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Bayard's Backpage: My Favorite Quotes

Reality is... More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hoplessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. (Woody Allen)

High school is closer to the core of the American experience than anything I can think of. (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Everything that decieves may be said to enchant. (Plato)

Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven. (Mark Twain)

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. (Mark Twain)

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society. (Mark Twain)

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. (George Orwell)

Everything is gratuitous, this garden, this city and myself. When you suddenly realize it, it makes you sick and everything begins to drift . . . that's nausea. (Jean Paul Sartre)

Hell is -- other people! (Jean Paul Sartre)

All the same, [books] do serve some purpose. Culture doesn't save anything or anyone, it doesn't justify. But it's a product of man: he projects himself into it, he recognizes himself in it; that critical mirror alone offers him his image. (Jean Paul Sartre)

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, ptrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to each other, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. (Karl Marx)

Nature abhors a vacuum. (Benedict Spinoza)

The Nature of Man is... Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them. (David Hume)

Nature never decieves us; it is always we who deceive ourselves. (Jean Rousseau)

No one can draw more out of things, books included, than he already knows. A man has no ears for that to which experience has given him no access. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

You cannot conceive the many without the one. (Plato)

By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart. (Confucius)

Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. (Mark Twain)

Man can do nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth. (Jean Paul Sartre)

All's fair in love and war. (Francis Smedley)

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. (Voltaire)

Common sense is not so common. (Voltaire)

Man is a social animal. (Benedict Spinoza)

Religion is... Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous. (David Hume)

What is it: is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man? (Friedrich Nietzsche)

If a man has a strong faith he can indulge in the luxury of skepticism. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

You can't pray a lie. (Mark Twain)

Religion is the opiate of the masses. (Karl Marx)

I believe in God, but not in religion. (Bayard Russell)

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. (Voltaire)

Attitude to Life is... Shit happens; drink beer. If you don't have beer, get some. (Mark Blanton)

But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after the people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!" (Jack Kerouac)

Man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door of his prison and run away...A man should wait, and not take his own life until God summons him. (Plato)

Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution-- these can lift at a colassal humbug-- push it a little- - weaken it a little century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. (Mark Twain)

Optimism is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell. (Voltaire)

A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this world. (John Locke)

A man can be destroyed but not defeated. (Ernest Hemingway)

I would prefer not to. (Herman Melville)

Virtue is... People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. (Jean Rousseau)

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue. (Confucius)

The superior man is distressed by his want of ability. (Confucius)

The superior man is satisfied and composed; the mean man is always full of distress. (Confucius)

The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions. (Confucius)

Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. (Immanuel Kant)

We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for who we are -- that is the fact. (Jean Paul Sartre)

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Voltaire)

Change everything, except your loves. (Voltaire)

I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. (Socrates)