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Quotations


Chinahand
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For many years I’ve collected quotations from the books I’ve read. Some I agree with, some I disagree with, others are poetic or use language in an interesting way. 

I’m currently reading Madame Bovary and on p177 found this passage. 

... her words meant very little to him. Emma was just like any other mistress; and the charm of novelty, falling down slowly like a dress, exposed only the eternal monotony of passion, always the same forms and the same language. He did not distinguish, this man of such great expertise, the differences of sentiment beneath the sameness of their expressions. Because he had heard such-like phrases murmured to him from the lips of the licentious or the venal, he hardly believed in hers; you must, he thought, beware of turgid speeches masking commonplace passions; as though the soul’s abundance does not sometimes spill over in the most decrepit metaphors, since no one can ever give the exact measure of their needs, their ideas, their afflictions, and since human speech is like a cracked cauldron on which we knock out tunes for dancing-bears, when we wish to conjure pity from the stars. 

That’ll do!  Do you have any quotations to share?

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"Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all 'experts' as mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you."

Christopher Hitchens.

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“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”

J D Salinger “The Catcher in the Rye”.

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The purpose of propaganda is not to persuade, much less to inform, but to humiliate. Who can retain his self-respect when, far from defending what he knows to be true, he has to applaud what he knows to be false - not occasionally, as we all do, but for the whole of his adult life. 

Anthony Daniels

Utopias Elsewhere: Journeys in a Vanishing World

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