Matthew Arnold

Jean Baudrillard

Edward Bernays

William Blake

Joseph Conrad

Emily Dickinson

T.S. Eliot

Benjamin Franklin

Khalil Gibran


William Hurrell Mallock

Marshall McLuhan

Arthur Miller

Lewis Mumford

Bertrand Russell

Jean-Paul Sartre


John Steinbeck


William Wordsworth






























Aristotle, Metaphysics:

"The investigation of the truth is in one way hard, in another easy. An indication of this is found in the fact that no one is able to attain the truth adequately, while, on the other hand, we do not collectively fail, but every one says something true about the nature of things, and while individually we contribute little or nothing to the truth, by the union of all a considerable amount is amassed. Therefore, since the truth seems to be like the proverbial door, which no one can fail to hit, in this respect it must be easy, but the fact that we can have a whole truth and not the particular part we aim at shows the difficulty of it."














Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach":

...the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.













Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories:

"Perhaps our eyes are merely a blank film which is taken from us after our deaths to be developed elsewhere and screened as our life story in some infernal cinema or dispatched as microfilm into the sidereal void."















Edward Bernays, Propaganda:

"We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. . ."















William Blake, "Auguries Of Innocence":

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.














Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes:

"Words, as is well known, are the great foes of reality. I have been for many years a teacher of languages...To a teacher of languages there comes a time when the world is but a place of many words and man appears a mere talking animal not much more wonderful than a parrot."














Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson:

"In this short Life

That only lasts an hour

How much -- how little -- is

Within our power."














T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land:

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,

And the dry stone no sound of water...














Benjamin Franklin, Wit And Wisdom:

"Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one."













Khalil Gibran, Sand And Foam:

"They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; And I deem them mad because they think my days have a price."















Herodotus, The History:

"The most grievous affliction among men is for one to understand a great deal and yet to be incapable of anything."













William Hurrell Mallock, Is Life Worth Living?

"The emptiness of the things of this life, the incompleteness of even its highest pleasures, and their utter powerlessness to make us really happy, has been, at least for fifteen hundred years, a commonplace, both with saints and sages. The conception that anything in this life could of itself be of any great moment to us, was considered as much a puerility unworthy of a man of the world, as a disloyalty to God...The view the eager monk began with, the sated monarch ended with."














Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media:

"The new media and technologies by which we amplify and extend ourselves constitute huge collective surgery carried out on the social body with complete disregard for antiseptics. If the operations are needed, the inevitability of infecting the whole system during the operation has to be considered. For in operating on society with a new technology, it is not the incised area that is most affected. The area of impact and incision is numb. It is the entire system that is changed."














Arthur Miller, Death Of A Salesman:

"I don't know -- what I'm supposed to want...I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it's a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella. And still -- that's how you build a future."













Lewis Mumford, The Myth Of The Machine (vol. 2):

"The existence in man of a dynamic internal world, whose essential nature cannot be probed by any instrument, and can be known only when it finds expression in gestures and symbols and constructive activities, is a mystery as profound as the forces that bind together the components of the atom and account for the character and behavior of the elements. In man that mystery can be experienced, but not described, still less explained: for the mind cannot mirror itself from within. Only by getting outside itself does it become conscious of its inwardness."














Bertrand Russell, "A Free Man's Worship":

"A strange mystery it is that Nature, omnipotent but blind, in the revolutions of her secular hurryings through the abysses of space, has brought forth at last a child, subject still to her power, but gifted with sight, with knowledge of good and evil, with the capacity of judging all the works of his unthinking Mother."











Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea:

"I said to myself: Perhaps there is nothing in the world I cling to as much as this feeling of adventure; but it comes when it pleases; it is gone so quickly and how empty I am once it has left. Does it, ironically, pay me these short visits in order to show me that I have wasted my life?"













Seneca, "On The Shortness Of Life":

"Look at the men whose felicity is the cynosure of all eyes; they are smothered by their prosperity. How many have found riches a bane! How many have paid with blood for their eloquence and their daily straining to display their talent! How many are sallow from constant indulgence! How many are deprived of liberty by a besieging mob of clients!...Investigate the personages whose names are household words and you will find they can be classified by the following criteria: A is B's sycophant and B is C's; no one shows solicitude for himself..."













John Steinbeck, America and Americans:

"I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security -- out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction."














Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique Portatif:

"The men of letters who have rendered the greatest services to the small number of thinking beings spread over the world are the isolated writers, the true scholars shut in their studies, who have neither argued on the benches of the universities, nor told half-truths in the academies; and almost all of them have been persecuted. Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are opening a new road."













William Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey":

..I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things...