I often try to capture ideas from my reading. So I sometimes internalize those ideas by sharing notes here on my takeaways from something I’ve read.
Most usually that’s with nonfiction; though I’ve done it with fiction too when something really connects for me. But other times, I have a habit of squirreling away quotes or shorter notes, more often from fiction, in all sorts of places.
I had a few bundled up and thought I’d just share them here, if only for me to come back to more easily. They aren’t precisely tuned or themed, other than to be about life in some way or another.
These are a few secrets for understanding the human condition courtesy of a dizzying array of writers I read in the last 18 months or so. Some of these came from my 2017 resolution to read nothing but female and writers of color, though you’ll also see a few old philosophers and others slip in here I’ve been reading recently.
In short, these are ideas that have stuck with me but I’ve had nowhere else to tuck them.
“The most important aspect of the ghost is the need that creates it.” Zinzi Clemmons in her debut novel What We Lose. (Listen to my interview with Zinzi) (p. 105)
“Old age began with the first minor fall and death came with the second.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Love in Time of Cholera, in which he also described someone saying “he could make tombstones cry.”
“Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
“Nothing beautiful without struggle.” Plato (428-348 BC) The Republic
“In justice as fairness men agree to share one another’s fate.” American philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002)
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) (Die Götzen-Dämmerung – Twilight of the Idols.)
“The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is.” French author Marcel Proust (1871-1922)