Quotations about:

Note not all quotations have been tagged, so Search may find additional quotes on this topic.

No people are uninteresting.
Their fate is like the chronicle of planets.

Nothing in them is not particular,
and planet is dissimilar from planet.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko (1933-2017) Russian poet, writer, film director, academic [Евге́ний Евтуше́нко, Evgenij Evtušenko]
“People [Lyudi]” (1961), l. 1ff [tr. Milner-Gulland/Levi (1967)]
Added on 18-Jul-22 | Last updated 18-Jul-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Yevtushenko, Yevgeny

Beauty always has an element of strangeness. I do not mean a deliberate cold form of strangeness, for in that case it would be a monstrous thing that had jumped the rails of life. But I do mean that it always contains a certain degree of strangeness, of simple, unintended, unconscious strangeness, and that this form of strangeness is what gives it the right to be called beauty.

[Le Beau est toujours bizarre. Je ne veux pas dire qu’il soit volontairement, froidement bizarre, car dans ce cas il serait un monstre sorti des rails de la vie. Je dis qu’il contient toujours un peu de bizarrerie, de bizarrerie naive, non voulue, inconsciente, et que c’est cette bizarrerie qui le fait être particulièrement le Beau.]

Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) French poet, essayist, art critic
“The Universal Exhibition of 1855 [Exposition Universelle de 1855],” sec. 1 (1855) [tr. Charvet (1972)]

Frequently paraphrased as "Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty." See also Bacon.

Collected in Curiosités Esthétiques, ch. 4 (1868). (Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The Beautiful is always strange. I do not mean that it is coldly, deliberately strange, for in that case it would be a monstrosity that had jumped the rails of life. I mean that it always contains a touch of strangeness, of simple, unpremeditated and unconscious strangeness, and that it is in this touch of strangeness that gives it its particular quality as Beauty.
[tr. Mayne (1965)]

Beauty is always bizarre. I do not mean to say that it is deliberately, coldly bizarre, for in that case it would be a monster that has escaped from the confines of existence. I mean that it always contains a certain amount of strangeness, naïve strangeness, unforced and even unconscious, and that it is this strangeness that stamps it as Beautiful.
[tr. Gregory (1961)]

Added on 23-Feb-22 | Last updated 23-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Baudelaire, Charles

Despair says It’s all the same. Happiness knows there are even a thousand Despairs.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
“Vectors: 56 Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays,” Michigan Quarterly Review, # 50 (Spring 1999)
Added on 2-Nov-21 | Last updated 2-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Richardson, James

History, indeed, is like a picture gallery in which there are few originals and many copies.

[On voit que l’histoire est une galerie de tableaux où il y a peu d’originaux et beaucoup de copies.]

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French writer, diplomat, politician
The Old Regime and the Revolution [L’Ancien régime et la Révolution], Book 2, ch. 6 (1856) [tr. Gilbert (1955)]

Alternate translations:

History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals.
[tr. Bonner (1856)]

One sees that history is an art gallery where there are few originals and many copies.
[tr. Kahan]

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are many copies and few originals.

Added on 1-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Tocqueville, Alexis de

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique human being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is ever be put together a second time.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet
“Schopenhauer as Educator,” ch. 1 (1874) [tr. Collins]
Added on 26-Nov-18 | Last updated 26-Nov-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Nietzsche, Friedrich

Everybody thought, “this time is different.” In my view, those are the most frightening words in the English language. If you look at the crises that have infected the world, the term, “this time, it’s different” has almost always been the hubris that comes before nemesis.

Andrew Crockett (1943-2012) British banker, economist, author, public servant
Speech, Pomona College, Claremont, Calif. (Apr 2009)

Referring to the period leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
Added on 3-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Crockett, Andrew

Being like everybody is like being nobody.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator

Frequently attributed, but never cited. In the Twilight Zone episode, "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" (ep 05x17), the protagonist comments, "But is that good, being like everybody? I mean, isn't that the same as being nobody?" That episode is credited to Charles Beaumont and John Tomerlin.
Added on 10-Apr-17 | Last updated 10-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Serling, Rod

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist

See here for discussion.
Added on 16-Sep-16 | Last updated 16-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Einstein, Albert

Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. And look at your body — what a wonder it is! Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the ways you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work — we must all work — to make the world worthy of its children.

Pablo Casals (1876-1973) Spanish cellist, conductor, composer
In Joys and Sorrows: Reflections‎ by Pablo Casals as told to Albert E. Kahn (1970)
Added on 13-Sep-16 | Last updated 29-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Casals, Pablo

The more finished the character, the more striking is its individuality.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” Sermon 90 (1830)

Sermon on Matthew 16:26.
Added on 17-Feb-16 | Last updated 22-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.

Irving Wallace (1916-1990) American author and screenwriter
Square Pegs: Some Americans Who Dared to Be Different, ch. 1 (1958)
Added on 7-Nov-14 | Last updated 7-Nov-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Wallace, Irving

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #135 (2 Jul 1751)
Added on 1-Feb-13 | Last updated 26-Jun-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Samuel

Whenever we proclaim the uniqueness of a religion, a truth, a leader, a nation, a race, a part or a holy cause, we are also proclaiming our own uniqueness.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The Passionate State of Mind, Aphorism 37 (1955)
Added on 21-Nov-11 | Last updated 24-Jun-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Hoffer, Eric

We probably differ on that which relates to the dogmas of theology, the foundation of all sectarianism, and on which no two sects dream alike; for if they did they would then be of the same. you say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Ezra Stiles Ely (25 Jun 1819)
Added on 4-Apr-11 | Last updated 6-Jul-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

In fact, nothing is ever said that has not been said before.

[Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
The Eunuch [Eunuchus], l. 41, Prologue (161 BC) [tr. Bolton (2019)]

Alternate translations:
  • "In short, there's Nothing say'd , but what before / May have been say'd." [tr. Cooke (1755)]
  • "In fine, nothing can be said now, that may not have been said before." [tr. Patrick (1767)]
  • "Nothing's said now, but has been said before." [tr. Coleman (1768)]
  • "In fine, nothing is said now that has not been said before." [tr. Riley (1853)]
  • "Ah, there is nothing new beneath the sun, / Whatever is, or may be, has been done." [tr. Rose (1870)]
  • "In fact nothing is said that has not been said before." [tr. Sargeaunt (1918)]
  • "The bottom line: you can't say anything that's never been said before." [tr. Christenson (2012)]
  • There's nothing ever said, unsaid before. [tr. Bolton (2019), shortened Prologue]
Added on 15-Sep-10 | Last updated 4-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Terence

As an atheist, I believe that all life is unspeakably precious, because it’s only here for a brief moment, a flare against the dark, and then it’s gone forever. No afterlives, no second chances, no backsies. So there can be nothing crueler than the abuse, destruction or wanton taking of a life. It is a crime no less than burning the Mona Lisa, for there is always just one of each.

So I cannot forgive. Which makes the notion of writing a character who CAN forgive momentarily attractive … because it allows me to explore in great detail something of which I am utterly incapable.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Usenet, rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5, “JMS on Compuserve: Gesthemane Questions” (1995-12-04)
Added on 5-Feb-10 | Last updated 24-Oct-23
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Straczynski, J. Michael "Joe"