You are afraid of it because it is stronger than you you hate it because you are afraid of it you love it because you cannot subdue it to your will. Only the unsubduable can be loved.
A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t even be worth reading.
Cruel’, O’Kelly laughed, ‘it’s cruel to tell children the truth. If anything convinces me of God’s mercy, then it’s his gift of making us unable to lie.
Happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.
We have long become overgrown with calluses; we no longer hear people being killed. (“X”)
knowledge, absolutely sure of its infallibility, is faith
True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics.
Heretics are the only [bitter] remedy against the entropy of human thought.(“Literature, Revolution, and Entropy”)
The most effective way of destroying art is the canonization of one given form. And one philosophy.
The only means of ridding man of crime is ridding him of freedom.
Accentuated plainness and accentuated vice ought to bring about harmony. Beauty lies in harmony, in style, whether it be the harmony of ugliness or beauty, vice or virtue.
If we have no heretics we must invent them, for heresy is essential to health and growth.
What we need in literature today are vast philosophic horizons; we need the most ultimate, the most fearsome, the most fearless ‘Why?’ and ‘What next?'(“Literature, Revolution, and Entropy”)
If human foolishness had been as carefully nurtured and cultivated as intelligence has been for centuries, perhaps it would have turned into something extremely precious.
How do you know nonsense isn’t a good thing? if human nonsense had been nurtured and developed for centuries, just as intelligence has, then perhaps something extraordinarily previous could have come from it.
You can only love something that refuses to be mastered.
Children are the only bold philosophers. And bold philosophers are invariably children.
Let my notes, like the most sensitive seismograph, record the curve of even the most insignificant vibrations of my brain: for it is precisely such vibrations that are sometimes the forewarning of…
But a thought swarmed in me; what if he, this yellow-eyed being – in his ridiculous, dirty bundle of trees, in his uncalculated life – is happier than us?
…sentences of the court on moral issues are always passed in absentia.
The government (or humanity) would not permit capital punishment for one man, but they permitted the murder of millions a little at a time.
In the ancient world, this was understood by the Christians, our only (if very imperfect) predecessors: Humility is a virtue, pride a vice; We comes from God, I from the Devil.
The world is kept alive only by heretics: the heretic Christ, the heretic Copernicus, the heretic Tolstoy. Our symbol of faith is heresy. (“Tomorrow”)
Revolution is everywhere, in everything. There is no final revolution, no final number.
And how can there be a final revolution? There is no final one. The number of revolutions is infinite.
The nights were long, like the braids of a pretty girl, and the days were short, like a girl’s sense. (“The North”)
The most agonising thing is to drop doubt into a man about his being a reality, three-dimensional – and not some other kind of reality.
The only reason I’m writing this down is to show how human reason, even very sharp and exact human reason, can get crazily confused and thrown off the track.
And I learned from my own experience that laughter was the most potent weapon: laughter can kill everything.
The moon hangs alien, heavy, like a lock on a door; the door is tightly shut. (“The North”)
But you can’t plead with autumn. No. The midnight wind stalked through the woods, hooted to frighten you, swept everything away for the approaching winter, whirled the leaves. (“The North”)