quotes

"The sky starts at your feet. 
Think how brave you are to walk around."
--Anne Herbert, Space Colonies (1977)

"It turns out to be very difficult to devise a theory to describe the universe all in one go."
--Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

“Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world."
--Ben Okri (b. 1959), Nigerian writer

"Oh, there's nothing to worry about me...; the country is very safe and there are hardly any tigers here at all."
--Gabriel Veyre, French photographer, writing home from Cambodia, 1899


"...it was equally certainly a pleasant turn of the populace which gave him
as sense of those normative letters the nickname
Here Comes Everybody.
...
from good start to happy finish
the truly catholic assemblage gathered together in that king's treat house of satin
alustrelike above floats and footlights..."
--James Joyce, 
Finnegan's Wake


"Ask the next question."
--Theodore Sturgeon

"Here's one of countless statistics that are liable to induce feelings akin to vertigo: on New Year's Day 1994... there were an estimated 623 websites. In total. On the whole internet."
--from "Forty years of the internet," by Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian, 23 October 2009.

"No one therefore should try to know from me what I know I do not know--unless indeed it is to learn not to know something which he must eventually know to be beyond knowledge."
--Saint Augustine of Hippo

"Whatever shines should be observed." (Quicquid nitet notandum.)
--William Herschel, 19th century astronomer

"When you do your best, you’re depending to a large extent on your unconscious... because you’re waiting for the thing you can’t think of."
--Mike Nichols

"An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor, I can play anything."
—Whoopi Goldberg

"I am not a number. I am a free man."
--"No. 6" (Patrick McGoohan), in The Prisoner

"I am not a hippopotamus. I am a Moomin."
--Moomin (main character), by Tove Jansson

"I'm a doctor, not an elevator."
--Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), "Friday's Child" episode of Star Trek

"Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atomsmashers, and a girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws."
-- S. J. Perelman

"I don't think necessity is the mother of invention - invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble."
--Agatha Christie

"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft."
-- H. G. Wells

“Sing out the song of sorrow, song of grief, but let the good prevail.”
--Agamemnon, by Aeschylus

"To be thoroughly lazy is a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Industrious people build industry. Lazy people build civilization."
--Kazuaki Tanahashi, Brush Mind, Parallax Press, 1990

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I spent the morning putting in a comma and the afternoon taking it out."
--Gustave Flaubert

"Writing only leads to more writing."
--Colette

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."
~Isaac Asimov

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else."
--Gloria Steinem

"The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion."
--Molly Ivins

"Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears."
-- Rudyard Kipling

"But when the strong were too weak to hurt the weak, the weak had to be strong enough to leave."
--Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
--Ansel Adams

"A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another as I have loved you."
--John 13:34

"You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us."
-- Sappho (about 2,700 years ago)

"Although a life-long fashion dropout, I have absorbed enough by reading Harper's Bazaar while waiting at the dentist's to have grasped that the purpose of fashion it to make A Statement. My own modest Statement, discerned by true cognoscenti, is, 'Woman Who Wears Clothes So She Won't Be Naked.'"
--Molly Ivins

"Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
--Henry David Thoreau

"Silence is so accurate."
--Mark Rothko

"All I want to do is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante."
--Samuel Beckett

"We've got a date with destiny... and it looks like she ordered the lobster!"
--William Macy, The Shoveler in Mystery Men

"... at times, one might almost believe that from the first dawn of consciousness throughout the ages, mankind has constantly been telling itself the same story, though with infinite variations, to the rhythm of its breath and pulse."
--Ivo Andric, Nobel Prize in Literature acceptance speech

"Everyone's so horrid today, Uncle Arthur. Let's go out to tea."
--Minnie Beebe, in A Room with a View (film)

The martini is "the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet."
--H. L. Mencken

"The best antidote to bad speech is not censorship, but more speech."
--Nat Hentoff, journalist and civil libertarian

"Whatever gets in the way of the work, is the work."
--Jason Shinder

"Nothing is just one thing."
--Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse

"Eventually, everything connects."
--Charles Eames

"I will follow you into serious darkness if there's even a promise of that moment when somebody realizes they can, in fact, still feel cherished by the right touch."
--Story by Story, on blogging, fanfic, writing, and all that good stuff

"Only the mediocre are always at their best."
--Jean Giraudoux, French writer and diplomat (1882–1944)

“The storyteller is deep inside every one of us... always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise ... but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill.
It is our stories, the storyteller, that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, what we are at our best, when we are our most creative.”
--Doris Lessing

"It ain't about Who you love. It's all about Do you love."
--Spearhead

"We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves, and to break our hearts, and to love the wrong people, and, and to...die! The storybooks are bullshit."
--"Moonstruck" (Nicholas Cage, as Ronny Cammareri)

"Commanding a starship is your first, best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material."
--Spock, "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away."
--1 Peter 1:24, King James Bible

"It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive."
--Bruce Springsteen, "Badlands"

"Remember, it's never about you. Whatever you think, it's not about you."
--Hillary Clinton

“The mind is much more like a muscle than we’ve ever realized. It needs to get cognitive exercise.”
--James Flynn, social scientist

"...in the Quran, there are no camels; I believe if there were any doubt as to the authenticity of the Quran, this absence of camels would be sufficient to prove it is an Arabian work."
---Jorge Luis Borges, on notwriting about the tango & gauchos, in "The Argentine Writer and Tradition"

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd."
--Flannery O'Connor

"Everything is what it is because it got that way."
--D'Arcy Thompson, biologist, 1917

"There are no switches, everything's a dial."
--Stuart Firestein, biology professor at Columbia University, speaking of the brain

"It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing."
--Gertrude Stein

"When [the farmer and her daughter] saw me in my space suit and the parachute dragging alongside as I walked, they started to back away in fear. I told them, don't be afraid, I am a Soviet like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!"
--Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut, on his return to Earth after his first space flight