i. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett)

ii.  “The fact is, it seems, that the most you can hope is to be a little less, in the end, the creature you were in the beginning, and the middle.” (-ll-)

iii. “In me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further on.” (-ll-)

iv. “no need of a story, a story is not compulsory, just a life, that’s the mistake I made, one of the mistakes, to have wanted a story for myself, whereas life alone is enough.” (-ll-)

v. “You are responsible for all of your successes, and the lack thereof. And that is the essential point that failure, your ever-faithful friend, wants to make: that your failure could not exist without you—without your stupidity, without your lies, without your mistakes, your uselessness, your lack of faith, your ineptitude, your unjustifiable confidence in your alleged abilities, you stupid loser—failure is your only friend. Failure is your only lover. Failure is your only hope.” (John Hall)

vi. “Today, I should think of something about myself that really annoys me, and I should try to change it. Then, when I fail to change it, I can be annoyed by that as well. Then, I can be annoyed about how easily I get annoyed. Then I can get angry.” (John Hall, Daily Negations)

vii. “Today, I will try to remember to regret the past. I will think of how many mistakes I have made throughout my life. I will say to myself, “If only I could go back in time and make different choices, so that my life could be the way it should have been.” Then I will remind myself that I cannot.” (-ll-)

viii. “The fact that many people overindulge, and lose themselves in excess, and make fools of themselves and act like idiots, is no reason for me to do these things. The reason for me to do these things is that I, too, am an idiot.” (-ll-)

ix. “Today, life will offer me many lessons. I will learn nothing.” (-ll-)

x. “I can read books and news articles about people who have excelled, people who have done extremely well in their chosen field, or made a lot of money, or married well, or what have you. When some people read this stuff, they get inspired, but when I read it, it makes me feel worse. Sometimes I wish I had never learned to read.” (-ll-)

xi. “When I’m feeling proud of myself, I should remember to ask myself why I think I am of any value at all. I have done nothing that a hundred thousand other people couldn’t do, and most of them would probably do it better, and they probably wouldn’t feel so self-important about it. I should always be ashamed of myself.” (-ll-)

xii. “When I am tired, it is easy to believe that my exhaustion is the reason I am depressed and lonely and uninspired. But when I am well-rested, I can realize that these negative feelings are not a result of too little sleep. They are a result of my being a miserable, hopeless, misanthropic wretch.” (-ll-)

xiii. “Many people talk as if they have all the answers, whereas I know I don’t. That’s probably why no one listens to me.” (-ll-)

xiv. “Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.” (Emerson)

xv. “Do you wish to find out a person’s weak points? Note the failings he has the quickest eye for in others. They may not be the very failings he is himself conscious of; but they will be their next-door neighbors. No man keeps such a jealous lookout as a rival.” (J. C. and W. A. Hare, Guesses at Truth)

xvi. “The first Degree of Folly, is to conceit one’s self wise; the second to profess it; the third to despise Counsel.” (Benjamin Franklin)

xvii. “He that speaks much, is much mistaken.” (-ll-)

xviii. “If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.” (-ll-)

xix. “Well done is better than well said.” (-ll-)

xx. “The fool is happy that he knows no more.” (Pope)

June 2, 2013 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms


  1. Samuel Beckett is my favourite playwright.

    Comment by Miao | June 2, 2013 | Reply

    • (Note to self: Give something by Samuel Beckett a try this summer…)

      Comment by US | June 2, 2013 | Reply

      • I like how he plays with words, as well as how he has such a wonderful grasp of the rhythm of the English language that he can craft terse, forceful dialogues (or monologues). There is a lot of books in literary criticism discussing the existentialist themes in his plays, but I cannot be bothered with those — I appreciate the structural innovativeness of his set-ups and his language, and for me that is quite enough; I see no need to pick his plays apart so that I may unveil his underlying motives for writing them.

        P.S. I’m not using Skype due to limited Internet connectivity.

        Comment by Miao | June 3, 2013

  2. Erratum: “There are* a lot of books…” Pardon my atrocious grammar.

    Comment by Miao | June 3, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: