„Having made an utter failure of my life, I found myself one day, in the midst of my poverty and wretchedness, thinking about the female companions of my youth. As I went over them one by one, examining and comparing them in my mind's eye, it suddenly came over me that those slips of girls – which is all they were then – were in every way, both morally and intellectually, superior to the 'grave and mustachioed signior' I am now supposed to have become. The realization brought with it an overpowering sense of shame and remorse, and for a while I was plunged in the deepest despair. There and then I resolved to make a record of all the recollections of those days I could muster – those golden days when I dressed in silk and ate delicately, when we still nestled in the protecting shadow of the Ancestors and Heaven still smiled on us. I resolved to tell the world how, in defiance of all my family's attempts to bring me up properly and all the warnings and advice of my friends, I had brought myself to this present wretched state, in which, having frittered away half a lifetime, I find myself without a single skill with which I could earn a decent living. I resolved that, however unsightly my own shortcomings might be, I must not, for the sake of keeping them hid, allow those wonderful girls to pass into oblivion without a memorial.“

—  Cao Xueqin, Cao Xueqin, as quoted in the introduction attributed to his younger brother (Cao Tangcun) to the first chapter of Dream of the Red Chamber, present in the jiaxu (1754) version (the earliest-known manuscript copy of the novel), translated by David Hawkes in The Story of the Stone: The Golden Days (Penguin, 1973), pp. 20–21
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Cao Xueqin
1724 - 1763

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„I have attempted to write the following account of myself, as if I were a dead man in another world looking back at my own life. Nor have I found this difficult, for life is nearly over with me. I have taken no pains about my style of writing.“

—  Charles Darwin British naturalist, author of "On the origin of species, by means of natural selection" 1809 - 1882
volume I, chapter II: "Autobiography", page 27 http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?pageseq=45&itemID=F1452.1&viewtype=image


„I must remember the things I have seen. I must keep them fresh in memory, see them again in my mind's eye, live through them again and again in my thoughts. And most of all, I must make good use of them in tomorrow's life.“

—  Thomas Anthony Dooley III American physician 1927 - 1961
Deliver Us From Evil (1956); recounting Dooley's life-changing experience in 1954, while in the Navy and stationed in Vietnam evacuating anti-Communist refugees, observing the misery of the people.

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„Suddenly I realized, I used to be the person saying how crazy or impossible such feats were and now I was the one doing them. I had radically switched subject positions in a way I did not think possible for myself. That, I realized, is what I want my students to experience - that radical switch and growth“

—  Adrianne Wadewitz academic and Wikipedian 1977 - 2014
Wadewitz, Adrianne. (August 12, 2013). "What I learned as the worst student in the class" http://www.hastac.org/blogs/wadewitz/2013/08/12/what-i-learned-worst-student-class. HASTAC: Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance Collaboratory. — reprinted and cited in: "How Adrianne Wadewitz learnt to embrace failure" http://www.smh.com.au/world/how-adrianne-wadewitz-learnt-to-embrace-failure-20140425-zqzgx.html. The Sydney Morning Herald. April 25, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.

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