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Indeed, the labor of keeping house is labor in its most naked state, for labor is toil that never finishes, toil that has to be begun again the moment it is completed, toil that is destroyed and consumed by the life process.

Mary McCarthy (1912-1989) American author, critic, political activist
“The Vita Activa,” The New Yorker (1958-10)

A review of Hanna Arendt, The Human Condition (1958). Collected in On the Contrary: Articles of Belief, 1946–1961, Part 1 (1961).
Added on 1-Jul-24 | Last updated 1-Jul-24
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In order to not find life unbearable, you must accept two things: the ravages of time, and the injustices of man.
[Il y a deux choses auxquelles il faut se faire, sous peine de trouver la vie insupportable. Ce sont les injures du tems et les injustices des hommes.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 2, ¶ 115 (1795) [tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 95]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

There are two things to which we must become inured on pain of finding life intolerable: the outrages of time and man's injustice.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and the injustices of men.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

There are two things that a man must reconcile himself to, or he will find life unbearable: they are the injuries of time and the injuries of men.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994)]

Added on 29-Jan-24 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
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All has its date below; the fatal hour
Was register’d in Heav’n ere time began.
We turn to dust, and all our mightiest works
Die too.

William Cowper (1731-1800) English poet
The Task, Book 5 “The Winter Morning Walk,” l. 529ff (1785)
Added on 28-Aug-23 | Last updated 28-Aug-23
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The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.

William Dean Howells (1837-1920) American author, literary critic, and playwright
Letter to Charles Eliot Norton (6 Apr 1903)
Added on 4-Apr-22 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
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The monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished?

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Essex’s Device (1595)
Added on 3-Mar-16 | Last updated 3-Mar-16
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Music and silence — how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell — though longer ago than humans, reckoning in light years, could express — no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile — Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it.

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer, literary scholar, lay theologian [Clive Staples Lewis]
The Screwtape Letters (1942)
Added on 18-Nov-15 | Last updated 18-Nov-15
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There is an old saw in the services: that which is not inspected deteriorates.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
News conference (12 May 1954)
Added on 21-May-15 | Last updated 21-May-15
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Oh, well. All good things seize their bearings eventually.

Chris Bunch (1943-2005) American novelist, television writer
Fleet of the Damned (1988) [with Allan Cole]
Added on 26-Mar-14 | Last updated 26-Mar-14
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