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Ever since I had dinner with Lou Reed I’ve tried to avoid meeting the people who would make me feel starstruck. It was a great dinner but by the end of it Lou Reed was no longer my hero, and I don’t have many heroes. I resolutely avoided meeting David Bowie, which became harder when I became friends with Duncan Jones, his son, and then got even harder when I moved to Woodstock and he lived around the corner. But I love the fact that the Bowie that I have is the Bowie in my head: a strange, evolving, absolutely fictional Bowie who became my hero when I was 11.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
“This Much I Know,” The Guardian (5 Aug 2017)
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Added on 18-Sep-17 | Last updated 18-Sep-17
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For Fiction is Truth’s elder sister. Obviously. No one in the world knew what truth was till somebody had told a story.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English writer
A Book of Words, ch. 24 “Fiction” (1928)
Added on 23-Feb-17 | Last updated 23-Feb-17
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It was said that God, in order to test mankind which had become swelled with pride as in the time of Noah, had commanded the wise men of that age, among them the Blessed Leibowitz, to devise great engines of war such as had never before been upon the Earth, weapons of such might that they contained the very fires of Hell, and that God had suffered these magi to place the weapons in the hands of princes, and to say to each prince: “Only because the enemies have such a thing have we devised this for thee, in order that they may know that thou hast it also, and fear to strike. See to it, m’Lord, that thou fearest them as much as they shall now fear thee, that none may unleash this dread thing which we have wrought.” But the princes, putting the words of their wise men to naught, thought each to himself: If I but strike quickly enough, and in secret, I shall destroy these others in their sleep, and there will be none to fight back; the earth shall be mine.

Such was the folly of princes, and there followed the Flame Deluge.

Walter M. Miller Jr. (1923-1996) American science fiction writer
A Canticle for Leibowitz, “Fiat Homo,” ch. 6 (1959)
Added on 30-Jan-17 | Last updated 30-Jan-17
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But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Letter to F. A. Van der Kamp (27 Dec 1816)
Added on 12-Oct-16 | Last updated 12-Oct-16
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Your God is the best God.
In fact, he’s the only God.
All other Gods are ridiculous, made up rubbish.
Not yours though. Yours is real.

Gervais - your god is the best god - wist_info quote

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
Twitter (11 Sep 2012)
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Added on 18-Aug-16 | Last updated 18-Aug-16
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DENNIS: Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Monty Python (contemp.) British comedy troupe
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Added on 13-May-16 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Coraline (2002)

Paraphrase by Gaiman of G. K. Chesterton. Gaiman included it as an epigraph, attributed to Chesterton, but without looking up the exact wording.
Added on 30-Oct-14 | Last updated 30-Oct-14
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The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it — because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
Tremendous Trifles, “The Red Angel” (1909)
Added on 29-Oct-14 | Last updated 29-Oct-14
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JOYCE: An artist is the magician put among men to gratify — capriciously — their urge for immortality. The temples are built and brought down around him, continuously and contiguously, from Troy to the fields of Flanders. If there is any meaning in any of it, it is in what survives as art, yes even in the celebration of tyrants, yes even in the celebration of nonentities. What now of the Trojan War if it had been passed over by the artist’s touch? Dust. A forgotten expedition prompted by Greek merchants looking for new markets. A minor redistribution of broken pots. But it is we who stand enriched, by a tale of heroes, of a golden apple, a wooden horse, a face that launched a thousand ships —– and above all, of Ulysses, the wanderer, the most human, the most complete of all heroes — husband, father, son, lover, farmer, soldier, pacifist, politician, inventor and adventurer.

Tom Stoppard (b. 1937) Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
Travesties. Act 1 (1974)

Stoppard called this "the most important" speech in the play.
Added on 3-Oct-14 | Last updated 3-Oct-14
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Every nation, like every individual, walks in a vain show — else it could not live with itself — but I never got over the wonder of a people who, having extirpated the aboriginals of their continent more completely than any modern race had ever done, honestly believed that they were a godly little New England community, setting examples to brutal mankind.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English writer
Something of Myself, ch. 15 (1937)
Added on 11-Sep-13 | Last updated 17-Jul-17
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An honest God’s the noblest work of man.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
Further Extracts from the Note-Books of Samuel Butler, ch. 1 (1934)

See Pope.
Added on 15-Nov-10 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Atheism,” Essays, No. 16 (1625)
Added on 4-Jun-10 | Last updated 16-May-16
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Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish.

Other Authors and Sources
Timothy Jones
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Apr-14
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