— Javier Cercas Spanish writer, journalist and professor of Spanish literature 1962
„I have somewhere found it recorded that as Johann Gottlieb Fichte progressed with his first reading of Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason," he was moved to tears. To those who have labored through the tortured pages of the great German thinker this would be no matter for surprise, were it not for the quality of the tears: not those of vexation and baffled understanding, indeed, but of enthusiasm and sheer gratitude. For Fichte had fallen into the melancholy persuasion of Spinoza. At least, certain views of this austere thinker of the seventeenth century appeared to Fichte as no less gloomy in their implication than irresistible in the logic which led to them. Irresistible were the reasons which had driven Spinoza to look upon nature as governed by inexorable Fate. In the world as a whole there was no purpose, in its parts there was no freedom.“
— Edgar A. Singer, Jr., p. 63: Chapter 3. A disciple of Spinoza, an illustration
„He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced--or seemed to face--the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.“
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
„I have good reason to be content,
for thank God I can read and
perhaps understand Shakespeare to his depths.“
— John Keats English Romantic poet 1795 - 1821
— Robert Frost American poet 1874 - 1963
As quoted in a review of A Swinger of Birches (1957) by Sydney Cox in Vermont History, Vol. 25 (1957), p. 355
„A Klee painting named 'Angelus Novus' shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.“
— Walter Benjamin German literary critic, philosopher and social critic (1892-1940) 1892 - 1940
„Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries. It is as though mankind had divided itself between those who believe in human omnipotence (who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organize masses for it) and those for whom powerlessness has become the major experience of their lives.“
— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
„A fool may buy all the books in the world, and they will be in his library; but he will be able to read only those that he deserves to.“
— Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 9 Vols.
„If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.“
— Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–82
„Percy smiled at her - that sarcastic troublemaker smile that had annoyed her for years but eventually had become endearing. His sea-green eyes were as gorgeous as she remembered. His dark hair was swept to one side, like he'd just come from a walk on the beach. He looked even better than he had six months ago - tanner and taller, leaner and more muscular.
Percy threw his arms around her. They kissed and for a moment nothing else mattered. An asteroid could have hit the planet and wiped out all life, and Annabeth wouldn't have cared.“
— Rick Riordan, The Mark of Athena
„Kennedy was not impressed by military objections. The Bay of Pigs had taught the President to distrust the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The first advice I’m going to give my successor,” he once said to his journalist friend Ben Bradlee, “is to watch the generals and to avoid feeling that because they were military men their opinions on military matters were worth a damn.”4 During the missile crisis Kennedy courteously and consistently rejected the Joint Chiefs’ bellicose recommendations. “These brass hats have one great advantage in their favor,” he said. “If we…do what they want us to do, none of us will be alive later to tell them that they were wrong.”5“
— Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
„Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.“
— Dwight D. Eisenhower American general and politician, 34th president of the United States (in office from 1953 to 1961) 1890 - 1969
Context: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?
„Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.“
— Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot
— Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -322 pr. n. l.
„From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.“
— Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice