Tragedy

Included in this almost nothing, as a kind of geological afterthought of the last few million years, is the first development of self-conscious intelligence on this planet—an odd and unpredictable invention of a little twig on the mammalian evolutionary bush. Any definition of this uniqueness, embedded as it is in our possession of language, must involve our ability to frame the world as stories and to transmit these tales to others. If our propensity to grasp nature as story has distorted our perceptions, I shall accept this limit of mentality upon knowledge, for we receive in trade both the joys of literature and the core of our being.

The parasite has somehow evolved to turn off the host's defenses, presumably by disarming the crab's immune response with some chemical trickery that fools the host into accepting the parasite as part of itself. ...The adult parasite castrates the host, not by directly eating the gonadal tissue, but by some unknown mechanism probably involving penetration of the interna's roots around and into the crab's nervous system.

The silliest and most tendentious of baseball writing tries to wrest profundity from the spectacle of grown men hitting a ball with at stick by suggesting linkages between the sport and deep issues of morality, parenthood, history, lost innocence, gentleness, and so on, seemingly ad infinitum. (The effort reeks of silliness because baseball is profound all by itself and needs no excuses; people who don't know this are not fans and are therefore unreachable anyway.)

If you are animated by right principles, and are fully awakened to the true dignity of life, the subject of amusements may be left to settle itself.

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.

There are two great days in a person's life -- the day we are born and the day we discover why.

Lord! haven't I seen you with the greatest authors in your hands, and don't I know how ready your attention is to wander when it's a book that asks for it, instead of a person?

At issue in the Hiss Case was the question whether this sick society, which we call Western civilization, could in its extremity still cast up a man whose faith in it was so great that he would voluntarily abandon those things which men hold good, including life, to defend it.

Die goldene Medina. The accent was not on the golden (except in the sense of some mysterious Light), but on the Medina - that is, the city of hope, the city of deliverance.

The Wizard of Oz (M. G. M.) should settle an old Hollywood controversy: whether fantasy can be presented on the screen as successfully with human actors as with cartoons.

It is high time for the living to get tough, for toughness is indispensable in the struggle to safeguard and develop the life-force; this will not detract from their goodness, as long as they stand courageously by the truth. There is ground for hope in the fact that among millions of decent, hard-working people there are only a few plague-ridden individuals, who do untold harm by appealing to the dark, dangerous drives of the armored average man and mobilizing him for political murder. There is but one antidote to the average man's predisposition to plague: his own feelings for true life. The life force does not seek power but demands only to play its full and acknowledged part in human affairs. It manifests itself through love, work and knowledge.

They called it golf because all the other four letter words were taken.

The war for liberty never ends. One day liberty has to be defended against the power of wealth, on another day against the intrigues of politicians, on another against the dead hand of bureaucrats, on another against the patriot and the militarist, on another against the profiteer, and then against the hysteria and the passions of the mobs, against obscurantism and stupidity, against the criminal and against the over-righteous. In this campaign every civilized man is enlisted till he dies, and he only has known the full joy of living who somewhere and at some time has struck a decisive blow for the freedom of the human spirit.

Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,- criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led, - this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society

The deer and the dachshund are one. Well, the gods grow out of the weather. The people grow out of the weather; the gods grow out of the people. Encore, encore, encore les dieux.

Oh Lolita, you are my girl, as Vee was Poe's and Bea Dante's, and what little girl would not like to whirl in a circular skirt and scanties?

The dry high spirits of this destroyer of optimism make most optimists look damp and depressed.

That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?

Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road running through the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his hand behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us."