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Willa Cather

Willa Cather

I tell you there is no such thing as creative hate! Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark (1915).






Søren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard

Aristotle’s view that philosophy begins with wonder, not as in our day with doubt, is a positive point of departure for philosophy. Indeed, the world will no doubt learn that it does not do to begin with the negative, and the reason for success up to the present is that






Willa Cather

Willa Cather

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman. Willa Cather, O Pioneers! (1913).






Søren Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard

Someone can conquer kingdoms and countries without being a hero; someone else can prove himself a hero by controlling his temper. Someone can display courage by doing the out-of-the-ordinary, another by doing the ordinary. The question is always — how does he do it? Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or (1843).






Tom@HK - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracewong/2175595214/sizes/o/ Statue of Lao Tzu (Laozi) in Quanzhou

Lao Tzu

Whoever undertakes to rule the kingdom and to shape it according to his whim — I foresee that he will fail to reach his goal. That is all. The kingdom is a living being. It cannot be constructed, in truth! He who tries to manipulate it will spoil it, he






Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free. Henry David Thoreau, “Slavery in Massachusetts” (1854).






Henry David Thoreau

Ives on Thoreau

Thoreau was a great musician, not because he played the flute but because he did not have to go to Boston to hear ‘the Symphony.’ The rhythm of his prose, were there nothing else, would determine his value as a composer. He was divinely conscious of the enthusiasm of Nature,






Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about? Henry David Thoreau, Letter to Harrison Blake (November 16, 1857).






Henry David Thoreau

Ives on Thoreau

[T]he message of Thoreau, though his fervency may be inconstant and his human appeal not always direct, is, both in thought and spirit, as universal as that of any man who ever wrote or sang — as universal as it is nontemporaneous — as universal as it is free from






Auberon Herbert

Auberon Herbert

[A] man’s consent as regards his own actions is the most sacred thing in the world, and the one foundation on which all human relations must be built. Auberon Herbert (1912).






Meeting the Yahoos

George Orwell

Man is not a Yahoo, but he is rather like a Yahoo and needs to be reminded of it from time to time. George Orwell, review of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, in New English Weekly (November 14, 1935), referring to the bestial human counterparts to the noble horse creatures,






Ron Moody as Lord Mountjoy

“Lord Mountjoy”

The American taxpayer has always been deceived: it is his birthright. Lord Mountjoy, in Mouse on the Moon. The passage in the original Leonard Wibberley novel runs as follows: The American taxpayer’s government has been deceiving him for years, lending money to South American dictators, for instance, which the taxpayer






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