G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Gazing Into Abyss (Not Straining Your Eye) and Give It The Finger

(Giving the finger has been covered on this blog in some detail in July 2012 here.)
 
Friedrich Nietzsche:

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."

['Beyond Good and Evil', Aphorism 146, 1886]

Shalom Auslander:

"There is a clothing brand in the United States named 'Life Is Good', a monstrous lie which is emblazoned on all their products. It is an enormously successful brand, and I'll tell you why: because life isn't good. 'They give birth astride of a grave,' wrote Samuel Beckett, 'the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.' He was only half-right; he left out the part about there being banana peels on the ground beside the grave, so that from the moment we are born, we slip, and drop our coffee, and everyone points at us and laughs, and then there's a Holocaust, and then, and only then, is it dark once more. Books that cry at the tragedy are easy and, in my view, lazy; these books look into the abyss, smile, and give the abyss the finger. That's much more difficult."





Artist: Bernie, Spectator UK, December 2011

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