So much of our lives is given over to the consideration of our imperfections that there is no time to improve our imaginary virtues. The truth is we only perfect our vices, and man is a worse creature when he dies than he was when he was born.
Herman Melville was as separated from a civilized literature as the lost Atlantis was said to have been from the great peoples of the earth.
Everything ultimately fails, for we die, and that is either the penultimate failure or our most enigmatical achievement.
The bad poet is a toady mimicking nature.
Man is at the nadir of his stregth when the Earth, the seas, the mountains are not in him, for without them his soul is unsourced, and he has no images by which to abide.
We are uneasy with an affectionate man, for we are positive he wants something of us, particularly our love.
One of the weaknesses in the cooperative is that it has never been sufficiently leavened by the imagination. This is a quick-silver faculty, and likely to be a cause of worry to any collective settlement.
Man hoards himself when he has nothing to give away.
Utility is our national shibboleth: the savior of the American businessman is fact and his uterine half-brother, statistics.
Every decision you make is a mistake.
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