When you close your eyes to tragedy, you close your eyes to greatness.
All great power has to do to destroy itself is persist in trying to do the impossible.
As a rule, the most dangerous ideas are not the ones that divide people but those on which they agree.
To state a lie firmly, categorically and with great authority, undeterred by the fact that all concerned know it to be a lie, is one of the principal activities defined by the term practising law.
Strange as it may seem, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it.
Like all wage slaves, he had two crosses to bear: the people he worked for and the people he worked with
The war against Vietnam is only the ghastliest manifestation of what I'd call imperial provincialism, which afflicts America's whole culture-aware only of its own history, insensible to everything which isn't part of the local atmosphere.
Powerful men in particular suffer from the delusion that human beings have no memories. I would go so far as to say that the distinguishing trait of powerful men is the psychotic certainty that people forget acts of infamy as easily as their parents birth
To be great is to assume great concerns.
We now have a whole culture based on the assumption that people know nothing and so anything can be said to them.
Great writers are not those who tell us we shouldn’t play with fire, but those who make our fingers burn.
Consistency is a virtue for trains.
The truth is that our race survived ignorance; it is our scientific genius that will do us in.
You tell me your favorite novelists and I'll tell you whom you vote for, or whether you vote at all.
Most bad books get that way because their authors are engaged in trying to justify themselves. If a vain author is an alcoholic, then the most sympathetically portrayed character in his book will be an alcoholic. This sort of thing is very boring for outsiders.
Art experts are unfailingly opposed to Art for the simple reason that they are interested in Art - but Art is not interested in Art. Art is interested in life.
Thou shalt not let a day pass without rereading something great.
Perhaps in a book review it is not out of place to note that the safety of the state depends on cultivating the imagination.
Consistency is a virtue for trains: what we want from a philosopher is insights, whether he comes by them consistently or not.
Whenever you hear the word "inevitable", watch out! An enemy of humanity has identified himself.
Dictatorship is a constant lecture instructing you that your feelings, your thoughts and desires are of no account, that you are a nobody and must live as you are told by other people who desire and think for you
The only virtue a character needs to possess between hardcovers, even if he bears a real person's name, is vitality: if he comes to life in our imaginations, he passes the test.
Is it possible that I am not alone in believing that in the dispute between Galileo and the Church, the Church was right and the centre of man's universe is the earth?
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