Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"No courage is so bold as that forced by utter desperation." -

"Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation." -

"When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen because he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen can never be, this is really the state called desperation." - Arthur Schopenhauer

"Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation." - James Thurber, fully James Grover Thurber

"To live is to feel ourselves fatally obliged to exercise our liberty, to decide what we are going to be in this world. Not for a single moment is our activity of decision allowed to rest. Even when in desperation we abandon ourselves to whatever may happen, we have decided not to decide." - José Ortega y Gasset

"It would have been impossible for me to have told anyone what I derived from these novels, for it was nothing less than a sense of life itself... It had been only through books - at best, no more than vicarious cultural transfusions - that I had managed to keep myself alive in a negatively vital way. Whenever my environment had failed to support or nourish me, I had clutched at books; consequently, my belief in books had risen more out of a sense of desperation than from any abiding conviction of their ultimate value." - Richard Wright, fully Richard Nathaniel Wright

"One of the principles of spiritual psychology is that "healing is the application of loving to the parts inside that hurt." If ever there was a way to transform a life of quiet desperation into a life of effective peaceful living, healing inner hurts surely ranks right up there. As you resolve issues, you stand up in who you truly are and find purpose and meaning in sharing your unique contribution. The more issues you resolve, the more you evolve spiritually, the more peaceful and caring you become, and the more you contribute to the evolution of consciousness of the human species. As we say at USM, "Every time one person resolves one issue, all of humanity evolves." Meaning is a natural and automatic by-product of a life filled with acts of love. If you want to live a life filled with meaning, start expressing from your essential loving nature. Start singing your song." - Ron and Mary Hulnick, formally H. Ronald Hulnick and

"When ignorant and reckless plutocratic sheets denounce the sympathetic strike as immoral, un-American, dangerous to social order and stability, and intolerable in a civilized society, the intelligent unionist contemptuously shrugs his shoulders and passes over the rant without a word of comment. You cannot reason with malignant stupidity." - Samuel Gompers

"My only interest was in being an illustrator or something like that... I was a good house painter." - Willem de Kooning

"Go out in the world and work like money doesn't matter, Sing as if no one is listening, Love as if you have never been hurt, and Dance as if no one is watching" - Victor Hugo