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Quotes

What experience and history teach is this—that nations and governments have never learned anything from history or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it.

—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 1830

Everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art—that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance.

—Tennessee Williams, 1944

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them. 

—Samuel Butler, 1912

Africa has her mysteries, and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.

—Miriam Makeba, 1988

He who travels by sea is nothing but a worm on a piece of wood, a trifle in the midst of a powerful creation. The waters play about with him at will, and no one but God can help him.

—Muhammad as-Saffar, 1846

Language is the armory of the human mind and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests. 

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1817

Seek not water, only show you are thirsty, / That water may spring up all around you.

—Rumi, c. 1260

Good fortune turns aside destruction by a great god.

—Instructions of Ankhsheshonqy, c. 100 BC

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.

—Jean Rostand, 1939

I order that my funeral ceremonies be extremely modest, and that they take place at dawn or at the evening Ave Maria, without song or music.

—Giuseppe Verdi, 1900

Everything that deceives does so by casting a spell.

—Plato, c. 375 BC

To call a fashion wearable is the kiss of death. No new fashion worth its salt is ever wearable.

—Eugenia Sheppard, 1960

That which the sober man keeps in his breast, the drunken man lets out at the lips. Astute people, when they want to ascertain a man’s true character, make him drunk.

—Martin Luther, 1569