Quote of the day, Dec. 12

December 12, 2017

Christopher Hitchens, on freedom of expression

“My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time.”

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Quote of the day, Dec. 11

December 11, 2017

Nelson Mandela, from Long Walk to Freedom

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 10

December 11, 2017

Pliny the Younger, on speeches (from The Letters of the Younger Pliny)

“So we must work at our profession and not make anybody else’s idleness an excuse for our own. There is no lack of readers and listeners; it is for us to produce something worth being written and heard.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 9

December 9, 2017

Robert Frost, on teaching

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 8

December 9, 2017

Jane Smiley, on books (from Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel)

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 7

December 7, 2017

Edith Hamilton, on the ancients

“I came to the Greeks early, and I found answers in them. Greece’s great men let all their acts turn on the immortality of the soul. We don’t really act as if we believed in the soul’s immortality and that’s why we are where we are today.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 6

December 6, 2017

Edward Said, on culture

“Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 5

December 5, 2017

P.J. O’Rourke, on books

“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”

Quote of the day, Dec. 4

December 5, 2017

Los Lobos, from “This Time” (1999)

Why do the days
Go by so fast
If only time
Was built to last
If it could learn
To take it slow
Then maybe time
At last would know …

Quote of the day, Dec. 3

December 3, 2017

Abraham Lincoln, on history

“Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us therefore study the incidents in this as philosophy to learn wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged.”