„What interests me is the transformation, not the monument. I don't construct ruins, but I feel ruins are moments when things show themselves. A ruin is not a catastrophe. It is the moment when things can start again.“
— Anselm Kiefer German painter and sculptor 1945
Quoted in Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-schwartz/in-the-beginning-there-was-not_b_1703387.html
„I can't think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people's understanding of what's going on in the world.“
— Seamus Heaney Irish poet, playwright, translator, lecturer 1939 - 2013
„I don't see the world like that all the time, but I see the world like that a lot.
So what am I going to do about that?“
— Elizabeth Hand American writer 1957
Context: I don't think all artists are mad, but there is statistical medical evidence that a lot of creative people suffer from various mood disorders. They fall somewhere on the spectrum of being bipolar, of being borderline autistic and so on. These things are there. Now of course these days you can go to college and when you come out you are a professional artist and you can run a gallery as a business and have a career. That is a very valid way for an artist to make a living. But it doesn't make for a very interesting story. It doesn't have a lot of mythic subtext. … For me a lot of the world really is like that. The scenes in my book that people describe as "such a hallucinatory sequence" … I don't see the world like that all the time, but I see the world like that a lot. So what am I going to do about that? Am I going to go crazy? Am I going to institutionalize myself? Am I going to go and work in a cubicle as a telemarketer so that I don't give vent to that? Or am I going to take that and channel it into my work? It is a gift.
— Alexander Woollcott American critic 1887 - 1943
On actors and prostitutes, from his column, as republished in Shouts and Murmurs: Echoes of a Thousand and One First Nights (1922), p. 57.
„I don't think it is inevitable that the world comes together in a common culture and common understanding. But overall, I am hopeful. And the reason I'm hopeful is, if you look at the trajectory of history, humanity has slowly improved.“
— Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: I believe that under the surface all people are the same. […] people are all essentially the same. Similar hopes, similar dreams, similar strengths, similar weaknesses. But we're also all bound by history and culture and habits. And so conflicts arise, in part, because of some weaknesses in human nature. When we feel threatened, then we like to strike out against people who are not like us. When change is happening too quickly, and we try to hang on to those things that we think could give us a solid foundation. And sometimes the organizing principles are around issues like race, or religion. When there are times of scarcity, then people can turn on each other. And so I don't underestimate the very real challenges that we continue to face, and I don't think it is inevitable that the world comes together in a common culture and common understanding. But overall, I am hopeful. And the reason I'm hopeful is, if you look at the trajectory of history, humanity has slowly improved.
„The deva asked,
What causes ruin in the world?
What breaks off friendships?
What is the most violent fever?
Who is the best physician?"
The Blessed One replied,
Ruin in the world is caused by ignorance;
friendships are broken off by envy and selfishness;
the most violent fever is hatred;
the best physician is the Buddha.“
— Paul Carus American philosopher 1852 - 1919
The Gospel of Buddha http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospel_buddha/preface.htm (1894), a compilation of translations from ancient records.
„If I was wealthy I'd never do anything but poke around in ruined cities all over the world - and probably get snake-bit.“
— Robert E. Howard American author 1906 - 1936
From a letter to H. P. Lovecraft (1931)
„I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God I am what I am."“
— John Newton Anglican clergyman and hymn-writer 1725 - 1807
As quoted in The Christian Pioneer (1856) edited by Joseph Foulkes Winks, p. 84. Also in The Christian Spectator, vol. 3 (1821), p. 186 http://books.google.com/books?id=mv4oAAAAYAAJ&dq=ah%2C%20how%20imperfect%20and%20deficient!%20I%20am%20not%20what%20I%20wish%20to%20be&pg=PA186#v=onepage&q=ah,%20how%20imperfect%20and%20deficient!%20I%20am%20not%20what%20I%20wish%20to%20be&f=false Often paraphrased as I am not the man I ought to be, I am not the man I wish to be, and I am not the man I hope to be, but by the grace of God, I am not the man I used to be."'
— Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt American writer 1836 - 1919
A Word With a Skylark, lines 5-6.
„Sometimes I feel like I’m actually on the wrong planet. It’s great when I’m in my garden, but the minute I go out the gate I think, ‘What the hell am I doing here?“
— George Harrison British musician, former member of the Beatles 1943 - 2001
— G. K. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist 1874 - 1936
Purportedly a response by Chesterton to the question posed around 1910 by the Times of London (along with other luminaries), but biographer Kevin Belmonte, in 'Defiant Joy: the Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K. Chesterton', was unable to verify. Belmonte surmises its origin in an anecdote that while writing What's Wrong with the World (told in the book's preface), he would delight in telling society ladies that "I have been doing 'What is Wrong' all this morning." http://books.google.com/books?id=1rsXvfW2aiEC
„Our No. 1 enemy is ignorance. And I believe that is the No. 1 enemy for everyone — it's not understanding what actually is going on in the world.“
— Julian Assange Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist 1971
„“Maybe it’s not as bad as she fears. Old people always think the world is going to ruin. It’s their job.”
“Maybe they’re right,” Floyd replied.“
— Alastair Reynolds British novelist and astronomer 1966
Chapter 9 (p. 138)