„I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.“

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Bram Stoker1
1847 - 1912
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„I am not so wonderful but that in the hour of my triumph I am frightened by my own littleness.“

— James Branch Cabell American author 1879 - 1958
Context: I am not so wonderful but that in the hour of my triumph I am frightened by my own littleness. Look you, Niafer, I had thought I would be changed when I had become a famous champion, but for all that I stand posturing here with this long sword, and am master of the hour and of the future, I remain the boy that last Thursday was tending pigs. Miramon, in Ch. IV : In the Doubtful Palace

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„I finished the thing; but I think I sprained my soul.“

— Katherine Anne Porter American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist 1890 - 1980
On her novel Ship of Fools (1962) in McCall's magazine (August 1965)

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„I confess that I am no longer thinking in musical terms, or at least not much, even though I believe with all my heart that Music remains for all time the finest means of expression we have.“

— Claude Debussy French composer 1862 - 1918
Context: I confess that I am no longer thinking in musical terms, or at least not much, even though I believe with all my heart that Music remains for all time the finest means of expression we have. It’s just that I find the actual pieces — whether they’re old or modern, which is in any case merely a matter of dates — so totally poverty-stricken, manifesting an inability to see beyond the work-table. They smell of the lamp, not of the sun. And then, overshadowing everything, there’s the desire to amaze one’s colleagues with arresting harmonies, quite unnecessary for the most part. In short, these days especially, music is devoid of emotional impact. I feel that, without descending to the level of the gossip column or the novel, it should be possible to solve the problem somehow. There’s no need either for music to make people think! … It would be enough if music could make people listen, despite themselves and despite their petty mundane troubles, and never mind if they’re incapable of expressing anything resembling an opinion. It would be enough if they could no longer recognize their own grey, dull faces, if they felt that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that’s to say, one that can’t be found on the map. Letter to Paul Dukas (1901)

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„I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am.“

— René Descartes French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist 1596 - 1650

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„The inner sensation which I have of myself informs me that I am, that I think, that I will, that I have sensory awareness, that I suffer, and so on; but it provides me with no knowledge whatever of what I am — of the nature of my thought, my sensations, my passions, or my pain — or the mutual relations that obtain between all these things … I have no idea whatever of my soul.“

— Nicolas Malebranche philosopher 1638 - 1715
Context: I am unable, when I turn to myself, to recognize any of my faculties or my capacities. The inner sensation which I have of myself informs me that I am, that I think, that I will, that I have sensory awareness, that I suffer, and so on; but it provides me with no knowledge whatever of what I am — of the nature of my thought, my sensations, my passions, or my pain — or the mutual relations that obtain between all these things … I have no idea whatever of my soul. Dialogues on Metaphysics (1688) Dialogue III

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„I am Manuel, and I follow after my own thinking and my own desire.“

— James Branch Cabell American author 1879 - 1958
Context: I am Manuel, and I follow after my own thinking and my own desire. Of course it is very fine of me to be renouncing so much wealth and power for the sake of my wonderful dear Niafer: but she is worth the sacrifice, and, besides, she is witnessing all this magnanimity, and cannot well fail to be impressed. Miramon, in Ch. IV : In the Doubtful Palace

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„I never have the nagging doubt of wondering whether perhaps I am wrong.“

— P. W. Botha South African prime minister 1916 - 2006
As quoted in Dictionary of South African Quotations, Jennifer Crwys-Williams, Penguin Books 1994, p. 285

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