The Oxford Book of Aphorisms

I’m currently reading this. I’ve seen many of the quotes included in the book before, but there’s also a lot of new stuff. All of the quotes posted below are quotes which I’ve not posted here on the blog before:

i. “All religions promise a reward for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding.” (Schopenhauer)

ii. “Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so. It is not so. It is so. It is not so.” (Benjamin Franklin)

iii. “Contempt for human nature is an error of human reason.” (Vauvenargues)

iv. “It is a folly to expect men to do all that they may reasonably be expected to do.” (Richard Whately)

v. “Life is a tragedy wherein we sit as spectators for a while and then act out our part in it.” (Swift)

vi. “The shortness of life can neither dissuade us from its pleasures, nor console us for its pains.” (Vauvenargues)

vii. “The things we are best acquainted with are often the things we lack. This is because we have spent so much time thinking of them.” (Gerald Brenan)

viii. “What is easy and obvious is never valued; and even what is in itself difficult, if we come to the knowledge of it without difficulty, and without any stretch of thought or judgment, is but little regarded.” (Hume)

ix. “The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.” (Anatole France)

x. “It is easy to fly into a passion – anybody can do that – but to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time and with the right object and in the right way – that is not easy, and it is not everyone who can do it.” (Aristotle)

xi. “Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.” (T. S. Eliot)

xii. “‘The individual’ is an idea like other ideas.” (Harold Rosenberg. Related link.)

xiii. “An imaginative man is apt to see, in his life, the story of his life; and is thereby led to conduct himself in life in such a manner as to make a good story of it rather than a good life.” (Sir Henry Taylor)

xiv. “One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead.” (Oscar Wilde)

xv. “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” (Thomas Szasz)

xvi. “We are more anxious to speak than to be heard.” (Thoreau)

xvii. “We lack the sense of our own visibility as we lack that of distances, imagining as quite close to us the interested attention of people who on the contrary never give us a thought, and not suspecting that we are at the same moment the sole preoccupation of others.” (Proust)

xviii. “If we happen to be praised on account of qualities which we formerly despised, our estimation of those qualities immediately rises.” (Leopardi)

xix. “We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don’t care for.” (Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)

xx. “There is false modesty, but there is no false pride.” (Jules Renard)

xxi. “To others we are not ourselves but a performer in their lives cast for a part we do not even know that we are playing.” (Elizabeth Bibesco)


August 16, 2012 - Posted by | Books, Quotes/aphorisms

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