Monday, January 30, 2012

"Reflections on War and Death" by Sigmund Freud

Kindle edition here.
  • "Caught in the whirlwind of these war times"
  • "It would seem as though no event had ever destroyed so much of the precious heritage of mankind, confused so many of the clearest intellects or so thoroughly debased what is highest."
  • "Even science has lost her dispassionate impartiality. Her deeply embittered votaries are intent upon seizing her weapons to do their share in the battle against the enemy."
  • "The anthropologist has to declare his opponent inferior and degenerate, the psychiatrist must diagnose him as mentally deranged."
  • "One need not be a sentimentalist, one may realize the biological and physiological necessity of suffering in the economy of human life, and yet one may condemn the methods and the aims of war and long for its termination."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" by G. K. Chesterton

Free Kindle edition here and free e-book here.
  • "he was still young enough to remember his politics and not merely try to forget them"
  • "Harold March was the sort of man who knows everything about politics, and nothing about politicians. He also knew a great deal about art, letters, philosophy, and general culture; about almost everything, indeed, except the world he was living in."
  • ". . . the premonitions proper to a man who meets the strangest friendship of his life"
  • "The man was apparently fishing; or at least was fixed in a fisherman's attitude with more than a fisherman's immobility. March was able to examine the man almost as if he had been a statue for some minutes before the statue spoke."
  • "It was one of those cases of a strange face so unmistakable as to feel familiar. We feel, somehow, that we ought to recognize it, even though we do not."
  • "I know too much," he said. "That's what's the matter with me. That's what's the matter with all of us, and the whole show; we know too much."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Books I Want to Read in 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

"The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff

Paperback edition here.

  • "Life itself, when understood and utilized for what it is, is sweet."
  • ". . . but, no matter how he may seem to others, especially to those fooled by appearances, Pooh, the Uncarved Block, is able to accomplish what he does because he is simpleminded. As any old Taoist walking out of the woods can tell you, simpleminded does not necessarily mean stupid. It's rather significant that the Taoist ideal is that of the still, calm, reflecting 'mirror-mind' of the Uncarved Block, and it's rather significant that Pooh, rather than the thinkers Rabbit, Owl, or Eeyore, is the true hero of Winnie-the-Pooh."
"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."