But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
There is only one thing that arouses animals more than pleasure, and that is pain. Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him.
The comic is the perception of the opposite; humor is the feeling of it.
I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.
There is a constant in the average American imagination and taste, for which the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy; a philosophy of immortality as duplication. It dominates the relation with the self, with the past, not infrequently with the present, always with History and, even, with the European tradition.
There are no stories without meaning. And I am one of those men who can find it even when others fail to see it. Afterwards the story becomes the book of the living, like a blaring trumpet that raises from the tomb those who have been dust for centuries….
The pleasures of love are pains that become desirable, where sweetness and torment blend, and so love is voluntary insanity, infernal paradise, and celestial hell—in short, harmony of opposite yearnings, sorrowful laughter, soft diamond.
The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb.
Topics: Reading, Books
Better reality than a dream: if something is real, then it’s real and you’re not to blame.
Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Jacques Derrida French Philosopher, Literary Theorist
- Hans-Georg Gadamer German Philosopher
- Jose Ortega y. Gasset Spanish Philosopher
- Marshall Mcluhan Canadian Thinker
- John Rawls American Philosopher
- Charles Sanders Peirce American Philosopher
- Friedrich Schleiermacher German Theologian
- Christopher Hitchens Anglo-American Social Critic
- Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach German Philosopher
- Karl Marx German Philosopher, Economist