True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics.
Heretics are the only bitter remedy against the entropy of human thought.
Crossing out is an art that is, perhaps, even more difficult than writing. It requires the sharpest eye to decide what is superfluous and must be removed. And it requires ruthlessness toward yourself — the greatest ruthlessness and self-sacrifice. You must know how to sacrifice parts in the name of the whole.
Those two, in paradise, were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.
It is an error to divide people into the living and the dead: there are people who are dead-alive, and people who are alive-alive. The dead-alive also write, walk, speak, act. But they make no mistakes; only machines make no mistakes, and they produce only dead things. The alive-alive are constantly in error, in search, in questions, in torment.
There is no final one; revolutions are infinite.
Children are the boldest philosophers. They enter life naked, not covered by the smallest fig leaf of dogma, absolutes, creeds. This is why every question they ask is so absurdly naïve and so frighteningly complex.
A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth reading.
I am aware of myself. And, of course, the only things that are aware of themselves and conscious of their individuality are irritated eyes, cut fingers, sore teeth. A healthy eye, finger, tooth might as well not even be there. Isn’t it clear that individual consciousness is just sickness?
The myth about the angel who rebelled against his Lord is the most beautiful of all myths, the proudest, the most revolutionary, the most immortal of them all.
There is an excellent way to make predictions without the slightest risk of error: predict the past.
All truths are erroneous. This is the very essence of the dialectical process: today’s truths become errors tomorrow; there is no final number. This truth (the only one) is for the strong alone. Weak-nerved minds insist on a finite universe, a last number; they need, in Nietzsche’s words, “the crutches of certainty”. The weak-nerved lack the strength to include themselves in the dialectic syllogism.
There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times.
You’re in bad shape. It looks like you’re developing a soul.
I am like a machine being driven to excessive rotations: the bearings are incandescing and, in a minute, melted metal will begin to drip and everything will turn to nothing. Quick: get cold water, logic. I am pouring it over myself by the bucketload but the logic sizzles on the hot bearings and dissipates elusive white steam into the air.
What makes you think that nonsense is bad? If they’d nurtured and cared for human nonsense over the ages the way they did intelligence, it might have turned into something of special value.
I prefer being wrong in my own way to being right in someone else’s.
The whole world is one immense woman, and we are in her very womb, we are not yet born, we are joyfully ripening.
Midsummer Night was roasting hot. The shore, of red granite, glowed with the heat; the dark blood of the earth seemed to be rising from below. There was a sharp, unbearable smell of birds, of cod, of green decaying seaweed. Through the mist the huge ruddy sun loomed nearer and nearer. And in the sea, dark blood welled up to meet it – in bloated, rearing, huge white waves. Night. The mouth of the bay between two cliffs was like a window. A window shutting out curious eyes with a white shade-white woolly fog. And all that you could see was that behind it something red was happening. (The North)
And tomorrow–who knows what happens? Do you get it? I don’t know and no one knows–it’s all unknown! You understand, that this is the end to the Known? This is the new, the improbable, the unpredictable.
I’ve read and heard a lot of unbelievable stuff about those times when people lived in freedom — that is, in disorganized wildness.
The most wonderful thing in life is to be delirious and the most wonderful kind of delirium is being in love.
How do you know that nonsense isn’t a good thing? If human nonsense had been nurtured and developed for centuries, just as intelligence has, then perhaps something extraordinarily precious could have come from it.
Knowledge, absolutely sure of its infallibility, is faith.
And happiness…Well, after all, desires torment us, don’t they? And, clearly, happiness is when there are no more desires, not one…What a mistake, what ridiculous prejudice it’s been to have marked happiness always with a plus sign. Absolute happiness should, of course, carry a minus sign — the divine minus.