, Civilization.

Alchemy became chemistry, astrology became astronomy and from fables of talking animals came zoology.
Science 105 Here and there, in universities and monasteries and hidden retreats, men ceased to dispute and began to search…alchemy was transmuted to chemistry; out of astrology, men groped their way…to astronomy; and out of the fables of speaking animals came the science of zoology. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

If we learn the laws of nature, we will be its master.
Science 120 F. Bacon: Let us learn the laws of nature, and we shall be her masters. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

The usefulness of alchemy was like people digging for gold but, while finding no gold, produce crops.
Science 123 F. Bacon: Alchemy may be compared to the man who told his sons he had left them gold buried somewhere in his vineyard; where they, by digging, found no gold, but by turning up the mold about the roots of the vines, procured a plentiful the search and endeavors to make gold have brought many useful inventions and instructive experiments to light. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

The Greeks were always theorizing, not observing.
Science 128 F. Bacon: The great mistake of the Greek philosophers was that they spent so much time in theory, so little in observation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

We must observe nature, not follow the dictates of authorities in books.
Science 133 F. Bacon: We must go to nature instead of to books, traditions and authorities. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Philosophy should coordinate all the sciences for the benefit of human beings.
Science 353 Comte: Philosophy…was the coordination of all the sciences with a view to the improvement of human life…generalization of the result of all sciences. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

The experimental attitude promotes detailed analysis, specific inquiries and facts.
Science 527 Dewey: The experimental attitude...substitutes detailed analysis for wholesale assertions, specific inquiries for temperamental convictions, small facts for opinions whose size is in precise ratio to their vagueness. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

The essence of science is the willingness to abandon an idea for a better one.
Science 166 The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea, however fundamental it may seem to be, for a better one. Mencken, Minority Report.

Science rejects any experience that cannot be described in numbers.
Science 12 Ira Wolfert: Science rejects…experiences that cannot be described in numbers. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Modern science rests on the relativity and quantum theories, the one dealing with the universe at large and the other with the universe of the atom and smaller.
Science 240 W.L. Laurence: The two pillars on which modern science rests are the relativity and the quantum theories…[the] one [dealing] with the cosmic forces operating within the universe at large, while the other deals with the forces holding together the nuclei of the atoms of which the universe is constituted. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The theory of relativity is the greatest synthesis of all time.
Science 241 Bertrand Russell on Einstein’s theory of relativity: …the greatest intellectual synthesis of all time. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The greatest promise and threat of science is in contracting time through technology and expanding it through medicine.
Science 245 W.L. Laurence: The greatest promise, as well as the greatest threat, that…scientific achievements hold for [humanity] spring from the very fact that [man] has now gained for the first time a large measure of control…over the limitations of space and time…achieved, on the one hand, by contracting space, through the airplane, radio, television, and such, which enable him to crowd into any given time an infinity of experiences that would have taken several lifetimes in earlier generations, and, on the other hand, by stretching time through the lengthening of his life span as the result of new knowledge of fundamental life processes which is still snowballing. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

We have modified space and time and been modified by space and time and are now four-dimensional.
Science 246 W.L. Laurence: Having profoundly modified space and time, and become, in turn modified by them, we are gradually evolving from three-dimensional Euclidean beings into dwellers of the four-dimensional, non-Euclidean space-time universe of Dr. Einstein. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Science strives for unity and simplicity, but it seems to produce variety and complication.
Science 272 Babette Deutsch: Some years ago the mathematician, Henri Poincare, pointed out that science moves toward unity and simplicity: it seems to move toward variety and complication. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

50 years ago, inventions came from individual geniuses; today, most inventions are created by anonymous researchers.
Science 319 Rudolf Flesch on the changes in science and writing: Fifty years ago our inventions came from individual geniuses like Edison; today most great inventions are made by anonymous researchers, following a fixed procedure. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Science should produce the supplements and continuations of God’s creation.
Science 440 When science is learned in love, and its powers are wielded by love, they will appear the supplements and continuations of the material creation. Emerson, Art.

Engineering and science will ultimately destroy humanity.
Science 473 Speer: Nothing can prevent unfettered engineering and science from completing the work of destroying human beings, which it has begun in so dreadful a way in this war. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Science battles mistake.
Science 703 …but the very breath of science is a contest with mistake…. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Scientific discovery is based on intuition.
Science vii They [physicists] recognize that the crucial step on the way to scientific discovery is not rational, but intuitive. Foreword: Cooper. A Random Walk in Science.

The purpose of pure science is to extend knowledge, not to apply it.
Science 3 By research in pure science I mean research made without any idea of application to industrial matters but solely with the view of extending our knowledge of the laws of nature. J.J. Thompson. A Random Walk in Science.

No one today can comprehend the whole field of science.
Science 4 Today no human brain is capable of comprehending the whole of science. Feleki. A Random Walk in Science.

Inferring the temperature of Hell.
Science 106 The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed but it must be less than 444.6 degrees centigrade, the temperature at which brimstone or sulfur changes from a liquid to a gas. Anon. A Random Walk in Science.

Science is filling our homes with appliances that are smarter than we are.
Science 172 One humiliating thing about science is that it is gradually filling our homes with appliances smarter than we are. Anon. A Random Walk in Science.

Scientific fact sets off an explosion of conjecture.
Science 173 There is something fascinating about science: One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi. A Random Walk in Science.

Science has affected our method of reasoning.
Science 202 What [people] usually do not consider is the effect of science upon their way of reasoning. Adolph Baker. A Random Walk in Science.

The field of science is like an anthill.
Science 101 An active field of science is like an immense intellectual anthill; the individual almost vanishes into the mass of minds rumbling over each other, carrying information from place to place, passing it around at the speed of light. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Scientists are in a panic to grab the answer before anyone else does.
Science 101 To grab the answer, and grab it first, is for them [scientists] a more powerful drive than feeding or breeding, or protecting themselves against the elements. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

The typical science paper is a small piece in a large jig-saw.
Science 15 Ziman: A typical scientific paper has never pretended to be more than another little piece in a larger jigsaw--not significant in itself but as an element in a grander scheme. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Science is like termites building a termite nest.
Science 15 Ziman: this technique of soliciting many modest contributions in the store of human knowledge has been the secret of Western science since the seventeenth century, for it achieves a corporate, collective power that is far greater than any one individual can exert: With some alternation of terms, some toning down, [this] passage could describe the building of a termite nest. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Man stands between macrocosm and microcosm, and because the world was created by the word of God, its constituents are not available to us.
Science and God 109 Standing midway between macrocosm and microcosm, [Man] finds barriers on every side and can perhaps but marvel, as St. Paul did nineteen hundred years ago, that “the world was created by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.” Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Will science and humor be able to keep in step?
Science and humor 4 It is decisive for the present and future of mankind whether humor and science can keep in step…. Felecki. A Random Walk in Science.

Much of science consists of metaphors for the reality beneath the surface of things.
Science and metaphor 106 And upon examination such concepts as gravitation, electromagnetism, energy, current, momentum, the atom, the neutron, all turn out to be theoretical substructures, inventions, metaphors which man’s intellect has contrived to help him picture the true, the objective reality he apprehends beneath the surface of things. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

A scientific view of the end of the world.
Science and the future 95 The sun is slowly but surely burning out, the stars are dying embers, and everywhere in the cosmos heat is turning to cold, matter is dissolving into radiation, and energy is being dissipated into empty space. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Science fiction is about what can be while fantasy is about what cannot be.
Science fiction and fantasy 297 Science fiction vs. fantasy: the distinction between what can be, as science fiction is often described, and what can’t be, as fantasy often is…. Silbersack, JW. Gross, ed. Editors on Editing.

The German Nazi scientist renounced international science and research and research for the sake of research. Sieg Heil!
Science scholars research 272 Historian Ulrich Kahrstedt in 1934: “We renounce international science, we renounce the international republic of scholars, we renounce research for the sake of research. Sieg Heil!” Bracher, The German Dictatorship

Science and poetry must be comprehended.
Science, poetry 221 Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

There are scientists who are narrow-minded, dull and stupid.
Scientists 14 …a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid. Watson, The Double Helix.

The process of science is not reflected in the format of scientific articles.
Scientists xv Much of the misunderstanding of scientists and how they work is due to the standard format of articles in scientific journals. Introduction. A Random Walk in Science.

We know a lot more about flatworms than about the people who study flatworms.
Scientists xv We know considerably more about flatworms than we do about people who study flatworms. Introduction. A Random Walk in Science.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quotes: Sadness. Salvation. San Francisco. Sanity. Satire. Sayings. Scene.

The best way to cure being sad is to learn something.
Sadness 173 Merlyn: the best thing for being sad…is to learn something. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Sadness is for men not beasts, but if they give in to sadness too much, they become beasts.
Sadness 597 Sancho: Master, sadness was made for men, not for beasts, but if men let themselves give way too much to it, they turn into beasts. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

There is only one way to be saved: to take the responsibility for all men’s sins.
Salvation 290 There is only one means of salvation, then take yourself and make yourself responsible for all men’s sins. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

San Francisco
The weather in San Francisco is eternal spring.
San Francisco 837 ..the eternal spring of San Francisco…. Twain, Roughing It

My method is sane, but my motive and my purpose are mad.
Sanity 199 Ahab: “All my means are sane…. My motive and my object mad.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

Successful satire must still be good at a later period.
Satire 77 Dorothy Parker: Successful satire has to be pretty good the day after tomorrow. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

As they say in Turkey when they cut off the wrong man’s head, “It’s over and can’t be helped.”
Sayings 315 “It’s over, and can’t be helped, and that’s one consolation, as they always says in Turkey, ven they cuts the wrong man’s head off.” Dickens, Pickwick.

Some comforting reflections:
Sayings 677 …with a few comforting reflections, of which the chief were, that after all perhaps it was well it was no worse; the least said the soonest mended…what was over couldn’t be begun, and what couldn’t be cured must be endured…. Dickens, Pickwick.

Events on a small, rural town’s main street.
Scene 233 Harriet, tempted by everything and swayed by half a word, was always very long at a purchase; and while she was still hanging over muslims and changing her mind, Emma went to the door [of the shop] for amusement--much could not be hoped from the traffic of even the busiest part of Highbury; Mr. Perry walking hastily by, Mr. William Cox letting himself in at the office door, Mr. Cole’s carriage horses returning from exercise, or a stray letter-boy on an obstinate mule, were the liveliest objects she could presume to expect; and...her eyes fell...on the butcher with his tray, a tidy old woman traveling homewards from the shop with her full basket, two curs quarreling over a dirty bone, and a string of dawdling children round the baker’s little bow-window eyeing the gingerbread.... Austen, Emma

Change of color from June to August on some Maine islands.
Scene 443 The month was August, and I had seen the color of the islands change from the fresh green of June to a sunburnt brown that made them look like stone, except where the dark green of the spruces and fir balsam kept the tint that even winter storms might deepen, but not fade. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

From the point of view of the horse.
Scene 184 The horse knew as well as his master that nothing of particular importance was in hand, and however well he always caught the spirit of the occasion when there was need for hurry, he now jogged along the road, going slowly where the trees cast a pleasant shade, and paying more attention to the flies than to anything else. Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Rowing out into the water in twilight to a point where it seemed shoreless.
Scene 23 When we came down from the lighthouse and it grew late, we would beg for an hour or two longer on the water, and row away in the twilight far out from land, where, with our faces turned from the light, it seemed as if we were alone, and the sea shoreless; and as the darkness closed round us softly, we watched the stars come out, and were always glad to see
Kate’s star and my star, which we had chosen when we were children. Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

A deserted house in the snow.
Scene 124 I think today of that fireless, empty, forsaken house, where the winter sun shines in and creeps slowly along the floor; the bitter cold is in and around the house, and the snow has sifted in at every crack; outside it is untrodden by any living creature’s footsteps[;] the wind blows and rushes and shakes the loose window-sashes in their frames, while the padlock knocks—knocks against the door. Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

The sounds of a hotel.
Scene 760 I heard the stir of the hotel; the loud voices of the guests, landlord or barkeeper; steps echoing on the staircase; the ringing of a bell, announcing arrivals or departures; the porter lumbering past my door with baggage, which he thumped down upon the floors of neighboring chambers; the lighter feet of chamber-maids scudding along the passages…. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quotes: Rewards. Rhetoric. Right and Wrong. Roles. Roller Coaster. Romanticism. Rome. Routine. Ruins. Rules. Rural Life.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Our only reward will be a good conscience, i.e., we feel good about what we did.
Reward 278 JFK: ...with a good conscience our only sure reward.... Sorenson, Kennedy

Wilson engendered emotion through rhetoric and when his goals could not be achieved, the emotion was broken.
Rhetoric 8 …the emotions engendered by Wilson’s crusading rhetoric and the collapse of mood that accompanied the broken—indeed the unattainable—promises of that rhetoric. Blum, V Was for Victory

During WWII, The President was careful not to whip up emotion he could not control.
Rhetoric 8 During WWII the President tried to prevent his rhetoric from whipping up emotions he could not control. Blum, V Was for Victory

I thought he was a lord among wits, but found that he was only a wit among lords.
Rhetorical technique 159 Johnson on Lord Chesterfield: This man…I thought had been a lord among wits; but, I find, he is only a wit among lords. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Right and Wrong
Right and wrong can never compromise.
Right and Wrong 1172 Hilda: But there is, I believe, only one right and one wrong; and I do not understand…how two things so totally unlike can be mistaken for one another; nor how two mortal foes—as Right and Wrong surely are—can work together in the same deed. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

We play roles in order, mainly, to protect ourselves.
Roles 104 We act out many roles…some because it’s fun, some because others want us to act out those roles…mostly because we want to protect ourselves. Bergman, Ingmar. Fiction: “Confession.” The New Yorker (Nov. 11, 1996), 92-104.

Roller Coaster
Impressions of riding a roller coaster.
Roller coaster 76 The roller coaster would click-clack its way to the top of that first big drop and as...your heart raced, suddenly the whole Lenape valley opened up before you, the river solidly in place way down there.... Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Romanticism explores emotion beyond the control of reason.
Romanticism 311 …the Romantic impulse to explore beyond the bounds of reason. Clark, Civilization.

The idealism and reality of Rome.
Rome 496 He had begun to sense the antitheses of Rome: a city of architectural splendors and sunless streets running with human filth; a city of the highest artistic aspirations and pestilential fleas. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

A crumbling stone pillar lying on the ground epitomizes Rome.
Rome 977 [An immense gray granite shaft lying in the piazza]: …was a great, solid fact of the past, making old Rome actually sensible to the touch and eye; and no study of history, nor force of thought, nor magic of song, could so vitally assure us that Rome once existed, as this sturdy specimen of what its rulers and people wrought. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

The blood of the Christian martyrs was swallowed by the greatest of beasts, the populace of Rome.
Rome 980 …where so much blood of Christian martyrs had been lapt up by that fiercest of wild beasts, the Roman populace of yore. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

So many hopes lie crushed in the soil of Rome.
Rome 1196 …the myriads of dead hopes that lie crushed into the soil of Rome. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Routine masks our deep sense of insecurity.
Routine 7 We counteract a deep feeling of insecurity by making of our existence a fixed routine. Hoffer, The True Believer

The English ruin is overcome by the forces of nature.
Ruins 990 Nature takes an English ruin to her heart…strives to make it a part of herself, gradually obliterating the handiwork of man, and supplanting it with her own mosses and trailing verdure, till she has won the whole structure back. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

In Rome, Nature can never take back man’s accomplishments.
Ruins 990 But, in Italy, whenever man has once hewn a stone, Nature forthwith relinquishes her right to it, and never lays her finger on it again…bare and naked, in the barren sunshine…. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Observe the rules and then take the liberty of violating them—for a purpose.
Rules 216 T.S. Eliot: It’s not wise to violate the rules until you know how to observe them. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Rural Life
Country cousins drop in unannounced.
Rural life 411 …and how like a country-cousin, to come down upon a poor body in this way, without so much as a day’s notice, or asking whether she would be welcome! Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

The city person in the country has difficulty accepting unexpected guests.
Rural life 398 A man that is out of humor when an unexpected guest breaks in upon him, and does not care for sacrificing an afternoon to every chance-comer; that will be the master of his own time, and the pursuer of his own inclinations, makes but a very unsociable figure in this kind of [rural] life. Addison, 7/31/1711. The Spectator.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Quotes: Responsibility. Restaurant. Revenge. Reviewing. Revolution.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Every individual is responsible for all others and for everything that happens. [The message of The Remarkable Incident at Carson’s Corners by Reginald Rose.] Responsibility 260 …everyone is really responsible to all men for all men and for everything. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Goering tells his soldiers that the bullets they use to kill civilians in revenge are his bullets and he takes full responsibility.
Responsibility 121 Goering: Each bullet which leaves the barrel of a police pistol now is my bullet…if one calls this murder, than I have murdered…I assume the responsibility, and I am not afraid to do so. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

Impressions of “greasy spoon” roadside restaurants.
Restaurant 142 ...the whole gamut of American roadside restaurants...impaled guest checks, life savers, sunglasses, adman visions of celestial sundaes, one-half of a chocolate cake under glass, and several horribly experienced flies zigzagging over the sticky sugar pour on the ignoble counter.... Nabokov, Lolita.

He doesn’t mind waiting to achieve his revenge at last; hopes he doesn’t die before he can get that revenge.
Revenge 71 Heathcliff: “I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back; I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last; I hope he will not die before I do…let me alone, and I’ll plan it out: while I’m thinking that I don’t feel pain.” E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

I want the satisfaction of seeing my descendants employing his descendants to till my fields.
Revenge 252 Heathcliff: …and I want the triumph of seeing my descendant fairly lord of their estates: my child hiring their children to till their father’s lands for wages. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Try to restrain yourself by reason against the appetite for revenge.
Revenge 168 …he who, provoked and nettled to the quick by an offense, should fortify himself with the arms of reason against the furious appetite of revenge…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I wish I could slaughter you and eat you raw.
Revenge 192 Achilles to the wounded Hector: Would god my passion drove me/ to slaughter you and eat you raw, you’ve caused/ such agony to me! Homer, Iliad.

The technique of using a single sentence to summarize some trait of the article you are reviewing.
Reviewing 323 Helen Hull: Perhaps the most startling and thought-provoking single sentence in this article…. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The great revolution in the history of the world is by those determined to be free.
Revolution 259 JFK: The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

The “Revolution” in America will not be complete until every child has food to eat, every student the opportunity to study, everyone can find work and housing and everyone old can have security.
Revolution 703 JFK: “…the revolution of this hemisphere” would be incomplete “until every child has a meal and every student has an opportunity to study, and everyone who wishes to work can find a job, and everyone who wishes a home can find one, and everyone who is old can have security.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

If you make peaceful revolution impossible, you will insure violent revolution.
Revolution 722 JFK: Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Democracy must offer a heartfelt cause in order to turn people away from communism.
Revolution 899 Gen. Edward Lansdale: “The great lesson [of Malaya and the Philippines] …was that there must be a heartfelt cause to which the legitimate government is pledged, a cause which makes a stronger appeal to the people than the communist cause…. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Every revolution has disastrous unintended side effects.
Revolution 86 The direct consequences of revolutionary innovations may be calculable and salutary; but the indirect are generally incalculable and…disastrous. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Revolution occurs where there are extremes of poverty and wealth.
Revolution 86 …a ruler who would avoid revolution should prevent extremes of poverty and wealth…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Men will never be free until there are no more kings or priests.
Revolution 231 Diderot: “…men will never be free till the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire.

Successful revolutions reabsorb what they rebelled against.
Revolution 505 Santayana: Revolutions are ambiguous...success is generally proportionate to their power of adaptation and to the reabsorption within them of what they rebelled against. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

Revolution implies destruction.
Revolution 68 Albert Schweitzer: Revolution is an evil word, for it means that something new is to come through destruction. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Revolution means that people can rise up against the present government and put in its place one that better suits them.
Revolution 166 Lincoln on revolution: Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Revolutions are easier started than controlled and the people who start them are seldom there at the end.
Revolution 308 Stephens of Georgia: “Revolutions are much easier started than controlled, and the men who begin them, even for the best purposes and object, seldom end them.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.

Movements in the arts, like revolutions, seldom last beyond fifteen years.
Revolutions 120 Great movements in the arts, like revolutions, don’t last for more than about fifteen years. Clark, Civilization.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quotes: Remorse. Renaissance. Research.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Remorse means you did it and now, reflecting on what you did, you are sorry you did it. Your reflection does not alter that you did it.
Remorse 181 Spinoza: So is remorse a defect rather than a virtue: "He who repents is twice unhappy and doubly weak." Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

A man can do anything if he wills it—the slogan for the early Renaissance.
Renaissance 104 Alberti: ...describes how he conquered every weakness, for ‘A man can do all things if he will’...could be the motto of the early Renaissance. Clark, Civilization.

The Renaissance was the time of the “heroic will.”
Renaissance 137 The golden moment [the Renaissance] is almost over...while it lasted [twenty years] man achieved a stature that he has hardly ever achieved before or since[;] to the humanist virtues of intelligence was added the quality of heroic will[;] for a few years it seemed that there was nothing which the human mind could not master and harmonize. Clark, Civilization.

The Renaissance meant the discovery of the individual and belief in human genius.
Renaissance 139 …the footholds won by the Renaissance--the discovery of the individual, the belief in human genius, the sense of harmony between man and his surroundings…. Clark, Civilization.

In this book about the discovery of DNA, the reader is able to join in the researchers’ struggles, doubts and final triumph.
Research vii …instance where one is able to share so intimately in the researcher’s struggle and doubts and final triumph. Foreword. Sir Lawrence Bragg. Watson, The Double Helix.

Styles of research are as varied as human personalities.
Research xii …styles of scientific research vary almost as much as human personalities. Watson, The Double Helix.

He could find evidence supporting his ideas, but he could not understand other people’s conflicting points of view.
Research 358 He [Spencer] could sweep the entire universe for proofs of his hypotheses, but he could not see with any insight another’s point of view. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

Spencer was a scientist in observing and making hypotheses, but unlike the scientist, he accumulated only favorable data.
Research 394 Spencer began, like a scientist, with observation; he proceeded, like a scientist, to make hypotheses; but then, unlike a scientist, he resorted not to experiment, nor to impartial observation, but to the selective accumulation of favorable data…no nose at all for “negative instances.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

The massive numbers of materials studied to produce this book.
Research ix I estimate that my research encompassed documents, papers, and books totaling some fifty million words. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

The wording of his question assured that he would not find the right answer.
Research 144 In that way Lydgate put the question—not quite the way required by the awaiting answer; but such missing of the right word befalls many seekers. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

We need to note the amounts of useless research undertaken in the U.S.
Research 23 There has long been felt in American physics the need for an efficient governing body to organize the vast quantity of useless research that is being pursued day by day and hour by hour in the many institutions of higher learning in these great United States…
The American Institute of Useless Research (AIUR). A Random Walk in Science.

Phony proofs used by researchers.
Research 31 Proof by assertion; proof by admission of ignorance; proof by non-existent reference; proof by assignment (we leave as a trivial exercise by the reader….); proof by circular cross reference; proof by aesthetics; proof by oral tradition (see unpublished lecture notes of the late Professor Green). Paul V Dunmore. A Random Walk in Science.

Basic Research” means I do not know what I am doing.
Research 41 Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing. Werner von Braun. A Random Walk in Science.

Basic science is not the same thing as applied science; the gap is huge.
Research 115 There is a highly visible difference between the pace of basic science and the application of new knowledge to human problems. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Researchers must have the mind set of possibly being wrong. [Unlike the many researchers in education who interpret the process of research as finding only evidence that they are right.]
Research 120 Somehow, the atmosphere has to be set so that a disquieting sense of being wrong is the normal attitude of the investigators. L. Thomas, Lives of a Cell.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quotes: Religion.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Religion uses as a bridle the dread of the hereafter.
Religion 21 …all men needed the bridle of religion, which, properly speaking, was the dread of the Hereafter. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Using violence to spread the religion of peace.
Religion 22 …and ready to propagate the religion of peace by violence. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches.

People pray for success in burning villages and slaughtering with pious fierceness.
Religion 237 …the veterans of King Philip’s War, who had burnt villages and slaughtered young and old, with pious fierceness, while the godly souls throughout the land were helping them with prayer. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

He decried the flame-licked eternity prescribed for most people by medieval Christianity.
Religion 309 He decried the “small and black and flame-licked” eternity that medieval Christianity had envisioned for the great mass of humanity, as well as the “small and black and…venomous” mind that conceived it. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley.

JFK’s religion was humane, not doctrinal.
Religion 106 Kennedy’s religion was humane rather than doctrinal. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

To religion, the present is a place of exile to be endured until reaching the heavenly kingdom.
Religion 73 To a religious movement the present is a place of exile, a vale of tears leading to the heavenly kingdom. Hoffer, The True Believer

JFK on the Pope’s interference in his Presidential campaign: Now I know why Henry VIII set up his own church.
Religion 167 JFK: “Now I understand why Henry VIII set up his own church.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK asked clergymen for help in the fight against racism, assuming that they saw the contradiction between racial bigotry and the Christian gospel.
Religion 564 He [Kennedy] pressed for action from clergymen of all faiths, certain they would “recognize the conflict between racial bigotry and the Holy Word.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Using torture to persuade people to worship the Holy Redeemer.
Religion 217 ...this pleasant inquisition and pointed to the Blessed Redeemer, who was so gentle and so merciful toward all men, and they urged the barbarians to love him; and they did all they could to persuade them to love and honor him--first by twisting their thumbs out of joint with a screw; then by nipping their flesh with pincers--red hot ones, because they are the most comfortable in cold weather; then by skinning them alive a little, and finally by roasting them in public. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

A religious belief is not the same thing as a religious sensibility.
Religion 167 A religious sensibility is very different from a religious belief.... Bloom, Western Canon.

People turn to religion to help them solve the problems of existence.
Religion 78 Men turn to various religions to solve mysteries of the human condition, which today, as in earlier times, burden people’s hearts: the nature of man; the meaning and purpose of life; good and evil; the origin and purpose of suffering; the way to true happiness; death; judgment and retribution after death; and, finally, the ultimate ineffable mystery which is the origin and destiny of our existence. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

What unites the Catholic Church with other Christian sects is much greater than what divides them.
Religion 147 What unites us [Catholic Church and other religions] is much greater than what separates us. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

In the Christian Gospel, master and slave become Father and Son.
Religion 227 …Gospel of Christ, in which the paradigm of master-slave is radically transformed into the paradigm of Father-Son. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

If you’re patient enough, you will understand that evil is actually good.
Religion 818 [Jim Blaine]: “But mind you, there ain’t anything ever reely lost; everything that people can’t understand and don’t see the reason of does good if you only hold on and give it a fair shake; Prov’dence don’t fire no blank ca’tridges, boys.” Twain, Roughing It

Missionaries made the Hawaiians permanently miserable by telling them that Heaven was a blissful place that is very hard to achieve.
Religion 877 …long, long before the missionaries braved a thousand privations to come and make them [Hawaiians] permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and how blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it is to get there. Twain, Roughing It

Priests want people to be educated only to the degree of trust and reverence.
Religion 439 He had been instructed only in that innocent and ineffectual way in which the Catholic priests teach the aborigines, by which the pupil is never educated to the degree of consciousness, but only to the degree of trust and reverence, and a child is not made a man, but kept a child. Thoreau, Walden.

Quakers sacrificed people so that their consciences could be clear.
Religion 48 [The Quakers] showed how zealous men might sacrifice the welfare and even the lives of their fellow men to the overweening purity of their own consciences. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Religion consists of persecution, religious pride and love of contradiction.
Religion 139 “Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction,” Crevecoeur observed in late 18th-century America, “are the food of what the world commonly calls religion.” Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Men invented God in order to comfort their fear of the unknown.
Religion 583 The history of religions is that of shivering, frightened people who have attempted to put a roof over their heads against the night and blackness and fears and terrors of the unknown…why man has invented God. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Come and worship our gods or we will kill you and your gods.
Religion 230 “Put away your gods and come and worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods.” Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Man does not want a God so much as miraculous intervention in his life.
Religion 231 …for man seeks not so much god as the miraculous. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

All great religious teachers, east or west, have believed that man must shed his possessions.
Religion 78 ...his [St. Francis’s] belief that in order to free the spirit we must shed all our earthly goods is the belief that all great religious teachers have had in common, eastern and western, without exception. Clark, Civilization.

Religion exists in man because man is the only animal who can contemplate his situation.
Religion 173 [Religion] appears in a man simply because man is the only animal, so far as we know, who can ponder on his situation. Mencken, Minority Report.

Religion makes people good the way belief in Santa Clause makes children good, but no one would argue that as proof for the existence of Santa Claus.
Religion 249 It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true…Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that that fact proves his existence. Mencken, Minority Report.

When men fight for their religion, the religion is false, wicked and against God.
Religion 250 …religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked and against God. Mencken, Minority Report.

People should care more about being good human beings rather than good Catholics or Episcopalians.
Religion 295 “But I think one should care more about being a good woman than a good Episcopalian, Aunt Nancy.” Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Christ told us that life is a time of probation, but people insist on trying to be happy in life.
Religion 572 …but Christ, the Son of God, came down upon earth and told us that this life is but a flash, a time of probation; yet we cling to it and think to find happiness in it. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

We profess Christian forgiveness, but we kill criminals, and a priest provides services before they die.
Religion 635 Pierre: We all profess the Christian law of forgiveness of injuries and love for our neighbor, the law in honor of which we have raised forty times forty churches in Moscow—but yesterday a deserter was knouted to death and a minister of that same law of love and forgiveness, the priest, gave the soldier the cross to kiss before his execution. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Black old-timer to a balloonist who had landed in his field: Howdy, Jesus, how’s your pa?
Religion 249 [Black old-timer who couldn’t run from cotton field in which balloonist descended]: “Howdy, Massa Jesus; how’s yo’ pa?” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years
Christ united God and man, thus transforming man.
Religion Catholic 136 The mystery of the Church: The Son of God, uniting Himself to human nature and conquering death with His Death and Resurrection, redeemed man and transformed him into a new creation. Pope John Paul II, Threshold [The inherent injustice of the concept of “Original Sin,” that humans are condemned, not because of what they did, but because of what Adam did. Because Adam sinned, all mankind became sinners. If that is not unjust, I don’t know what is. Apparently God’s concept of justice is more tyrannical than the human view of justice. Would seem to imply that God does not care about individuals]

Religious fundamentalists impose their religion on everyone.
Religion fundamentalist 94 In countries where Fundamentalist movements come to power, human rights and the principle of religious freedom are unfortunately interpreted in a very one-sided way—religious freedom comes to mean freedom to impose on all citizens the “true religion.” Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Religious Fundamentalism is tyranny by religion.
Religious Fundamentalism 422 Slowly, I began to see that [religious] Fundamentalism had a down side…did not tolerate debate, nor did it seek balance…appeared to be less a God-centered existence than a man-ordered set of demands…less a kinship within a Christian community that tolerated difference than it was an intrusion by people single-mindedly focused on their own organizational objectives. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Assumption that people who shut themselves away from the world are holier than those who live within the world. [Possible that shutting themselves within the walls is an escape from the courage and choices needed to live outside the walls.]
Religious orders 149 Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside…. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quotes: Reincarnation. Rejection. Relationship.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Wm. Faulkner said that if he were reincarnated, he would like to come back as a buzzard, the most unlovable bird in existence.
Reincarnation 93 Faulkner: You know that if I were reincarnated, I’d want to come back as a buzzard [because] nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him [and] he is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

Darcy’s response to Elizabeth after she rejects his marriage proposal.
Rejection 193 Darcy to Elizabeth after she has refused his proposal: Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness. Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

They had no feelings for each other.
Relationship 322 It was lonely and sad to be so empty-hearted toward each other. Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night.

When we first meet people, we sense a feeling from them.
Relationship 169 Frank O’Connor: I just notice a feeling from people [when I first meet them]. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

There was something about her that made him feel as if he were not even acquainted with her.
Relationship 342 There was something in her face that forbade [his speaking],--a whiteness and a strange look in her eyes, that made him lose all feeling of comradeship or even acquaintance. Jewett, A Country Doctor.

True relationship is not off and on, but everywhere and always.
Relationship 958 But relation and connection are not somewhere and sometimes, but everywhere and always. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Fate.

His response was frank, kind and expressed readiness to hear her story, but she detected a certain reserve and alarm in his manner.
Relationship 959 Kenyon’s response had been perfectly frank and kind; and yet the subtlety of Miriam’s emotion detected a certain reserve and alarm in his warmly expressed readiness to hear her story. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

One knows in an instant when he has intruded on two people at the acme of love or hate.
Relationship 818 One always feels the fact, in an instant, when he has intruded on those who love, or those who hate, at some acme of their passion…. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

People will always have difficulty living together.
Relationships 81 There is always a difficulty in living together…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Two farmers shared the island, but, for three generations the members of their families had never spoken to each other.
Relationships 404 On a larger island, farther out to sea, my entertaining companion showed me with glee the small houses of two farmers who shared the island between them, and declared that for three generations the people had not spoken to each other even in times of sickness or death or birth. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

We try to use our misfortunes to arouse the compassion and mourning of our friends.
Relationships 480 By reflection I rid myself every day of that childish and inhuman humor that makes us want by our misfortunes to arouse compassion and mourning in our friends. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Those who suffer become aliens in society.
Relationships 929 For it is one of the chief earthly incommodities of some species of misfortune, or of a great crime, that it makes the actor in one, or the sufferer of the other, an alien in the world by interposing a wholly unsympathetic medium betwixt himself and those whom he yearns to meet. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

The victims of misfortune or crime become solitary individuals unable to have relationships with other individuals.
Relationships 947 This perception of an infinite, shivering solitude, amid which we cannot come close enough to human beings to be warmed by them, and where they turn to cold, chilly shapes of mist, is one of the most forlorn results of any accident, misfortune, crime, or peculiarity of character, that puts an individual ajar with the world. Hawthorne, The Marble Faun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quotes: Reform.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Behind every reform is the desire to make money.
Reform 236 ...every reform, Hawthorne suggests, will have its commercial opportunities. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

We must rid ourselves of stereotypes and old habits.
Reform 147 It is necessary…to rid ourselves of stereotypes, of old habits. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Reforms produce institutions and institutions inevitably produce abuses.
Reform 505 Santayana: A thousand reforms have left the world as corrupt as ever, for each successful reform has founded a new institution, and this institution has bred its new...abuses. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

The problem with reforms is that they do not reflect the nature of real people.
Reform 26 It collides, like the Russian system, with certain irremovable facts of human nature. Mencken, Minority Report.

The desire to save humanity is a mask for the desire to govern it.
Reform 247 The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it. Mencken, Minority Report.

Messiahs seek power, not the chance to serve.
Reform 247 Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. Mencken, Minority Report.

The problem with reform is that human nature abhors system and system-makers. People will not be molded.
Reform 1207 [Of Fourierism]: …criticism which we apply to so many projects for reform with which the brain of our age teems: our feeling…that Fourier had skipped no fact but one, namely Life…treats man as a plastic thing, something that may be put up or down, ripened or retarded, molded, polished, made into solid, or fluid, or gas, at the will of the leader…but skips the faculty of life, which spawns and scorns system and system-makers. Emerson, Uncollected Prose.

Superior minds are at odds with society’s evils and with projects designed to do away with them.
Reform 702 The superior mind will find itself equally at odds with the evils of society, and with the projects that are offered to relieve them. Emerson, Representative Men: Montaigne, or The Skeptic.

People are not afraid to act; they are just uncertain about what to do.
Reform 165 It is not that men do not wish to act; they pine to be employed, but are paralyzed by the uncertainty what they should do. Emerson, Lecture on the Times.

Reforms mask the desire to put new people into power.
Reform 152 “You never hear of a reform, but it means some trick to put in new men.” George Eliot, Middlemarch.

The problem with your reform is that it does not understand human nature.
Reform 748 Hollingsworth: I see through the system…there is not human nature in it. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Reformers cannot believe that they might be wrong.
Reformer 113 Of all varieties of men, the one who is least comprehensible to me is…the reformer, the uplifter, the man, so-called, of public spirit…am chiefly unable to understand…his oafish certainty that he is right--his almost pathological inability to grasp the notion that, after all, he may be wrong. Mencken, Minority Report.

People have reforms for everything, even dealing with insects.
Reformers 592 Even the insect world was to be defended…and a society for the protection of ground-worms, slugs, and mosquitoes was to be incorporated without delay. Emerson, New England Reformers.

If I thought someone were coming to my house to do me good, I would run for my life.
Reformers 381 If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life…. Thoreau, Walden.

The biggest bores of all are reformers.
Reformers 445 …reformers, the greatest bores of all…. Thoreau, Walden.

Reformers are moral bullies.
Reformers 23 The moral bully is the worst of all; Puritanism is completely merciless. Mencken, Minority Report.

The people behind reforms are not themselves renovated; they may be tediously good in some particular virtue, but lagging in others.
Reformers 596 The criticism and attack on institutions which we have witnessed, has made one thing plain, that society gains nothing whilst a man, not himself renovated, attempts to renovate things around him: He has become tediously good in some particular, but negligent or narrow in the rest; hypocrisy and vanity are often the disgusting result. Emerson, New England Reformers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Quotes: Realists. Reality. Reason. Rebellion. Recluse.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

The Greeks looked at the world as it really was and were content.
Realist beauty 58 The Greeks were realists, but not as we use the word: They saw the beauty of common things and were content with it. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

We respect lions—in the abstract!
Reality 676 We have a great respect for lions in the abstract. Dickens, Sketches by Boz.

Everything changes even when it does not seem to change.
Reality 64 Heraclitus (530-470 BC): All things forever flow and change, he said; even in the stillest matter there is unseen flux and movement. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

Everything is cyclical: the sun sucks up the water into clouds that then replenish the seas with water.
Reality 66 This is a cyclic world, says our philosopher: the sun forever evaporates the sea, dries up rivers and springs, and transforms at last the boundless ocean into the barest rock; while conversely the uplifted moisture, gathered into clouds, falls and renews the rivers and the seas. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

People like Machiavelli explain what men actually do, not what they should do.
Reality 114 F. Bacon: “We are beholden to Machiavel, and writers of that kind, who openly and declare what men do in fact, and not what they ought to do.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Reality is thesis, antithesis and synthesis.
Reality 295 Fichte: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis constitute the formula and secret of all development and all reality. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

Because of his reason, man can see relationships, sees causes, sees reciprocal cause and effect, makes analogies and can see the whole course of his life.
Reason 7 But man, because he is endowed with reason by which he is able to perceive relationships, sees the causes of things, understands the reciprocal nature of cause and effect, makes analogies, easily surveys the whole course of his life…. Cicero, De Officiis. Adler and VanDoren, eds. Great Treasury of Western Thought.

The distinctions among reflex action, instinctive action and reason.
Reason and instinct 183 Spinoza: …reflex action is a local response to a local stimulus; instinctive action is a partial response to part of a situation; reason is total response to the whole situation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Reason is distinctive to man.
Reason life man 30 Aristotle: Such to man is the life according to reason, since it is this that makes him man. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

All rebels think they are bringing in new days that will last.
Rebellion 78 Every rebel believes that he is bringing in a new day that will last. Mencken, Minority Report.

Recluses are related to each other by their sadness, but they are never commonplace.
Recluse 442 …recluses are a sad kindred, but they are never commonplace. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Each of us has a mental space where we are recluses in sadness or happiness.
Recluse 444 In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Quotes: Reading.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Modern readers do not have the literary background, leisure or patience to put any more effort into reading than they do in watching a movie or listening to the radio.
Reading 318 Rudolf Flesch: They [the modern readers] don’t have the literary background of Victorian ladies and gentlemen; they don’t have their leisure and patience; they are unwilling to put more effort into reading than they would into watching a movie or listening to the radio. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The paper-based book, newspaper and magazine have advantages over their digital counterparts.
Reading 113 The paper-based book, magazine, or newspaper still has a lot of advantages over its digital read a digital document you need an information appliance such as a personal computer...a book is small, lightweight, high resolution, and inexpensive compared to the cost of a computer. Gates, The Road Ahead.

JFK was a fanatical reader at any time during the day.
Reading 104 [Kennedy]...a fanatical reader, not only at the normal times and places but at meals, in the bathtub, sometimes even when walking. Dressing in the morning, he [Kennedy] would prop open a book on his bureau and read while he put on his shirt and tied his tie. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days.

JFK did not read for distraction; he had not a second to waste.
Reading 104 Kennedy seldom read for distraction...did not want to waste a single second. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

JFK read for information, for comparison, for insight and for the sheer joy of well-expressed ideas.
Reading 104 He [Kennedy] read partly for information, partly for comparison, partly for insight, partly for the sheer joy of felicitous statement. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

I am surprised that you prefer reading to playing cards.
Reading 37 “Do you prefer reading to cards?” said he; “that is rather singular.” Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

She was completely absorbed in her reading.
Reading 204 She read, with an eagerness which hardly left her the power of comprehension, and from impatience of knowing what the next sentence might bring, was incapable of attending to the sense of the one before her eyes. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

JFK remembered and applied what he read.
Reading 25 More amazing was the accuracy with which he [Kennedy] remembered and applied what he read. Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK never saw his father read a serious book, although he was well informed. [Neither did I.]
Reading 35 “Although,” the Senator [Kennedy] told me of this successful, well-informed man [his father], “I’ve almost never seen him read a serious book.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK found in the writings of Mao and Che Guevera what he could not find in army manuals.
Reading 712 Finding little to go on in the Army field manuals, he [Kennedy] read the classic texts on guerrilla warfare by Red China’s Mao Tse-Tung and Cuba’s Che Guevara, and requested appropriate military men to do the same. Sorenson, Kennedy

When God receives readers in Heaven, He will say “We have nothing for them here. They already have their reward. They are readers.”
Reading 443 Woolf on reading: “I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards--their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble--the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, ‘Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.’” Bloom, Western Canon.

Real readers read to enlarge a solitary existence.
Reading 518 What Johnson and Woolf after him called the Common Reader…does not read for easy pleasure or to expiate social guilt, but to enlarge a solitary existence. Bloom, Western Canon.

Not many college students today have a passion for reading.
Reading 519 …only a few handfuls of students now enter Yale with an authentic passion for reading. Bloom, Western Canon.

She draws up various lists of what to read, but she does not read.
Reading 37 Mr. Knightley on Emma: Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years old...have seen a great many lists of her drawing up at various times of books that she meant to read regularly through--and very good lists they were--very well chosen, and very neatly arranged--sometimes alphabetically, and sometimes by some other rule...but I have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma; she will never submit to anything requiring industry and patience.... Austen, Emma

When she saw her name in the letter, every word became irresistible.
Reading 444 On Emma’s reading the letter from Mr. Frank Churchill: As soon as she came to her own name, it was irresistible; every line relating to herself was interesting and almost every line agreeable. Austen, Emma

He is a little bookish, but when his head is full of learning, he will take to field sports.
Reading 20 Edward was a little bookish, he [Sir Everard] admitted; but youth, he had always heard, was the season for learning, and, no doubt, when his rage for letters was abated, and his head fully stocked with knowledge, his nephew would take to field sports and country business. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley.

Learn to skim, skip, scan and sample and when to use these techniques.
Reading 25 Master the art of skimming, skipping, scanning and sampling—the techniques of reading part of a manuscript all the way through…will have to learn when you can safely use this technique, and when you must read every single line, every single word. M. L. Schuster. Gross, ed. Editors on Editing.

In order to see the word of God through his own eyes and not the eyes of the priest, he needed to learn to read.
Reading 300 To be responsible for his own salvation, to see the Word of God through his own and not through a priest’s eyes, a man had to be able to read. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Colonial America was brought up on self-help books.
Reading 304 Especially in the smaller libraries, or in the collections of two dozen titles or often found medical texts to help the planter or his wife treat the plantation sick...numerous handbooks on agriculture, building, horses, hunting, or fishing were not for the hobbyist...essential to horsemanship or gardening enabled the Virginian to etch in more minute detail his reproduction of English country life. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

The aristocrats of Virginia did not spend much money on books.
Reading 312 ...the free-spending aristocracy [of Virginia] did not spend much of its money on books. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Book buying does not tell what people actually read.
Reading 412 But what people actually read is a fact almost as private and inaccessible as what they not have even an approximate record of the actual reading--as contrasted with book-buying, or book ownership--of any major figure in our past. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Books we buy are sometimes substitutes for reading; we want to give the impression that the contents of our library are in our heads.
Reading 412 But everyone knows from his personal experience that the purchase of a book is sometimes a substitute for the reading of it; we would all be flattered to think that the contents of our libraries had got into our heads. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

She would not read anything better than comic books and stories in magazines for females because she saw anything higher as like being in school.
Reading 158 ...but no matter how I pleaded or stormed, I could never make her read any other book than the so-called comic books or stories in magazines for American females; any literature a peg higher smacked to her of school. Nabokov, Lolita.

I had no idea what it meant, but it was certainly written with style.
Reading 38 Most of the language was above me, and so I could only get a general impression of his argument…had no way of judging whether it made sense…only thing I was sure of was that it was written with style. Watson, The Double Helix.

The only way to find out if a book is useless is to read it.
Reading 72 You can’t learn that a book is useless until you’ve read it. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Jackson always carried and read the Bible and Napoleon’s maxims on war.
Reading 182 He [Jackson] had many books and two favorites, which he always carried in his mess kit—the Bible and a volume of Napoleon’s maxims on war…his professional and military inspiration [was] the Little Corsican, whose 88 campaigns he had mastered from A to Z. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

She only read books that had no useful information and stories without reflection.
Reading 15 …provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she [Catherine Morland] had never any objection to books at all. Austen, Northanger Abbey.

I always find something else to do rather than to read novels.
Reading 48 Oh Lord! Not I; I never read novels; I have something else to do. Austen, Northanger Abbey.

A clever man is usually a reading man.
Reading 182 Benwick…is a clever man, a reading man…. Austen, Persuasion.

Read it a little at a time, and, having finished it, realize that you have only begun to understand it.
Reading xiv Read the book [Spinoza’s Ethics] not all at once but in small portions at many sittings…having finished it, consider that you have but begun to understand it. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

We need to learn how to select our books, books to be tasted, swallowed, chewed and digested.
Reading 112 ...if we knew how to select our books: “Some books are to be tasted...others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Read it, read some commentary on it and then read it again and it will be a new book for you.
Reading 170 And having finished [Spinoza's Ethics], consider that you have but begun to understand it; read then some commentary, like Pollock's Spinoza…finally, read the Ethics again; it will be a new book to you…[and] when you have finished it a second time you will remain forever a lover of philosophy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Some books are like symphonies that must be heard many times to be really understood.
Reading 310 A great book is like a great symphony, which must be heard many times before it can be really understood. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Books are a means of enriching life; focus on the original text, not on commentaries.
Reading 332 Schopenhauer : the first counsel then, is life before books; and the second is, text before commentary. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

I had no books, but I said over and over again lines of poetry I had memorized; they were great comfort to me.
Reading 394 Capt. Littlepage: I had no books…but I used to say over all I could remember…old poets little knew what comfort they could be to a man. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

Some people read too much and therefore do not live life.
Reading 59 There are people who read too much: the bibliobibuli…wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing. Mencken, Minority Report.

Harold Ross’s goal in life was to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Reading 90 Thurber on Harold Ross: …he took the Encyclopedia Britannica to the bathroom with him…was up to about H when he died. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

I reread books I read when I was young, like old friends.
Reading 136 Faulkner: ...the books I read [now] are the ones I knew and loved when I was a young man and to which I to old friends: the Old Testament, Dickens, Conrad, Cervantes...Flaubert, Balzac--he created an intact world of his own...running through twenty books--Dostoevski, Tolstoi, Shakespeare...Melville occasionally...have read these books so often that I don’t always begin at page one and read on to the end...just read one scene...just as you’d meet and talk to a friend for a few minutes. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Novelists will write novels as long as people read them—and vice versa—unless the comic books [and TV and movies] atrophy the human brain and people cannot read any more.
Reading 137 Faulkner: I imagine as long as people will continue to read novels, people will continue to write them, or vice versa; unless of course the pictorial magazines and comic strips finally atrophy man’s capacity to read, and literature really is on its way back to the picture writing in the Neanderthal cave. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

People read books to find answers to their problems.
Reading 147 Simenon: I know that there are many men who have more or less the same problems I have, with more or less intensity, and who will be happy to read the book to find the answer…. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

People read novels to explore their troubles.
Reading 148 Simenon: …readers…want a novel to probe their troubles. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Great books should leave you feeling slightly exhausted at the end.
Reading 274 Wm. Styron: What I really mean is that a great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

The commercial writer is basically an entertainer.
Reading 117 Richard Summers on the short story: The commercial or craft writer is primarily an entertainer. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The quality writer is basically a teacher.
Reading 117 Richard Summers on the short story: The quality writer, the creative artist, is fundamentally a teacher. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Women read women’s magazine stories to see how other women deal with the same problems they have.
Reading 138 W-T Budlong: Women’s magazine readers…read a story, note the heroine’s attack on her problem, and say, “So that’s how she handled it…if I tried that, would it work on Henry?” Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The reader lives with his book until it becomes a source for his growth.
Reading 200 M.L. Robinson: The reader takes his book into the quiet of his mind, and there he stays with it until it has become a part of his thinking and his feeling: you have…become a source of his growth. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Plays appeal to many senses; books suggest ideas and feeling; neither will supplant the other.
Reading 296 Erik Barnouw: To enjoy, simultaneously, stimuli to practically all the senses, as one can in watching a play, is one kind of audience satisfaction[;] on the other hand, to be stirred by mere suggestion into a great deal of thinking and feeling, is another kind[;] both kinds have a strong hold over us [and] neither seems likely to supplant the other. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

He read with no plan in mind as chance put books in his way.
Reading 26 Yet he [Johnson] read a great deal in a desultory manner, without any scheme of study, as chance threw books in his way, and inclination directed him through them. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

He was able to find the essence of a book without reading it from beginning to end.
Reading 34 He [Johnson] had a peculiar facility in seizing at once what was valuable in any book, without submitting to the labor of perusing it from beginning to end. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

He picked up Johnson’s Life of Savage, began reading it with his arm on the mantle piece, became so absorbed in it that when he finished it his arm had fallen asleep.
Reading 96 Sir Joshua Reynolds told me, that upon his return from Italy he met with [Johnson’s Life of Savage] in Devonshire, knowing nothing of its author, and began to read it while he was standing with his arm leaning against a chimney piece…seized his attention so strongly, that, not being able to lay down the book till he finished it, when he attempted to move, he found his arm totally benumbed. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

When reading is forced on someone, it will do him little good.
Reading 266 Johnson on reading: A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

When you are young, read five hours a day.
Reading 266 Johnson on reading: A young man should read five hours in a day, and so may acquire a great deal of knowledge. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

It’s not the number of books you have that counts, but how you use them.
Reading 336 Johnson: I hope, whether we have more books or not than they have at Cambridge, we shall make as good use of them as they do. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Books are only as good as you are ready for them.
Reading 1020 But books are good only as far as a boy is ready for them. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture.

You have to be as great a genius as Swedenborg in order to read him with comprehension.
Reading 682 It [reading Swedenborg’s books] requires for his just apprehension [comprehension], almost a genius equal to his own. Emerson, Representative Men: Swedenborg, or The Mystic.

Classics may make you fall asleep at home, but they might charm you in a different setting.
Reading 782 Classics which at home are drowsily read have a strange charm in a country inn, or in…a merchant brig. Emerson, English Traits.

To read well, you must be an inventor.
Reading 59 One must be an inventor to read well. Emerson, The American Scholar.

When the mind is stimulated by a book, every sentence and every page becomes luminous [i.e., clear and inspiring].
Reading 59 When the mind is braced by labor and invention, the page of whatever book we read becomes luminous with manifold allusion..., every sentence...doubly significant. Emerson, The American Scholar.

Books are commentaries on our lives.
Reading 239 The student is to read history actively and not passively; to esteem his own life the text, and books the commentary. Emerson, History.

No two people ever understand the same book in the same way.
Reading 314 Take the book into your two hands, and read your eyes out; you will never find what I find. Emerson, Spiritual Laws.

No book is so bad that there isn’t some good in it.
Reading 550 “There is no book so bad,” said the bachelor, “that there is not something good in it.” [Pliny the Elder] Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

He would read the book and then spend an afternoon talking about it with the author.
Reading 191 …he [Harriman] did his homework (when he heard that Whiting’s book on China crossing the Yalu was good, he did not ask some young officer to brief him on it; he read it himself and then summoned Whiting to spend an entire Sunday going over it). Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

LBJ never went to a symphony or read a book and he boasted of it.
Reading 439 The idea of his [Johnson’s] going to a symphony or reading a book was preposterous, and before he took office he would boast of how little he read. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest.

As an older man, I don’t read; I read enough when I was young to last a lifetime.
Reading 261 “O, I read no literature now,” said Lydgate… “I read so much when I was a lad, that I suppose it will last me all my life.” George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Reading is cheap, consoles, distracts, excites, gives knowledge and wide experience.
Reading 11 Elizabeth Hardwick on reading: It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

I want authors who can lift me out of myself.
Reading 14 Henry Miller: I’m always looking for the author who can lift me out of myself.

Read my work to enjoy it; whatever else you get out of it, you brought to the reading.
Reading 206 Hemingway: Read anything I write for the pleasure of reading it[;] whatever else you find will be the measure of what you brought to the reading. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

When you leave school, you no longer have to finish books you don’t like.
Reading 245 John Irving: One reward of leaving school is that you don’t have to finish books you don’t like. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

I read, but I don’t retain.
Reading 152 And if I am a man of some reading, I am a man of no retention. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I read to avoid boredom.
Reading 154 If this book bores me, I take another, and I indulge in it only at such times as the boredom of doing nothing begins to grip me. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I can’t read for long periods of time.
Reading 158 Plutarch…and Seneca…do not require the necessity of prolonged reading, of which I am incapable. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I would have the author begin with his conclusion.
Reading 159 I would have a man [writer] begin with the conclusion. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

In order to remember what I have read, I note when I finished it and my judgment of it.
Reading 165 To remedy a little the treachery and defect of my memory (so extreme that it has happened to me more than once to take books again into my hand as though new and unknown to me which I had carefully read a few years before and scribbled with my notes), I have taken a custom of late to put at the end of every book (I am speaking of those I do not intend to read again) the time when I finished reading it and the judgment I had formed of it on the whole, in order that this might at least reproduce for me the air and general idea I had conceived of the author in reading it. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I skim through books; I don’t study them.
Reading 209 I thumb through books, I do not study them. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I read to put my judgment to work, not my memory.
Reading 303 Reading serves me particularly to arouse my reason by presenting various subjects to it, to put my judgment to work, not my memory. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I read when I was young in order to show off; later for some knowledge; now for recreation.
Reading 315 I studied when young for ostentation; later, a little, to acquire wisdom; now for recreation…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

I just read an entire book; seldom before have I ever been able to spend an hour on a book.
Reading 435 I have just run straight through Tacitus’ History (which seldom happens with me; it is twenty years since I have put a whole hour at one time on a book)… Montaigne, Selected Essays.

There are so many books that the world has become tongue-tied.
Reading 439 What must prattle produce, since the stammering and untying of the tongue smothered the world with such a horrible load of volumes? Montaigne, Selected Essays.

The things I want to know are in books.
Reading 37 Lincoln: “The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll git me a book I ain’t read.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Books told Abe more than they told other people who read the same books.
Reading 38 It seemed that Abe made books tell him more than they told other people. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Lincoln read people the way he read books.
Reading 40 [Lincoln] tried to read people as keenly as he read books. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Books became a part of Lincoln’s mind.
Reading 177 Lincoln’s sense of history and the past, for all his incessant newspaper reading, came from books that became part of his mind. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Lincoln read and quoted the Bible.
Reading 181 Lincoln, however, read the Bible closely, knew it from cover to cover, its famous texts, stories and psalms; he quoted it in talks to juries, in speeches, in letters. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Lincoln read Euclid by candlelight after the other circuit lawyers were asleep.
Reading 197 On the circuit when the other lawyers, two in a bed, eight or ten in on one hotel room, he read Euclid by the light of a candle after others had dropped off to sleep. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

One’s love of Mr. Pickwick grows with much re-reading.
Reading vi The love of Mr. Pickwick is of a comparatively slow growth and comes gradually with much rereading, but it is the deepest of all. B. Darwin. Dickens, Pickwick.

Studying books leads to no further activity; conversation, on the other hand, exercises the mind and teaches at the same time.
Reading vs. conversation 412 The study of books is a languishing and feeble activity that produces no heat, whereas conversation teaches and exercises at the same time. Montaigne, Selected Essays.