Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Evasion is unworthy of us, and is always the intimate of equivocation." - Honoré de Balzac

"Life is the acceptance of responsibilities or their evasion; it is a business of meeting obligations or avoiding them. To every man the choice is continually being offered, and by the manner of his choosing you may fairly measure him." - Ben Ames Williams

"There’s a scheme of evasion that has gotten into everybody. It’s as though people were to say: “I get home dog tired after a terrible day out in that jungle, and then I don’t want to think about it. Enough! I want to be brainwashed. I’m going to have my dinner and drink some beer, and I’m going to sit watching TV until I pass out – because that’s how I feel.” That means people are not putting up a struggle for the human part of themselves." - Saul Bellow

"We live in an age of self-dissipation, of depersonalization. Should we adjust our vision of existence to make our paucity, make a virtue of obtuseness, glorify evasion?" - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Poetry will not save the world. But poetry can force the soul into the precincts of its last evasion." - Stanley Hopper, fully Stanley Romaine Hopper

"The major power facing bureaucracy is not the struggle for power but the evasion of responsibility; bureaucrats are very reluctant to take action." - Dean Rusk, fully David Dean Rusk

"Death is a cessation of motion, also a cessation of time - than it has to do with life, its most complex embodiment. Thinking that time brings death is a less workable assumption than a moral evasion, an example of our chronic tendency to ascribe our woes and weaknesses to external circumstance rather than to living will." - Robert Grudin

"No man who is not willing to bear arms and to fight for his rights can give a good reason why he should be entitled to the privilege of living in a free community." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"In all His acts God orders all things, whether good or evil, for the good of those who know Him and seek Him and who strive to bring their own freedom under obedience to His divine purpose. All that is done by the will of God in secret is done for His glory and for the good of those whom He has chosen to share in His glory." - Thomas Merton

"True sanctity does not consist in trying to live without creatures. It consists in using the goods of life in order to do the will of God. It consists in using God’s creation in such a way that everything we touch and see and use and love gives new glory to God. To be a saint means to pass through the world gathering fruits for heaven from every tree and reaping God’s glory in every field. The saint is one who is in contact with God in every possible way, in every possible direction. He is united to God by the depths of his own being. He sees and touches God in everything and everyone around him. Everywhere he goes, the world rings and resounds (though silently) with the deep harmonies of God’s glory." - Thomas Merton

"It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate, when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. It is far more difficult—and far more precious—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"An admirable musician! O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear!" -