Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Czesław Miłosz (June 30, 1911 – August 14, 2004), poet and writer. He is best known for his book The Captive Mind (1953).

In 1980, Czeslaw Milosz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here is another writer whose work has been banned.

The Captive Mind was banned in Poland, it circulated underground there, Czeslaw Miłosz being among those authors whose name could not be mentioned even in order to denounce.

"Vulgarized knowledge characteristically gives birth to a feeling that everything is understandable and explained. It is like a system of bridges built over chasms. One can travel boldly ahead over these bridges, ignoring the chasms. It is forbidden to look down into them; but that, alas, does not alter the fact that they exist." - Czeslaw Milosz

"Evil grows and bears fruit, which is understandable, because it has logic and probability on its side and also, of course, strength. The resistance of tiny kernels of good, to which no one grants the power of causing far-reaching consequences, is entirely mysterious, however. Such seeming nothingness not only lasts but contains within itself enormous energy which is revealed gradually." - Czeslaw Milosz

"I think that I am here, on this earth, to present a report on it, but to whom I don't know." - Czeslaw Milosz

"What is this enigmatic impulse that does not allow one to settle down in the achieved, the finished? I think it is a quest for reality." - Czeslaw Milosz

"The voice of passion is better than the voice of reason. The passionless cannot change history." - Czeslaw Milosz

"Yet falling in love is not the same as being able to love." - Czeslaw Milosz

"What has no shadow has no strength to live." - Czeslaw Milosz

Milosz image source (1)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meander thru the clouds . . .

Today is the birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (June 29, 1900 — July 31, 1944), writer and aviator. He is best remembered for his novella The Little Prince , and for his books about aviation adventures, including Night Flight and Wind, Sand and Stars.

"I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"It is another of the miraculous things about mankind that there is no pain nor passion that does not radiate to the ends of the earth. Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the world." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Perfection is attained, not when no more can be added, but when no more can be removed." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered; it is something molded." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Saint-Exupery image source (1)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778), philosopher.

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in shackles." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"You are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"He who knows enough of things to value them at their true worth never says too much; for he can also judge of the attention bestowed on him and the interest aroused by what he says. People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. It is plain that an ignorant person thinks everything he does know important, and he tells it to everybody. But a well-educated man is not so ready to display his learning; he would have too much to say, and he sees that there is much more to be said, so he holds his peace." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"The one thing we do not know is the limit of the knowable. We prefer to trust to chance and to believe what is not true, rather than to own that not one of us can see what really is." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

"Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves." - Jean Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau image source (1)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Imagine meandering so . . .

Today is the birthday of Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962), philosopher and poet.

"Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need." - Gaston Bachelard

"The characteristic of scientific progress is our knowing that we did not know." - Gaston Bachelard

"The repose of sleep refreshes only the body. It rarely sets the soul at rest. The repose of the night does not belong to us. It is not the possession of our being. Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms. In the morning we must sweep out the shadows." - Gaston Bachelard

"Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child's world and thus a world event." - Gaston Bachelard

"One must always maintain one's connection to the past and yet ceaselessly pull away from it." - Gaston Bachelard

"The great function of poetry is to give back to us the situations of our dreams." - Gaston Bachelard

"Man is an imagining being." - Gaston Bachelard

Bachelard image source (1)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 — March 6, 1973), author, humanitarian and philanthropist. She is best known for her novel The Good Earth.

Pearl S. Buck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938.

"All things are possible until they are proved impossible — and even the impossible may only be so, as of now." - Pearl S. Buck

"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members." - Pearl S. Buck

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied." - Pearl S. Buck

"Growth itself contains the germ of happiness." - Pearl S. Buck

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." - Pearl S. Buck

"Order is the shape upon which beauty depends." - Pearl S. Buck

"To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth." - Pearl S. Buck

Buck image source (1)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Eric Arthur Blair (June 25, 1903 – January 21, 1950), author and journalist. He is best known by his pen name George Orwell, author of the novella Animal Farm (1945), and the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949).

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - George Orwell

"All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome." - George Orwell

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." - George Orwell

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." - George Orwell

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell

"Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." - George Orwell

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." - George Orwell

"Big Brother is watching you." - George Orwell

Orwell image source (1)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meandering forever . . .

Today is the birthday of Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – 1914?), journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. He is best known for his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.

"A man is known by the company he organizes." - Ambrose Bierce

"The hardest tumble a man can make is to fall over his own bluff." - Ambrose Bierce

"A person who doubts himself is like a man who would enlist in the ranks of his enemies and bear arms against himself. He makes his failure certain by himself being the first person to be convinced of it." - Ambrose Bierce

"We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over." - Ambrose Bierce

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret." - Ambrose Bierce

"The future is that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured." - Ambrose Bierce

"Debt, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver." - Ambrose Bierce

Trivia bit: In 1913, Ambrose Bierce traveled to Mexico to gain a firsthand perspective on that country's ongoing revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, the elderly writer disappeared without a trace. Rumors of his fate include a suicide in the Grand Canyon, getting shot by Pancho Villa and death by pneumonia.

Bierce image source (1)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Richard David Bach (born 23 June 1936), writer. He is best known for his book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

"Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true." - Richard Bach

"Nothing happens by chance, my friend... No such thing as luck." - Richard Bach

"There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they're necessary to reach the places we've chosen to go." - Richard Bach

"Bad things are not the worst things that can happen to us. Nothing is the worst thing that can happen to us!" - Richard Bach

"Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you." - Richard Bach

"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were." - Richard Bach

"The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder." - Richard Bach

Bach image source (1)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Meandering down the path . . .

Today is the birthday of Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt (June 22, 1767 – April 8, 1835), philosopher, linguist, educational reformer and founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, Germany.

"True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united." - Wilhelm von Humboldt

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves." - Wilhelm von Humboldt

"If we would indicate an idea which, throughout the whole course of history, has ever more and more widely extended its empire, or which, more than any other, testifies to the much-contested and still more decidedly misunderstood perfectibility of the whole human race, it is that of establishing our common humanity — of striving to remove the barriers which prejudice and limited views of every kind have erected among men, and to treat all mankind, without reference to religion, nation, or color, as one fraternity, one great community, fitted for the attainment of one object, the unrestrained development of the physical powers. This is the ultimate and highest aim of society, identical with the direction implanted by nature in the mind of man toward the indefinite extension of his existence. He regards the earth in all its limits, and the heavens as far as his eye can scan their bright and starry depths, as inwardly his own, given to him as the objects of his contemplation, and as a field for the development of his energies. Even the child longs to pass the hills or the seas which inclose his narrow home; yet, when his eager steps have borne him beyond those limits, he pines, like the plant, for his native soil; and it is by this touching and beautiful attribute of man — this longing for that which is unknown, and this fond remembrance of that which is lost — that he is spared from an exclusive attachment to the present. Thus deeply rooted in the innermost nature of man, and even enjoined upon him by his highest tendencies, the recognition of the bond of humanity becomes one of the noblest leading principles in the history of mankind." - Wilhelm von Humboldt

"How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is." - Wilhelm von Humboldt

Humboldt stamp image source (1)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), novelist, playwright, existentialist philosopher and literary critic.

In October 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature; however, he declined it. He was the first Nobel Laureate to voluntarily decline the prize. Jean-Paul Sartre had previously refused the Légion d'honneur, in 1945.

"All that I know about my life, it seems, I have learned in books." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"I cannot make liberty my aim unless I make that of others equally my aim." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat." - Jean-Paul Sartre

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Meandering, we meander on . . .

Today is the birthday of Lillian Florence Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984), playwright.

"For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt." - Lillian Hellman

"To hurt innocent people whom I knew many years ago in order to save myself is, to me, inhuman and indecent and dishonorable. I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions, even though I long ago came to the conclusion that I was not a political person and could have no comfortable place in any political group." - Lillian Hellman

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth." - Lillian Hellman

"It is a mark of many famous people that they cannot part with their finest hour." - Lillian Hellman

"Since when do you have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?" - Lillian Hellman

"People change and forget to tell each other." - Lillian Hellman

Hellman image source (1)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meandering so . . .

Today is the birthday of Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662), mathematician, physicist and philosopher.

"People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive." - Blaise Pascal

"The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things." - Blaise Pascal

"People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come in to the mind of others." - Blaise Pascal

"If we look at our work immediately after completing it, we are still too involved; if too long afterwards, we cannot pick up the thread again." - Blaise Pascal

"Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it." - Blaise Pascal

"Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back." - Blaise Pascal

"If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future." - Blaise Pascal

"Man's greatness lies in his power of thought." - Blaise Pascal

Pascal image source (1)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meandering in possibilities . . .

Today is the birthday of Richard Powers (born June 18, 1957), novelist. His works explore the effects of modern science and technology on human lives.

"All we can ever do is lay a word in the hands of those who have put one in ours." - Richard Powers

"I don't mind arguing with myself. It's when I lose that it bothers me." - Richard Powers

"Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery. " - Richard Powers

"Librarian is a service occupation. Gas station attendant of the mind." - Richard Powers

"Maybe happiness is like a virus. Maybe it's one of those bugs that sits for a long time, so we don't even know that we are infected." - Richard Powers

"Evil is the refusal to see one's self in others." - Richard Powers

Powers image source (1)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17, 1898 – March 27, 1972), illustrator, printmaker, muralist, draftsman and artist. He is best known as M. C. Escher, the creator of very unique and fascinating works of art that explore a wide range of mathematical ideas.

"He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder." - M. C. Escher

"I have sometimes heard painters say that they paint "for themselves": but I think they would soon have painted their fill if they lived on a desert island. The primary purpose of all art forms, whether it’s music, literature, or the visual arts, is to say something to the outside world; in other words, to make a personal thought, a striking idea, an inner emotion perceptible to other people’s senses in such a way that there is no uncertainty about the maker's intentions." - M. C. Escher

"We adore chaos because we love to produce order." - M. C. Escher

"I do indeed believe that there is a certain contrast between, say, people in scientific professions and people working in the arts. Often there is even mutual suspicion and irritation, and in some cases one group greatly undervalues the other. Fortunately there is no one who actually has only feeling or only thinking properties. They intermingle like the colors of the rainbow and cannot be sharply divided." - M. C. Escher

"We live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in a chaos without norms, as we sometimes seem to." - M. C. Escher

"What I give form to in daylight is only one per cent of what I have seen in darkness." - M. C. Escher

"It is human nature to want to exchange ideas, and I believe that, at bottom, every artist wants no more than to tell the world what he has to say." - M. C. Escher

Escher image source (1)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Silently meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938), author.

"Nothing is accidental in the universe — this is one of my Laws of Physics — except the entire universe itself, which is Pure Accident, pure divinity." - Joyce Carol Oates

"If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework — you can still be writing, because you have that space." - Joyce Carol Oates

"The written word, obviously, is very inward, and when we're reading, we're thinking. It's a sort of spiritual, meditative activity. When we're looking at visual objects, I think our eyes are obviously directed outward, so there's not as much reflective time. And it's the reflectiveness and the spiritual inwardness about reading that appeals to me." - Joyce Carol Oates

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul." - Joyce Carol Oates

"Homo sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions." - Joyce Carol Oates

"I never change, I simply become more myself." - Joyce Carol Oates

Oates image source (1)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of James Brian Jacques (born 15 June 1939), author. He is best known for his Redwall series of novels.

"Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others." - Brian Jacques

"Don't be ashamed to weep; 'tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and love of our lost ones is sealed inside to comfort us." - Brian Jacques

"You will find joy, frustration and sorrow in your quest. Never forget that friendship and loyalty are more precious than riches...Happiness can be brief, but it knows no time in the land of dreams." - Brian Jacques

"A little (one) can sometimes see things in others that us older ones cannot because our judgement gets clouded." - Brian Jacques

"Sometimes the gift of an inquisitive nature to the young can be greater than that of the wisdom which comes of age." - Brian Jacques

"All little creatures are beautiful...every living thing when it first sees life is born in beauty. What they grow to be is a different matter." - Brian Jacques

"Death comes to us all sooner or later. We cannot escape it." - Brian Jacques

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949), novelist.

Harry Turtledove has written works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction. He is oft referred to as The Master of Alternate History.

"Many things are possible. Few things are certain." - Harry Turtledove

"Fiction has to be plausible. All history has to do is happen." - Harry Turtledove

"I'm a social caterpillar. I am not a social butterfly." - Harry Turtledove

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Fernando Pessoa (June 13, 1888 — November 30, 1935), poet and writer.

"Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world." - Fernando Pessoa

"Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life. I sometimes muse over this sketch of a story—about a man afflicted by one of those personal tragedies born of extreme shyness . . . . . . who one day, while wearing a mask I don’t know where, told another mask all the most personal, most secret, most unthinkable things that could be told about his tragic and serene life. And since no outward detail would give him away, he having disguised even his voice, and since he didn’t take careful note of whoever had listened to him, he could enjoy the ample sensation of knowing that somewhere in the world there was someone who knew him as not even his closest and finest friend did. When he walked down the street he would ask himself if this person, or that one, or that person over there might not be the one to whom he’d once, wearing a mask, told his most private life. Thus would be born in him a new interest in each person, since each person might be his only, unknown confidant. And his crowning glory would be if the whole of that sorrowful life he’d told were, from start to finish, absolutely false." — Fernando Pessoa

"Success consists in being successful, not in having potential for success. Any wide piece of ground is the potential site of a palace, but there's no palace till it's built." - Fernando Pessoa

"No intelligent idea can gain general acceptance unless some stupidity is mixed in with it." - Fernando Pessoa

"Could it think, the heart would stop beating." - Fernando Pessoa

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Djuna Barnes (June 12, 1892 – June 18, 1982), novelist, poet, and playwright.

"Life is not to be told, call it as loud as you like, it will not tell itself." - Djuna Barnes

"We are adhering to life now with our last muscle - the heart." - Djuna Barnes

"I am not a critic; to me criticism is so often nothing more than the eye garrulously denouncing the shape of the peephole that gives access to hidden treasure." - Djuna Barnes

"A man is whole only when he takes into account his shadow as well as himself — and what is a man's shadow but his upright astonishment?" - Djuna Barnes

"What is a ruin but time easing itself of endurance?" - Djuna Barnes

"A strong sense of identity gives man an idea he can do no wrong; too little accomplishes the same." - Djuna Barnes

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Meandering beneath the sea . . .

Today is the birthday of Jacques-Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 – June 25, 1997), naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water.

"The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"However fragmented the world, however intense the national rivalries, it is an inexorable fact that we become more interdependent every day." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope, and we can work." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

"When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself." - Jacques Yves Cousteau

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meandering freely . . .

Today is the birthday of Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005), writer. Saul Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to have won the National Book Award three times, and the only writer to have been nominated for it six times.

"Human beings can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned." - Saul Bellow

"Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door."- Saul Bellow

"There is an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for." - Saul Bellow

"We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next." - Saul Bellow

"A fool can throw a stone in a pond that 100 wise men can not get out." - Saul Bellow

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

"When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice." - Saul Bellow

"A man is only as good as what he loves." - Saul Bellow

"What is art but a way of seeing?" - Saul Bellow

Bellow image source (1)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meandering down the path . . .

Today is the birthday of Gregory Maguire (born June 9, 1954), author. He is the author of the novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and many other novels for adults and children. He is best known for novels that are revisionist retellings of children's stories.

"People who claim they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of." - Gregory Maguire

"Where I'm from, we believe in all sorts of things that aren't true... we call it history." - Gregory Maguire

"As long as people are going to call you lunatic anyway, why not get the benefit of it? It liberates you from convention." - Gregory Maguire

"Some things I cannot change, but 'til I try I'll never know." - Gregory Maguire

"Happy endings are still endings." - Gregory Maguire

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meandering, meandering, meandering we go . . .

Today is the birthday of Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour (June 8, 1903 – December 17, 1987), novelist, essayist, and short story writer. She is best known by her pseudonym Marguerite Yourcenar and as the first woman to be elected to the Académie française.

"The unfortunate thing is that, because wishes sometimes come true, the agony of hoping is perpetuated." - Marguerite Yourcenar

"Every silence is composed of nothing but unspoken words. Perhaps that is why I became a musician. Someone had to express this silence, make it render up all the sadness it contained, make it sing as it were. Someone had to use not words, which are always too precise not to be cruel, but simply music." - Marguerite Yourcenar

"A touch of madness is, I think, almost always necessary for constructing a destiny." - Marguerite Yourcenar

"There is more than one kind of wisdom, and all are essential in the world; it is not bad that they should alternate." - Marguerite Yourcenar

"All would have transformed us if we had the courage to be what we are." - Marguerite Yourcenar

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000), writer and poet. In 1950, she published her second book of poetry, Annie Allen, which won her Poetry magazine’s Eunice Tietjens Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Gwendolyn Brooks was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.

"Even if you are not ready for day; it cannot always be night." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"It is brave to be involved; to be not fearful to be unresolved." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"As you get older, you find that often the wheat, disentangling itself from the chaff, comes out to meet you." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"Art hurts. Art urges voyages —- and it is easier to stay at home." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"Exhaust the little moment.
Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold it will not come
Again in this identical guise.
- Gwendolyn Brooks

Brooks image source (1)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Isaiah Berlin (June 6, 1909 – November 5, 1997), philosopher and historian of ideas.

"Few new truths have ever won their way against the resistance of established ideas save by being overstated." - Isaiah Berlin

"Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs." - Isaiah Berlin

"All forms of tampering with human beings, getting at them, shaping them against their will to your own pattern, all thought control and conditioning is, therefore, a denial of that in men which makes them men and their values ultimate." - Isaiah Berlin

"But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you – the social reformers – see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and therefore to degrade them." - Isaiah Berlin

"Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not." - Isaiah Berlin

"The first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds." - Isaiah Berlin

"To understand is to perceive patterns." - Isaiah Berlin

Berlin image source (1)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of John Maynard Keynes (June 5, 1883 – April 21, 1946), economist. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics. John Maynard Keynes is oft referred to as the father of modern macroeconomics.

"Ideas shape the course of history." - John Maynard Keynes

"The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems - the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion." - John Maynard Keynes

"By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens." - John Maynard Keynes

"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

"A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind." - John Maynard Keynes

Keynes image source (1)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert Lee Fulghum (June 4, 1937) , author, newspaper columnist and philosopher.

"All I really need to know . . . I learned in kindergarten." - Robert Fulghum

"Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some." - Robert Fulghum

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death." - Robert Fulghum

"The world does not need tourists who ride by in a bus clucking their tongues. The world as it is needs those who will love it enough to change it, with what they have, where they are." - Robert Fulghum

"I've always thought anyone can make money. Making a life worth living, that's the real test." - Robert Fulghum

"Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will break our hearts." - Robert Fulghum

"Clean up your own mess." - Robert Fulghum

Fulghum image source (1)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997), writer and poet.

"Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness." - Allen Ginsberg

"Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does." - Allen Ginsberg

"Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private." - Allen Ginsberg

"The fact to which we have got to cling, as to a lifebelt, is that it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet be fully alive." - Allen Ginsberg

"The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That's what poetry does." - Allen Ginsberg

"Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture." - Allen Ginsberg

Ginsberg image source (1)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Thomas Hardy (June 2, 1840 – January 11, 1928), novelist and poet. He is best known for his novel, Far from the Madding Crowd.

"Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons!" - Thomas Hardy

"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something." - Thomas Hardy

"There are accents in the eye which are not on the tongue, and more tales come from pale lips than can enter an ear. It is both the grandeur and the pain of the remoter moods that they avoid the pathway of sound." - Thomas Hardy

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Thomas Hardy

"There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there." - Thomas Hardy

"Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change." - Thomas Hardy

"A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all." - Thomas Hardy

Hardy stamp image source (1)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Christopher (Kit) Lasch (June 1, 1932 – February 14, 1994), historian, moralist, and social critic. He is best known for his book, The Culture of Narcissism (1979).

"Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success." - Christopher Lasch

"It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media." - Christopher Lasch

"A child's appetite for new toys appeal to the desire for ownership and appropriation: the appeal of toys comes to lie not in their use but in their status as possessions." - Christopher Lasch

"The effect of the mass media is not to elicit belief but to maintain the apparatus of addiction." - Christopher Lasch

"In our society, daily experience teaches the individual to want and need a never-ending supply of new toys and drugs." - Christopher Lasch

"The model of ownership, in a society organized round mass consumption, is addiction." - Christopher Lasch

"Drugs are merely the most obvious form of addiction in our society." - Christopher Lasch

Lasch image source (1)