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Wallace Stevens

The best definition of true imagination is that it is the sum of our faculties. Poetry is the scholar’s art. The acute intelligence of the imagination, the illimitable resources of its memory, its power to possess the moment it perceives — if we were speaking of light itself, and thinking of the relationship between objects… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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Harlan Ellison

Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment. ― Harlan Ellison

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Hélène Cixous

In these violent and lazy times, in which we do not live what we live, we are read, we are forcibly lived, far from our essential lives, we lose the gift, we no longer hear what things still want to tell us, we translate, we translate, everything is translation and reduction, there is almost nothing… Continue reading Hélène Cixous

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Roland Barthes

Literature is like phosphorus: it shines with its maximum brilliance at the moment when it attempts to die.  — Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero. (Hill and Wang; Reissue edition April 1, 1977) Originally published 1953,

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Vladimir Nabokov

I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness―in a landscape selected at random―is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants.… Continue reading Vladimir Nabokov

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George Steiner

But there is a third mode of trancendence: in it language simply ceases, and the motion of spirit gives no further outward manifestation of its being. The poet enters into silence. Here the word borders not on radiance or music, but on night. — George Steiner, from “Silence and the Poet,” Language and Silence: Essays… Continue reading George Steiner

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Walter Benjamin

For here the day unravels what the night has woven. When we awake each morning, we hold in our hands, usually weakly and loosely, but a few fringes of the tapestry of a lived life, as loomed for us by forgetting. However, with our purposeful activity and, even more, our purposive remembering each day unravels… Continue reading Walter Benjamin

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