We collect books in the belief that we are preserving them when in fact it is the books that preserve their collector.
Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom.
The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.
To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.
Those who do not learn how to decipher photographs will be the illiterate of the future.
There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.
The work of memory collapses time.
All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation.
The concept of progress must be grounded in the idea of catastrophe. That things are 'status quo' is the catastrophe
The more circumspectly you delay writing down an idea, the more maturely developed it will be on surrendering itself.
Every monument of civilization is a monument of barbarism
Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.
Thinking involves not only the flow of thoughts, but their arrest as well.
History breaks down into images, not into stories.
The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.
The experience of our generation:
that capitalism will not die a natural death.
Art teaches us to see into things. Folk art and kitsch allow us to see outward from within things.
The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the "state of emergency" in which we live is not the exception but the rule.
You could tell a lot about a man by the books he keeps - his tastes, his interest, his habits.
The illiterate of the future will not be the man who cannot read the alphabet, but the one who cannot take a photograph.
Capitalism is a purely cultic religion, perhaps the most extreme that ever existed.
Opinions are a private matter. The public has an interest only in judgments.
All efforts to render politics aesthetic culminate in one thing: war.
Every image of the past that is not recognised by the present as one of its own threatens to disappear irretrievably.
Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas. Fill the lacunae of inspiration by tidily copying out what is already written.
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