„How strange! This bed on which I shall lie has been slept on by more than one dying man, but today it does not repel me! Who knows what corpses have lain on it and for how long? But is a corpse any worse than I? A corpse too knows nothing of its father, mother or sisters or Titus. Nor has a corpse a sweetheart. A corpse, too, is pale, like me. A corpse is cold, just as I am cold and indifferent to everything. A corpse has ceased to live, and I too have had enough of life…. Why do we live on through this wretched life which only devours us and serves to turn us into corpses? The clocks in the Stuttgart belfries strike the midnight hour. Oh how many people have become corpses at this moment! Mothers have been torn from their children, children from their mothers - how many plans have come to nothing, how much sorrow has sprung from these depths, and how much relief!… Virtue and vice have come in the end to the same thing! It seems that to die is man's finest action - and what might be his worst? To be born, since that is the exact opposite of his best deed. It is therefore right of me to be angry that I was ever born into this world! Why was I not prevented from remaining in a world where I am utterly useless? What good can my existence bring to anyone? … But wait, wait! What's this? Tears? How long it is since they flowed! How is this, seeing that an arid melancholy has held me for so long in its grip? How good it feels - and sorrowful. Sad but kindly tears! What a strange emotion! Sad but blessed. It is not good for one to be sad, and yet how pleasant it is - a strange state…“
— Henry Miller American novelist 1891 - 1980
„I practice Spinoza, I read and read it again, and wait with longing for the fight over his corpse. I abstain from all judgment, but I confess that I am very much in agreement with Herder in these matters.“
— Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher 1632 - 1677
G - L, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Original in German: Ich übe mich an Spinoza, ich lese und lese ihn wieder, und erwarte mit Verlangen biß der Streit über seinen Leichnam losbrechen wird. Ich enthalte mich alles Urtheils doch bekenne ich, daß ich mit Herdern in diesen Materien sehr einverstanden bin. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, in one of his letters to Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, 1785
„It was not given to the mother to know what her children needed for their life. Nor was it given to the rich man to know what he himself needed. Nor is it given to any man to know whether, when evening comes, he will need boots for his body or slippers for his corpse.“
— Leo Tolstoy, livro What Men Live By
What Men Live By (1881), Context: And the angel's body was bared, and he was clothed in light so that eye could not look on him; and his voice grew louder, as though it came not from him but from heaven above. And the angel said: I have learnt that all men live not by care for themselves, but by love. It was not given to the mother to know what her children needed for their life. Nor was it given to the rich man to know what he himself needed. Nor is it given to any man to know whether, when evening comes, he will need boots for his body or slippers for his corpse. I remained alive when I was a man, not by care of myself, but because love was present in a passer-by, and because he and his wife pitied and loved me. The orphans remained alive, not because of their mother's care, but because there was love in the heart of a woman a stranger to them, who pitied and loved them. And all men live not by the thought they spend on their own welfare, but because love exists in man. I knew before that God gave life to men and desires that they should live; now I understood more than that. I understood that God does not wish men to live apart, and therefore he does not reveal to them what each one needs for himself; but he wishes them to live united, and therefore reveals to each of them what is necessary for all. I have now understood that though it seems to men that they live by care for themselves, in truth it is love alone by which they live. He who has love, is in God, and God is in him, for God is love. Ch. XII
„Here’s a strange fact: murder a man, and you feel responsible for his life—’’possessive’’, even. You know more about him than his father and mother; they knew his fetus, but you know his corpse. Only you can complete the story of his life, only you know why his body has to be pushed into the fire before its time, and why his toes curl up and fight for another hour on earth.“
— Aravind Adiga, livro The White Tiger
The White Tiger (2008), The Second Night.
„Ah! How neatly tied, in these people, is the umbilical cord of morality! Since they left their mothers they have never sinned, have they? They are apostles, they are the descendants of priests; one can only wonder from what source they draw their indignation, and above all how much they have pocketed to do this, and in any case what it has done for them.“
— Antonin Artaud French-Occitanian poet, playwright, actor and theatre director 1896 - 1948
General Security: The Liquidation of Opium (1925)
„"I am but as others: I am but what I was born to be."
"Do you recognize what you were born to be? Not only a nobleman, but a gentleman; not only a gentleman, but a man — man, made in the image of God. How can you, how dare you, give the lie to your Creator?"
"What has He given me? What have I to thank Him for?"
"First, manhood; the manhood His Son disdained not to wear; worldly gifts, such as rank, riches, influence, things which others have to spend half an existence in earning; life in its best prime, with much of youth yet remaining — with grief endured, wisdom learnt, experience won. Would to Heaven, that by any poor word of mine I could make you feel all that you are — all that you might be!"
A gleam, bright as a boy's hope, wild as a boy's daring, flashed from those listless eyes — then faded.
"You mean, Mr. Halifax, what I might have been. Now it is too late."
"There is no such word as 'too late,' in the wide world — nay, not in the universe. What! shall we, whose atom of time is but a fragment out of an ever-present eternity — shall we, so long as we live, or even at our life's ending, dare to cry out to the Eternal One, 'It is too late!'"“
— Dinah Craik, livro John Halifax, Gentleman
John Halifax, Gentleman (1857), Chapter 36
„To feel today what one felt yesterday isn't to feel - it's to remember today what was felt yesterday, to be today's living corpse of what yesterday was lived and lost.“
— Fernando Pessoa Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher 1888 - 1935
„No funeral gloom, my dears, when I am gone,
corpse-gazing, tears, black raiment, graveyard grimness.
Think of me as withdrawn into the dimness,
yours still, you mine.
Remember all the best of our past moments,
and forget the rest;
and so to where I wait, come gently on.“
— William Allingham Irish man of letters and poet 1824 - 1889
Poem: No funeral gloom - part of funeral of actress Ellen Terry 1928.
„I was trained as an actress, but as much as I love that work when I can get it, it is not my acting work for which I’m generally known. It is not my chosen career path that ultimately defines me, but rather an unfamiliar, unexpected path that has presented itself. To quote another group from my youth, “what a long, strange trip it’s been,” and I won’t have it any other way.
Life continues to surprise and delight me, even when I think I know what I want from it. I knew I wanted to be a mother, for example, but, and I’m sure your parents can relate to this, I had no idea how much fun I would have nor how much I would learn about life and myself from my child and stepchildren.“
— Dana Reeve Actress, singer, activist 1961 - 2006
Middlebury College Address (2004)
„Never have I felt so much anger, unjust, and indignation for how things are, how people are and how it affected me and probably many others too. Before that I was passive, soft-spoken and enjoyed the supposed goodness of the world. Never again would I be the same.“
— Amos Yee blogger 1998
Tumblr postings, Context: Then of course I recall the incident which I think had some form of deep, psychological impact on me. The time where I was compelled to read out the most insincere, hypocritical ‘apology’ out loud to my fellow peers, that was written by teachers, for a video that should be more abhorred for its stupidity than for its supposed racism, that was absolutely non-existent. I witnessed firsthand, things that were completely beyond my level of comprehension at that time, that was completely beyond my preconceptions of how a school worked, where rules of an official institution was dictated by the unreliable stupidity of the public, and where punishment was dictated not by logic, or by an understanding of a scenario, but because, a book says so. That ‘apology’ given two years ago, and the subsequent deletion of my first Youtube account was not a sign that I knew my ‘mistakes’ and wanted to ‘change for the better’, it was a sign that other people effectively made me say so. Never have I felt so much anger, unjust, and indignation for how things are, how people are and how it affected me and probably many others too. Before that I was passive, soft-spoken and enjoyed the supposed goodness of the world. Never again would I be the same.
„I don't want you to become sad, I still live somewhere else, where you can't see me and can't hear me, but I will see you and know how you are. And I will wait for you until you come to me. Everybody has his time and will move sometime.“
— Ziad Jarrah September 11th hijacker 1975 - 2001
Letter to Aysel Şengün (2001)
„I do not understand your silence you know all the same how interested I always am in what you are doing. you also know that there are not many of us who understand each other we have always got on well together. I have seen and I see every day how little people like us[. ] Between ourselves there are things we cannot say to others…. you cannot imagine how little I find myself in sympathy with other people….- I do not want to lose another day, one hour this year I have no hope I have lost it and you know how unlike me that is. at the moment I have several studies to do at the Louvre order[s] which are going to bring me many others [p. 2] as soon as this time has passed I want to do two large pictures for the Salon[. ] I think of nothing else… I am becoming more and more the Fantin of the old days you know here I am today but neither discouraged nor bored. I have my own views now nothing can distract me..“
— Henri Fantin-Latour painter from France 1836 - 1904
quote from a letter of Fantin-Latour, Paris, July/September 1868, to James Whistler in London; from The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler - Repository: Glasgow University Library http://www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk/correspondence/people/display/?cid=1085&nameid=Fantin_Latour_IH&sr=0&rs=76&surname=&firstname= - System Number: 01085; Call Number: MS Whistler F 16.
„They darted down and rose up like a wave
Or buzzed impetuously as before;
One would have thought the corpse was held a slave
To living by the life it bore!“
— Allen Tate American poet, essayist and social commentator 1899 - 1979
A Carrion, from Poems (1961).
„I want to go south, where there is no autumn, where the cold doesn't crouch over one like a snow leopard waiting to pounce. The heart of the North is dead, and the fingers of cold are corpse fingers.“
— D.H. Lawrence English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter 1885 - 1930
Letter to John Middleton Murry (3 October 1924)
„I am not a complete idiot, but whether from weakness or laziness have no talent for thinking. I know only how to reflect: I am a mirror … Logic does not exist for me. I float on the waves of art and life and never really know how to distinguish what belongs to the one or the other or what is common to both. Life unfolds for me like a theatre presenting a sequence of somewhat unreal sentiments; while the things of art are real to me and go straight to my heart.“
— Sviatoslav Richter Soviet pianist 1915 - 1997
„I know how this feels: the tightening of the chest, the panic, the what-have-I-done-wait-I-was-kidding. Eating disorders linger so long undetected, eroding the body in silence, and then they strike. The secret is out. You're dying.“
— Marya Hornbacher, livro Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia