Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Joy Davidman: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

"Lacking belief in the promises and commandments of God, one must fall back on a "man-centred" philosophy-something called humanism or materialism, which accepts this life and its immediate desires as the basis of all conduct. But you can't get a moral law out of materialism. There is no logical reason why a materialist shouldn't poison his nagging wife, if he can get away with it.

"The essential amorality of all atheist doctrines is often hidden from us by an irrelevant personal argument. We see that many articulate secularists are well-meaning and law-abiding men; we see them go into righteous indignation over injustice and often devote their lives to good works. So we conclude that "he can't be wrong whose life is in the right"-that their philosophies are just as good guides to action as Christianity. What we don't see is that they are not acting on their philosophies. They are acting, out of habit or sentiment, on an inherited Christian ethic which they still take for granted though they have rejected the creed from which it sprang. Their children will inherit somewhat less of it."

--Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain

Monday, May 27, 2019

John Updike: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

Not only are selves conditional but they die. Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead. So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time? It is even possible to dislike our old selves, those disposable ancestors of ours. For instance, my high-school self — skinny, scabby, giggly, gabby, frantic to be noticed, tormented enough to be a tormentor, relentlessly pushing his cartoons and posters and noisy jokes and pseudo-sophisticated poems upon the helpless high school — strikes me now as considerably obnoxious, though I owe him a lot: without his frantic ambition and insecurity I would not be sitting on (as my present home was named by others) Haven Hill.

--John Updike

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Neil Gaiman: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

"All writers have this vague hope that the elves will come in the night and finish any stories."

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Lionel Shriver: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

“Giving anyone anything takes courage, since so many presents backfire. A gift conspicuously at odds with your tastes serves only to betray that the benefactor has no earthly clue who you are.”

― Lionel Shriver

Friday, May 24, 2019

Camille Paglia: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

Subversion requires limits to violate. --Camille Paglia

Thursday, May 23, 2019

T. H. White: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

“We cannot build the future by avenging the past.”

― T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Francois de la Rochefoucauld: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

"Thinkers think and doers do. But until the thinkers do and the doers think, progress will be just another word in the already overburdened vocabulary of the talkers who talk."

Monday, May 20, 2019

Charles Schulz: Quotes from The Commonplace Book

“Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”
― Charles M. Schulz

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

"Stifled by Heaps of Imitations"

“It is not wonderful, but yet it excites wonder, when, in contemplating a literature, [especially the German,] one observes how a whole nation cannot get free from a subject which has been given, and happily treated in a certain form, but will have it repeated in every manner, until, at last, the original itself is covered up, and stifled by the heaps of imitations.” – Goethe

Monday, May 6, 2019