But there is in every man a profound instinct which is neither that of destruction nor that of creation. It is merely a matter of resembling nothing. — Albert Camus, The Minotaur (1939)
It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things. — Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness (Pantheon; First Edition, October 3, 2006)
One writes because one has been touched by the yearning for and the despair of ever touching the Other. ― Charles Simic, The Unemployed Fortune-Teller: Essays and Memoirs ( University of Michigan Press, February 15th 1995) Originally published 1995.
The lessons of impermanence taught me this: loss constitutes an odd kind of fullness; despair empties out into an unquenchable appetite for life. ― Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces (Penguin Books, December 2, 1986)
The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the… Continue reading Aldous Huxley
We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the desire between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the… Continue reading Rebecca Solnit
We are time and cannot escape its dominion. We can transfigure it but not deny it or destroy it. This is what the great artists, poets, philosophers, scientists, and certain men of action have done. Love, too, is an answer: because it is time and made of time, love is at once consciousness of death… Continue reading Octavio Paz
To submit one’s pleasures and desires to enumeration and definitive articulation is to submit processes and becomings, to entities, locations, and boundaries, to become welded to an organizing nucleus of fantasy and desire whose goal is not simply pleasure and expansion, but control, and the tying of the new to models of what is already… Continue reading Elizabeth Grosz
But after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing more difficult in this world than to surrender completely. This is one of man’s greatest sorrows. ― Clarice Lispector, Selected Cronicas. (New Directions November 17, 1996)
Our power resides in our incapacity to know how alone we are. ― Emil M. Cioran, The New Gods, (University of Chicago Press March 28th 2013) Originally published 1969.