Ella Afkham


'So these men who transcribed His Book for Him were sometimes liars.' and him 'Yes. Because they were human men. They were trying to write down the heart's truth out of the heart's driving complexity, for all the complex and troubled hearts which would beat after them. What they were trying to tell, what He wanted said, was too simple. Those for whom they transcribed His words could not have believed them. It had to be expounded in the everyday terms which they were familiar with and could comprehend, not only those who listened but those who told it too, because if they who were that near to Him as to have been elected from among all who breathed and spoke language to transcribe and relay His words, could comprehend truth only through the complexity of passion and lust and hate and fear which drives the heart, what distance back to truth must they traverse whom truth could only reach by word-of-mouth?' William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses "Talk nonsense in your own way. That's almost better than talking sense in somebody else's." Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment "Of course, poetry is to some extent able to make use of the ugly (unbeautiful), in which case the effect of poetry upon feeling is due entirely to the concepts which poetry evokes directly. Thus the concept of appropriateness will mitigate the impression of ugliness to such an extent that ugliness (the unbeautiful) can elicit the grandest effects. But the impression of music will be received and enjoyed directly from sensation; the understanding's approval comes too late to compensate for the intrusion of the ugly. Hence Shakespeare can go all the way to the hideous, but Mozart has to stay within the limits of the beautiful." Hanslick, On the Musically Beautiful "Of course there are always dark hours, everyone has them, when it seems that one has accomplished nothing, when it seems as if the only trials that turned out well were those that were destined to do so from the very beginning, without any help at all, while all the others were lost in spite of following them so closely, in spite of all the effort, all the small apparent victories that gave such pleasure." Franz Kafka, The Trial "Choice is the essence of ethics. If there were no choice, there would be no ethics, no good, no evil: good and evil have meaning only insofar as man is free to choose." Margaret Thatcher "We grieve by calling up one memory at a time, reliving it, and then letting it go. At a brain level we are turning on each of the neural networks that were wired together to form our perception of the person, experiencing the memory with exceptional vividness, then saying good-bye one network at a time. In grief we learn to life without the one we love, but the reason this lesson is so hard is that we first must unlearn the idea that the person exists and can still be relied on." Dr. Norman Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself "Madness begins where the relation of man to truth is disturbed and darkened." Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization "One would certainly have to accept this, wouldn't say anything against it, were it not for the question whether it is really messenger wok that he is doing. Of course he cannot disclose his doubts about this to you; to do so would be to undermine his own existence and blatantly violate the laws he thinks he lives under, he doesn't even speak openly to me, I have to coax his doubts out of him through flattery and kisses, and even then he finds it difficult to admit to himself that his doubts are indeed doubts." Franz Kafka, The Castle "We learn as children the metaphysics of the infinite and infinitesimal calculus, though we are unaware of what we are learning, and it might be the image of an Endless Regress or its opposite, the dreadful promise of the Eternal Return and of the turning of the ages that bite their own tails, because upon reaching the final carton, were there such a thing, we might have discovered, at the bottom of that vortex, ourselves, holding the first carton in our hands." "Of course, you could say that the world was born by mistake, the world is a sickness afflicting the universe, which even before we came along wasn't feeling so great, and one fine day the open sore that is our solar system appears, and us with it. But the stars, the Milky Way, and the sun don't know they're bound to die, so it doesn't bother them. We, on the other hand, who have been born out of this sickness of the universe, we have the bad luck to be bright boys and to understand that we're bound to die. So not only are we victims of Evil, but we know it. Cheery stuff." Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana "From the beginning, all the world over, lack of originality has been reckoned the chief characteristic and best recommendation of an active, businesslike and practical man... Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot "But jealous souls will not be answered so; They are not ever jealous for the cause, But jealous for they're jealous: 'tis a monster Begot upon itself, born on itself." Shakespeare, Othello "It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds." Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five "The girl's face was there, really quite beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact. She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it had to tell of the night passing swiftly on toward further darknesses, but moving also toward a new sun." "But that's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing." Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

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