Quotes

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If people would know how little brain is ruling the world, they would die of fear.
It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.

The Winter of Our Discontent
In our gradually shrinking world, everyone is in need of all the others. We must look for man wherever we can find him. When on his way to Thebes Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, his answer to its riddle was: «Man». That simple word destroyed the monster. We have many monsters to destroy. Let us think of the answer of Oedipus.

Speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, 1963
A door is like a knife: it divides the world into two parts.
Humankind, with its long history, is by now a corpse bound to a tree with the ropes of convention. If the ropes were cut, the corpse would simply fall to the ground. Prayer in one's mother tongue is a manifestation of that pathetic state.

The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories
The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.

Proust
How many times have I asked myself: when is the world going to start making sense? Yet the answer is out there. It is rushing towards me over the uneven ground.

Time's Arrow
As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.

The Favorite Game
If you don't become the ocean, you'll be seasick every day.
There is nothing more vindictive, nothing more underhanded, than a little world that would like to be a big one.

The Post-Office Girl
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays