I’ve never been a big fan of long lists of favorite movies or books, but I do collect quotes. Influenced by a few things lately, such as threads on Ars and people looking at my Facebook profile, I’ve been recompiling some of my favorites. So, here they are, in all of their glory.
“You can’t go home again.” – Traditional, and probably the single quote I most closely identify with.
“Tried to fake it, I just can’t take it.
I don’t care if it hurts,
Just so long as it’s real.” – Queens of the Stone Age, “Suture Up Your Future”
“The battle raged furiously through London, where people dined against each other in the deadliest fashion, and where drawing room met drawing room in mortal combat. This singular warfare, with its accompanying rattle of cutlery and popping of wine corks, grew in intensity as the season advanced.” – George Dangerfield, The Strange Death of Liberal England
“Alea iacta est.” – Suetonius (‘The Die is Cast’), another one I use a lot.
“It’s not epic unless it involves liquid nitrogen.” – On overclocking computer components.
“And, I might add, whoever wants a sermon should go to a conventicle. The question of the relative value of the cultures which are compared here will not receive a single word. It is true that the path of human destiny cannot but appall him who surveys a section of it. But he will do well to keep his small personal commentaries to himself, as one does at the sight of the sea or of majestic mountains, unless he knows himself to be called and gifted to give them expression in artistic or prophetic form.” – Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
“There was once a great lord who declared his heir would be the person found to have a certain precious ring of his; and drawing near to his death, he had two other rings similar to the first one made, since he had three sons, and he gave a ring to each son; each one of them thought himself to be the heir and to have the true ring, but because of their similarity it could not be known with certainty. Likewise, God the Father has various children whom he loves, such as Christians, Turks, and Jews and to each of them he has given the will to live by his own law, and we do not know which is the right one.” Menocchio, on trial for heresy in Italy in 1599.
“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
“Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.” – Mark Twain
“…on the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless thousands, who while on the threshold of victory hesitated, and while hesitating died.”
“Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.” – Matt Groening
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
“I AM THE WAY INTO THE CITY OF WOE.
I AM THE WAY TO A FORSAKEN PEOPLE.
I AM THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW.
SACRED JUSTICE MOVED MY ARCHITECT.
I WAS RAISED HERE BY DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE,
PRIMORDIAL LOVE AND ULTIMATE INTELLECT.
ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS TIME CANNOT WEAR
WERE MADE BEFORE ME, AND BEYOND TIME I STAND.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.” – Dante, Inferno
“I have now reigned about 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen.” – Abd Er-Rahman III of Spain, 960 C.E
There are more I’m sure I’ll soon wish I’d put in here.