„It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.“

Quoted in Robert Benchley (1955) by Nathaniel Benchley, ch. 1

Robert Benchley photo
Robert Benchley4
1889 - 1945

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„It's odd but even when I was a kid, I would write about "old and other times" as though I had a lot of years behind me.“

—  David Bowie British musician, actor, record producer and arranger 1947 - 2016

Livewire interview (2002)
Contexto: It's odd but even when I was a kid, I would write about "old and other times" as though I had a lot of years behind me. Now I do, so there is a difference in the weight of memory. When you're young, you're still "becoming", now at my age I am more concerned with "being". And not too long from now I'll be driven by "surviving", I'm sure. I kind of miss that "becoming" stage, as most times you really don't know what's around the corner. Now, of course, I've kind of knocked on the door and heard a muffled answer. Nevertheless, I still don't know what the voice is saying, or even what language it's in.

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Buenaventura Durruti photo

„How many times did I see our mother cry because she couldn't give us the bread that we asked for!“

—  Buenaventura Durruti Spanish anarchist 1896 - 1936

Letter to his family (31 October 1931) http://www.skeptic.ca/Durruti.htm
Contexto: From my earliest years, the first thing that I saw was suffering. And if I couldn't rebel when I was a child, it was only because I was an unaware being then. But the sorrows of my grandparents and parents were recorded in my memory during those years of unawareness. How many times did I see our mother cry because she couldn't give us the bread that we asked for! And yet our father worked without resting for a minute. Why couldn't we eat the bread that we needed if our father worked so hard? That was the first question whose answer I found in social injustice. And, since that same injustice exists today, thirty years later, I don't see why, now that I'm conscious of this, that I should stop fighting to abolish it.
I don't want to remind you of the hardships suffered by our parents until we got older and could help out the family. But then we had to serve the so-called fatherland. The first was Santiago. I still remember mother weeping. But even more strongly etched in my memory are the words of our sick grandfather, who sat there, disabled and next to the heater, punching his legs in anger as he watched his grandson go off to Morocco, while the rich bought workers' sons to take their children's place …
Don't you see why I'll continue fighting as long as these social injustices exist?

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Warren Buffett photo

„I was lucky enough to be born in a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing — and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.“

—  Warren Buffett American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist 1930

To Barack Obama, as quoted in The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006), Ch. 5
Contexto: I happen to have a talent for allocating capital. But my ability to use that talent is completely dependent on the society I was born into. If I’d been born into a tribe of hunters, this talent of mine would be pretty worthless. I can’t run very fast. I’m not particularly strong. I’d probably end up as some wild animal’s dinner.
But I was lucky enough to be born in a time and place where society values my talent, and gave me a good education to develop that talent, and set up the laws and the financial system to let me do what I love doing — and make a lot of money doing it. The least I can do is help pay for all that.

Matthijs Maris photo

„Last year I asked too much of my strength. I can't go on like this. it was not possible for me, I had to step back, I didn't make anything but stones [about his paintings? ] … They wanted to see beautiful paintings but I still couldn't make them, one illusion disappears for the other. I have made Cold reality, and I have made Truth. Is there a truth, also the cold reality is a truth. What exists between them was [only] baroque convention. I threw away everything in the stove... I am messing up my time with them; what is nothing more than material is no art to me; I could not bring it out..“

—  Matthijs Maris Dutch painter 1839 - 1917

translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018
version in original Dutch / citaat van J. H. Weissenbruch, in het Nederlands: Ik heb verleden jaar een beetje te veel van mijn krachten gevergd, ik kan dat niet volhouden, het was mij niet mogelijk, ik moest weder terug, ik heb niets zitten maken als steenen [over zijn schilderijen?].. .Zij hebben van mij mooie schilderijen willen zien en ik heb ze nog niet kunnen maken, de eene illusie verdwijnt voor de andere, ik heb de koude werkelijkheid gemaakt, en ik heb de Waarheid gemaakt. Is er een waarheid, de koude werkelijkheid is ook een waarheid. Wat daartusschen ligt was baroque conventie. Ik heb alles in de kachel gestopt.. ..ik zit er mijn tijd op te verknoeien; wat materieel is, is voor mij geen kunst. Ik heb die er niet uit kunnen brengen.
in a letter to E. Goossens van Eijndhoven, c. 1886, published in Onze Kunst, 1918, p. 136; as cited in 'Matthijs Maris' in Palet serie; een reeks monografieën over Hollandsche en Vlaamsche schilders https://archive.org/details/paletserieeenree4amstuoft, dr. H. E. v. Gelder; H. J. W. Becht, Amsterdam, pp. 13-14
Matthijs was that year painting his famous work 'The Bride, or Novice taking the Veil / De Kerkbruid' https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Matthijs_Maris#/media/File:Matthijs_Maris_The_Bride,_or_Novice_taking_the_Veil,_c_1887.jpg

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“