Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Georg Christoph

German Physicist, Writer, Satirist and Anglophile

Author Quotes

The noble simplicity in the works of nature only too often originates in the noble shortsightedness of him who observes it.

There is no more important rule of conduct in the world than this: attach yourself as much as you can to people who are abler than you and yet not so very different that you cannot understand them.

We do not think good metaphors are anything very important, but I think that a good metaphor is something even the police should keep an eye on.

When you do a job, do not always think its entirety; execute snippet that we have to face, and when you're done with it, go ahead.

The pleasures of the imagination are as it were only drawings and models which are played with by poor people who cannot afford the real thing.

There is something in our minds like sunshine and the weather, which is not under our control. When I write, the best things come to me from I know not where.

We have no words for speaking of wisdom to the stupid. He who understands the wise is wise already.

Whenever he composes a critical review, I have been told, he gets an enormous erection.

The proof that man is the noblest of all creatures is that no other creature has ever denied it.

Those who have racked their brains to discover new proofs have perhaps been induced to do so by a compulsion they could not quite explain to themselves. Instead of giving us their new proofs they should have explained to us the motivation that constrained them to search for them.

We must not seek to abstract from the busts of the great Greeks and Romans rules for the visible form of genius as long as we cannot contrast them with Greek blockheads.

Where the frontier of science once was is now the centre.

The second sight possessed by the Highlanders in Scotland is actually a foreknowledge of future events. I believe they possess this gift because they don't wear trousers... That is also why in all countries women are more prone to utter prophecies.

To be content with life — or to live merrily, rather — all that is required is that we bestow on all things only a fleeting, superficial glance; the more thoughtful we become the more earnest we grow.

We often have need of a profound philosophy to restore to our feelings their original state of innocence, to find our way out of the rubble of things alien to us, to begin to feel for ourselves and to speak ourselves, and I might almost say to exist ourselves. Even if my philosophy does not extend to discovering anything new, it does nevertheless possess the courage to regard as questionable what has long been thought true.

Why are young widows in mourning so beautiful? (Look into it.)

The sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.

To do the opposite of something is also a form of imitation, namely an imitation of its opposite.

We say that someone occupies an official position, whereas it is the official position that occupies him.

With a pen in my hand I have successfully stormed bulwarks from which others armed with sword and excommunication have been repulsed.

The thoughts written on the walls of madhouses by their inmates might be worth publicizing.

To err is human also in so far as animals seldom or never err, or at least only the cleverest of them do so.

What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears as easily as we open and shut our mouths.

With prophecies the commentator is often a more important man than the prophet.

Theologians always try to turn the Bible into a book without common sense.

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German Physicist, Writer, Satirist and Anglophile