It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
Pursuit of happiness, unalienable pursuit... right to life liberty and... A black moonless night; Jimmy Herf is walking alone up South Street. Behind the wharfhouses ships raise shadowy skeletons against the night. "By Jesus I admit I'm stumped," he says aloud. All these April nights combing the streets alone a skyscraper has obsessed him, a grooved building jutting up with uncountable bright windows falling onto him out of a scudding sky. Typewriters rain continual nickelplated confetti in his ears. (p. 365)
John Dos Passos
People will buy anything that is `one to a customer.
There is no human reason why a child should not admire and emulate his teacher's ability to do sums, rather than the village bum's ability to whittle sticks and smoke cigarettes. The reason why the child does not is plain enough -- the bum has put himself on an equality with him and the teacher has not.
Religion is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstance.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser
One evening I sat Beauty on my knees --And I found her bitter --And I reviled her.
A very dangerous state of mind: thinking one understands.
The stellar universe is not so difficult of comprehension as the real actions of other people.
Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
Affectations can be dangerous.
You are one of the forces of nature
Men first feel necessity, then look for utility, next attend to comfort, still later amuse themselves with pleasure, thence grow dissolute in luxury, and finally go mad and waste their substance.
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.
I never had to choose a subject my subject rather chose me.
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
I think it is all a matter of love the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is.
Life is beautiful. Life is sad.
Lolita Vladimir Nabakov
"I have come to you against my wish," she said in a firm voice: "but I have been ordered to grant your request. Three, seven, ace, will win for you if played in succession, but only on these conditions: that you do not play more than one card in twenty-four hours, and that you never play again during the rest of your life. I forgive you my death, on condition that you marry my companion, Lizaveta Ivanovna."
Aleksandr (Alexander Pushkin) Pushkin
What I really do is to take real plums and put them in an imaginary cake
People living deeply have no fear of death.
The answer to old age is to keep one's mind busy and to go on with one's life as if it were interminable. I always admired Chekhov for building a new house when he was dying of tuberculosis