You dwell in ignorance as you embark upon new roads, and do not recognize marvels as you live them: stepping out past the familiar, beyond what man has cordoned off, you grown vain in the privilege of discovery, and think yourself the owner of unknown paths, and you tell yourself you can repeat this feat whenever you wish. And one day, you are foolish enough to retrace your steps, thinking that the exceptional can be exceptional again, but when you return, you find the landscape changed, the reference points erased, the informants' faces different…

Alejo Carpentier, “The Lost Steps”

In contrast to revenge, which is the natural, automatic reaction to transgression and which because of the irreversibility of the action process can be expected and even calculated, the act of forgiving can never be predicted; it is the only reaction that acts in an unexpected way and thus retains, though being a reaction, something of the original character of action.

Hannah Arendt

There is reason, after all, that some people wish to colonise the moon, and others dance before it as an ancient friend.

James Baldwin

At first there was nothing…then nothing turned itself inside-out and became something.

Sun Ra

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”, 1920

The fundamental cause of trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure, while the intelligent are full of doubt.

Bertrand Russell, “The Triumph of Stupidity”, 1933

The problem is that bad writers tend to have the self-confidence, while the good ones tend to have self-doubt.

Charles Bukowski, interview in Arete, 1989

(h/t to Quote Investigator)

ELO’s debut album was released in the United States in March 1972 as No Answer. The name originated after a US record company secretary called the UK label for the name of the album, but as she was unable to reach anyone, left a note in the file reading “No answer.” A similar mistake resulted in the release of the Byrds 1970 LP, Untitled.

solecism (n): 1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction; 2. A violation of etiquette; 3. An impropriety, mistake, or incongruity.

Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikismos, from soloikizein, to speak incorrectly, from soloikos, speaking incorrectly, after Soloi (Soli), an Athenian colony in Cilicia where a dialect regarded as substandard was spoken.

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness.

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Our first impressions are not only our own: they are bathed in the light of our parents’ heyday.

Gregor von Rezzori, Abel and Cain

Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour, and moral courage which it contained.

John Stuart Mill

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.

Frank Zappa

Imbricate: (adj) having regularly arranged, overlapping edges, as roof tiles or fish scales.

Lahar (n) - An avalanche of volcanic water and mud down the slopes of a volcano.

Shitegeist (n) - The popular but worthless spirit or mood of the times.

Anything that degrades culture shortens the path to servitude.

Albert Camus

Otiose (adj) - Lazy or indolent; pointless or superfluous; ineffective or futile.

This is the way you look at the poorest details of the world resurfaced: you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of your being there to see them.

Alice Munro

Today I learned that the Orinoco River, which flows north into the Caribbean, is naturally connected to the Amazon River, which flows east into the Atlantic, via the Casiquiare, defying my understanding of watersheds.

The J R Family of Companies Invents Facebook

Advertising…sell advertising mail the magazine free to a guaranteed audience…they’ll all line up like dominoes target your ads in on your guaranteed audience you’ll see boat magazines free to boat owners sex mags free to kids and singles photo mags free to camera buffs just get the lists knock out this five percent return on direct mail and your ad boys will pay the difference to know who they’re reaching…targeting in on every one of them drugstores selling us customer lists through wholesalers handling (our) prescription line.

J R, William Gaddis, 1975

In the beginning, there’s no sudden cut, no catastrophe or collapse, only a slight sense of repetition.

Carlos Fonseca in Natural History

Nugatory (adj) - Of no value or importance. From the Latin nugatorius, from nugari “to trifle,” nugae “jests”

Uxorious (adj) - Having or showing a great or excessive fondness for one’s wife. From the Latin uxor, ‘wife’.

The night closed like a trapdoor, and the ensuing peace made me wish I had been sleeping.

  • Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet, 284