"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

While Le Corbusier was often to be envied for his success, he was also frequently censured for his failure. Above all he was taken to task for the poor quality of environment that his imitators produced.

[le corbusier: Alexander Tzonis, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 06.08.2011

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But how can I communicate with the gods, who am a pencil maker on earth, and not be insane?

[: Thoreau, A week on the Concord and Merimac Rivers]

Posted by rebeccap on 03.21.2011

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Why do precisely these objects which we behold make a world?

[: Henry David Thoreau, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 03.21.2011

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'I've been reading a good deal. Eight or ten hours a day. I've attended lectures at the Sorbonne. I think I've read everything that's important in French literature and I can read Latin, at least Latin prose, almost as easily as I can read French. Of course Greek's morе difficult. But I have a very good teacher. Until you came here I used to go to him three evenings a week.' 'And what is that going to lead to?' 'The acquisition of knowledge,' he smiled. 'It doesn't sound very practical.' 'Perhaps it isn't and on the other hand perhaps it is. But it's enormous fun. You can't imagine what a thrill it is to read the Odyssey in the original. It makes you feel as if you had only to get on tiptoe and stretch out your hands to touch the stars.'

[Study: W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge]

Posted by rebeccap on 12.09.2010

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Do not disturb my circles.--Archimedes, to Roman soldier who subsequently killed him.

[mathematics, concentration: Archimedes, to the soldier., Plutarch]

Posted by rebeccap on 05.05.2010

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"Open your eyes and look at what I am, For you have seen such things that you are able Now to withstand the vision of my smile!" (Paradise XXIII, 46-48)

[Beatrice, smiling: Dante, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 05.05.2010

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Within its depths I saw gathered together, Bound by love into a single volume, Leaves that lie scattered through the universe. (Paradise XXXIII, 85-87)

[: Dante, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 05.05.2010

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I shall be born when and where I want, and I do not choose to be born in Lowell.

[On claiming falsely to have been born in Russia.: Whistler, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 03.15.2010

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If silicon were a gas, I would have been a general one day.

[On writing a poor essay at military school.: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 03.15.2010

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Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder's welcome. // "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!"

[1841: Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds ]

Posted by rebeccap on 01.06.2010

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Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile; So ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes.

[Light: Shakespeare, Love's Labours Lost]

Posted by rebeccap on 01.06.2010

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Vladimir: That helped to pass the time. Estragon: It would have passed in any case. Vladimir: Yes, but not so rapidly.

[: Beckett, Waiting for Godot ]

Posted by rebeccap on 01.06.2010

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On First Looking into Chapman's Homer Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He star'd at the Pacific — and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise — Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

[inspiration: Keats, 1816, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 01.06.2010

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Our public conception of an individual person, for example, is ‘the man in the street’. But nobody feels himself to be only the man in the street; we all know much more about ourselves than that. The man in the street is a collective image, but we know, all the time, our own difference from him. It is the same with ‘the public’, which includes us, but yet is not us. ‘Masses’ is a little more complicated, yet similar. I do not think of my relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, as masses; we none of us can or do. The masses are always the others, whom we don’t know, and can’t know. Yet now, in our kind of society, we see these others regularly, in their myriad variations; stand, physically, beside them. They are here, and we are here with them. And that we are with them is of course the whole point. To other people, we also are masses. Masses are other people.

[culture: Raymond Williams, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 08.25.2009

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'An artist must approach his work in the spirit of the criminal about to commit a crime.'

[art: Degas, ]

Posted by rebeccap on 08.25.2009

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