My Own Personal Bartlett's
"It is dangerous to have talent, one is liable to starve!"
~August Strindberg, from A Dream Play (1901).
"Allegorical or indirect treatments should never just be brainteasers."
~Andrei Tarkovsky, bitching about hamhanded symbolism.
"My aim is to escape from the medium with which I work. To have no residue of technical mannerisms to stand between my expression and the observer. To seek freedom through significant form and design rather than through the diversion of so-called free and accidental brush handling. In short, to dissolve into clear air all impediments that might interrupt the flow of pure enjoyment. Not to exhibit craft, but rather to submerge it, and make it rightfully the handmaiden of beauty, power, and emotional content."
~Andrew Wyeth, on his painting method.
"Canada is the only country in the world that knows how to live without an identity. "
"And that's the sin that can't be forgiven -- that I hadn't done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there's no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain -- and wasted pain... why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world -- to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk or get my name in the papers. Those things -- they're not even desires -- they're things people do to escape from desires -- because it's such a big responsibility, really to want something."
~Ayn Rand, from The Fountainhead.
"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
~John 3:8, the Holy Bible.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
“A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
"A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding."
On Life and living:
"But what shall be said of those who die little by little, who outlive themselves and watch the slow decay of their souls?"
~Anonymous(?) talking about Hugo Wolf.
"What you are is what you have to deal with."
~Ray Carney, from The Films of Mike Leigh: Embracing The World (2000).
"Be pleased then, you the living, in your delightfully warmed bed, before Lethe's ice-cold wave will lick your escaping foot."
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, from the Roman Elegies (1790).
"Everything written symbols can say has already passed by. They are like tracks left by animals. That is why the masters of meditation refuse to accept that writings are final. The aim is to reach true being by means of those tracks, those letters, those signs -- But reality itself is not a sign, and it leaves no tracks. It doesn't come to us by way of letters or words. We can go toward it, by following those words and letters back tow hat they came from. But so long as we are preoccupied with symbols, theories, and opinions, we will failt o reach the prisniple."
~Kimura Kyuho (from "On the Mysteries of Swordsmanship" (1768)).
“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.”
~Sylvia Plath, from her diary.
"'I am a Rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys', 'And so my love among the others is like a lily among the thorns'."
~Song of Songs 2:1-2, the Holy Bible.
On Sadness and grief:
"Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so."
~John Stuart Mill.
"Grief increases by concealing."
~Nahum Tate, from Dido & Aeneas (1689).
On Self destruction/self harm/etc:
"Great minds against themselves conspire, and shun the cure they most desire."
~Nahum Tate, from Dido & Aeneas (1689).
"All moral rules must be tested by examining whether they tend to realize ends that we desire. I say ends that we desire, not ends that we ought to desire. What we 'ought' to desire is merely what someone else wishes us to desire."
"Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it."
"Be silent, unless your words are better than silence."
"there is no mirror-stand, no mirror to polish, and no place where the dust can cling..."
~Sixth Patriarch, when asked about likening the idea of truth to a mirror.
"Let us cast a modest veil over this deplorable and most unusual scene of violence.”
~René Goscinny, from Asterix (1959-2009).
"He had a big head and a face so ugly that it almost became fascinating."
~Ayn Rand, from The Fountainhead (1943).
Alphabetical by subject, organized alphabetically by last names within categories.