Monday, October 31, 2011

"Emma" by Jane Austen

Kindle edition here.
  • "a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, he was a much older man in ways than in years; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and his amiable temper, his talents could not have recommended him at any time"
  • "It was a melancholy change; and Emma could not but sigh over it, and wish for impossible things"
  • "from his habits of gentle selfishness, and of being never able to suppose that other people could feel differently from himself"
  • "a fanciful, troublesome creature!"
  • ""And have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess?— I pity you.—I thought you cleverer—for, depend upon it a lucky guess is never merely luck. There is always some talent in it."
  • "He had never been an unhappy man; his own temper had secured him from that"
  • "a great deal better to choose than to be chosen, to excite gratitude than to feel it"

"Common Sense" by Thomas Payne

Kindle edition here.
  • "Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them"
  • "Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher."
  • "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one"
  • "I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered"
  • "There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"The Soul of Man Under Socialism" by Oscar Wilde

Kindle edition here.

  • "The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence"
  • "Most personalities have been obliged to be rebels.  Half their strength has been wasted in friction."
  • "The note of the perfect personality is not rebellion, but peace."
  • "it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought"
  • "their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it.  Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Notes From The Underground" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Kindle edition here.
  • "I am well-educated enough not to be superstitious, but I am superstitious"
  • "I refuse to consult a doctor from spite."
  • "Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well aware that I cannot "pay out" the doctors by not consulting them; I know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and no one else. But still, if I don't consult a doctor it is from spite. My liver is bad, well--let it get worse!"
  • "I was inwardly conscious with shame that I was not only not a spiteful but not even an embittered man, that I was simply scaring sparrows at random and amusing myself by it."
  • "opposite elements. I knew that they had been swarming in me all my life"
  • "Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything."

"The House of Pomegranates" by Oscar Wilde

  • "The burden of this world is too great for one man to bear, and the world’s sorrow too heavy for one heart to suffer"
  • "strange passion for beauty that was destined to have so great an influence over his life"
  • "the secrets of art are best learned in secret, and ... Beauty, like Wisdom, loves the lonely worshiper."
  • "Far away, in an orchard, a nightingale was singing.  A faint perfume of jasmine came through the open window. "
  • "Never before had he felt so keenly, or with such exquisite joy, the magic and the mystery of beautiful things."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"The Antichrist" by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Download here.

  • "In brief, what he saw in Christian ethics, under all the poetry and all the fine show of altruism and all the theoretical benefits therein, was a democratic effort to curb the egoism of the strong—a conspiracy of the chandala against the free functioning of their superiors, nay, against the free progress of mankind."
  • "Well, an idea is an idea. The present one may be right and it may be wrong. One thing is quite certain: that no progress will be made against it by denouncing it as merely immoral."
  • "But in any battle between an institution and an idea, the idea, in the long run, has the better of it."
  • "The majority of men prefer delusion to truth. It soothes. It is easy to grasp. Above all, it fits more snugly than the truth into a universe of false appearances—of complex and irrational phenomena, defectively grasped."