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I recognize now, in fact, that Fat Sam represents some of my best qualities: curiosity, cheerful appetite, a hunger for life, satisfaction in the moment. Fat Sam's mission is to consume the world in giant gulps of joy. It doesn't even have to be food: It can be naps, or video games, or telling jokes at a party, or walking, or shooting free throws, or reading, or petting a dog. Whatever satisfies a need, whatever I am starving for. And in that transfer, in that passage from outside to inside, in that radical taking in, there is a validation of existence, a proof of being, that I refuse to reject. Fat Sam, in many ways, is precious and good. He is a funnel into which the universe pours, the pinch in the hourglass. He reminds me that all of life is, in a sense, appetite.
Sam Anderson, "I've Always Struggled With My Weight. Losing It Didn't Mean Winning."


He had told Minnim the Cities were wombs, and so they were. And what was the first thing a man must do before he can be a man? He must be born. He must leave the womb. And once left, it could not be re-entered.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


It was a frightening thought. Baley still feared the open. But he no longer feared the fear! It was not something to run from, that fear, but something to fight.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


Baley wanted to cry: You fool, it isn't a human that's approaching; only one of the robots you love.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


As for Dr. Quemot, he played chess with Dr. Delmarre regularly. Perhaps he grew annoyed at losing too many games."
   The sociologist interposed quietly. "Losing a chess game is insufficient motive surely, Plainclothesman."
   "It depends on how seriously you take your chess.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


Daneel delivered himself of a sigh that was somehow so human that for a moment Baley found himself trying to penetrate the darkness that he might study the machine-perfect face of the other.
   Daneel said, "I have not always found human behavior logical."
   "We need Three Laws of our own," said Baley, "but I'm glad we don't have them."
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


In the split fraction of a moment in which Baley watched the robot's hand take the curtain away from him with the loving caution of a mother protecting her child from the fire, a revolution took place within him.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


Baley scarcely heard her. He responded to the note of urgency in her voice. The nervous effort that held his emotions taut snapped wide and he flamed into panic. All the terror of the open air and the endless vault of heaven broke in upon him.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


He walked in that direction, the grass soft and loathsome under his shoes, disgusting in its softness (like walking through corrupting flesh,
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


Baley said thoughtfully, "All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
   "You've hit it. Where's that from?
   "Some old document," said Baley.
Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun


She had known from the start that her philosophy teacher was eccentric. But when he started to use teaching methods that defied all the laws of nature, Sophie thought he was going too far.
Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World


Fatality makes us invisible.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


In the square he ran into Father Amador, who was returning to the church with the vestments for the frustrated mass, but he didn't think he could do anything for Santiago Nasar except save his soul.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Most of all, he never thought it legitimate that life should make use of so many coincidences forbidden literature, so that there should be the untrammeled fulfillment of a death so clearly foretold.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Twelve days after the crime, the investigating magistrate came upon a town that was an open wound.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


The cocks of dawn would catch us trying to give order to the chain of many chance events that had made absurdity possbile, and it was obvious that we weren't doing it from an urge to clear up mysteries but because none of us could go on living without an exact knowledge of the place and the mission assigned to us by fate.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


She became lucid, overbearing, mistress of her own free will, and she became a virgin again just for him, and recognized no other authority than her own nor any other service than that of her obsession.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


So she let herself get undressed openly in the lighted bedroom, safe now from all the acquired fears that had ruined her life. "It was very easy," she told me, "because I'd made up my mind to die."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


They took it for granted that the other actors in the tragedy had been fulfilling with dignity, and even with a certain grandeur, their part of the destiny that life had assigned them.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


"It was like being awake twice over."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Nevertheless, in the final note he pointed out a hypertrophy of the liver that he attributed to a poorly cured case of hepatitis. "That is to say," he told me, "he had only a few years of life left to him in any case."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


The abdominal cavity was filled with large clots of blood, and in the midst of that morass of gastric contents appeared a medal of gold Santiago Nasar had swallowed at the age of four.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Colonel Aponte showed her the knives as a final argument.
   "Now they haven't got anything to kill anybody with," he said.
   "That's not why," said Clotilde Armenta. "It's to spare those poor boys from the horrible duty that's fallen on them."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


"They looked like two children," she told me. And that thought frightened her, because she'd always felt that only children are capable of everything.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


I reminded them that the Vicario brothers sacrificed the same hogs they raised, which were so familiar to them that they called them by their names. "That's true," one of them replied, "but they don't give them people's names but the names of flowers."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


There had never been a death more foretold.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


She only took the time necessary to say the name. She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


The boat departed with all its lights blazing, and with a wake of waltzes from the player piano, and for an instant we were cast adrift over an abyss of uncertainty, until we recognized each other again and plunged into the confusion of the bash.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


the slaughterer's trade.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


He tried to hold off the wedding for a day when the bishop's visit was announced so that he could marry them, but Angela Vicario was against it. "Actually," she told me, "the fact is I didn't want to be blessed by a man who cut off only the combs for soup and threw the rest of the rooster into the garbage."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


"The only thing I prayed to God for was to give me the courage to kill myself," Angela Vicario told me. "But he didn't give it to me."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


The widower Xius explained to him with the good breeding of olden days that the objects in the house had been bought by his wife over a whole lifetime of sacrifice and that for him they were still a part of her. "He was speaking with his heart in his hand," I was told by Dr. Dionisio Iguarán, who was playing with them.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Angela Vicario only dared hint at the inconvenience of a lack of love, but her mother demolished it with a single phrase:
   "Love can be learned too."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Angela Vicario was the prettiest of the four, and my mother said that she had been born like the great queens of history, with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


"They're perfect," she was frequently heard to say. "Any man will be happy with them because they've been raised to suffer."
Gabriel García Márquez, Chronicle of a Death Foretold


How was the world created? Is there any will or meaning behind what happens? Is there a life after death? How can we answer these questions? And most importantly, how ought we to live?
Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World


One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


(I am purposely using this sports expression)
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


But I know that in order to keep alive, the absurd cannot be settled. It escapes suicide to the extent that it is simultaneously awareness and rejection of death. It is, at the extreme limit of the condemned man's last thought, that shoelace that despite everything he sees a few yards away, on the very [55]brink of his dizzying fall. The contrary of suicide, in fact, is the man condemned to death.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


It is that divorce between the mind that desires and the world that disappoints, my nostalgia for unity, this fragmented universe and the contradiction that binds them together.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


Sin is not so much knowing (if it were, everybody would be innocent) as wanting to know.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


The absurd is essentially a divorce. It lies in neither of the elements compared; it is born of their confrontation.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


I want everything to be explained to me or nothing. And the reason is impotent when it hears this cry from the heart.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


At the final stage you teach me that this wondrous [20] and multicolored universe can be reduced to the atom and that the atom itself can be reduced to the electron. All this is good and I wait for you to continue. But you tell me of an invisible planetary system in which electrons gravitate around a nucleus. You explain this world to me with an image. I realize then that you have been reduced to poetry: I shall never know.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


You take apart its mechanism and my hope increases.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


Of whom and of what indeed can I say: "I know that!" This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


I have heard of an emulator of Peregrinos, a post-war writer who, after having finished his first book, committed suicide to attract attention to his work. Attention was in fact attracted, but the book was judged no good.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


Living, naturally, is never easy. You continue making the gestures commanded by existence, for many reasons, the first of which is habit.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument.
Albert Camus, "The Myth of Sisyphus" (translated by Justin O'Brien)


The absurd man is a humanist; he knows only the good things of this world.
Jean-Paul Sartre, "An Explication of The Stranger" (translated by Annette Michelson)


The work of art is only a leaf torn from a life. It does, of course, express this life. But it need not express it. And besides, everything has the same value, whether it be writing The Possessed or drinking a cup of coffee.
Jean-Paul Sartre, "An Explication of The Stranger" (translated by Annette Michelson)


The man who creates in absurdity has lost even the illusion of his work's necessity.
Jean-Paul Sartre, "An Explication of The Stranger" (translated by Annette Michelson)


Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. He was killed in an automobile accident on January 4, 1960.
postface to The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


It was as if that great rush of anger had washed me clean, emptied me of hope, and, gazing up at the dark sky spangled with its signs and stars, for the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign indifference of the universe.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


There, too, in that Home where lives were flickering out, the dusk came as a mournful solace. With death so near, Mother must have felt like someone on the brink of freedom, ready to start life all over again. No one, no one in the world had any right to weep for her.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


Actually, I was sure of myself, sure about everything, far surer than he; sure of my present life and of the death that was coming. That, no doubt, was all I had; but at least that certainty was something I could get my teeth into -- just as it had got its teeth into me. I'd been right, I was still right, I was always right.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


But, apparently, he had more to say on the subject of God. I went up close to him and made a last attempt to explain that I'd very little time left, and I wasn't going to waste it on God.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


And his voice was quite steady when he said: "Have you no hope at all? Do you really think that when you die you die outright, and nothing remains?"
   I said: "Yes."
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


"Why," he asked, "don't you let me come to see you?"
   I explained that I didn't believe in God.
   "Are you really so sure of that?"
   I said I saw no point in troubling my head about the matter; whether I believed or didn't was, to my mind, a question of so little importance.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


They were slender but sinewy hands, which made me think of two nimble little animals.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


Supposing she were dead, her memory would mean nothing; I couldn't feel an interest in a dead girl.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


I fell to thinking about Marie. She hadn't written for ages; probably, I surmised, she had grown tired of being the mistress of a man sentenced to death. Or she might be ill, or dead. After all, such things happen.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


"But," I reminded myself, "it's common knowledge that life isn't worth living, anyhow."
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


The only thing that interests me now is the problem of circumventing the machine, learning if the inevitable admits a loophole.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


After asking the jury and my lawyer if they had any questions, the Judge heard the doorkeeper's evidence. On stepping into the box the man threw a glance at me, then looked away. Replying to questions, he said that I'd declined to see Mother's body, I'd smoked cigarettes and slept, and drunk café au lait. It was then that I felt a sort of wave of indignation spreading through the courtroom, and for the first time I understood that I was guilty.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


I was obsessed by thoughts of this woman or that, of all the ones I'd had, all the circumstances under which I'd loved them; so much so that the cell grew crowded with their faces, ghosts of old passions.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


That was unthinkable, he said; all men believe in God, even those who reject Him. Of this he was absolutely sure; if he ever came to doubt it, his life would lose all meaning. "Do you wish," he asked indignantly, "my life to have no meaning?"
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


All normal people, I added as on afterthought, had more or less desired the death of those they loved, at some time or another.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


When leaving, I very nearly held out my hand and said, "Good-by"; just in time I remembered that I'd killed a man.
Albert Camus, The Stranger (translated by Stuart Gilbert)


not deeming that a real victory which is gained with the arms of others.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (translated by W. K. Marriott)


And so much the more is this experiment dangerous, inasmuch as it can only be tried once.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (translated by W. K. Marriott)


He who believes that new benefits will cause great personages to forget old injuries is deceived.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (translated by W. K. Marriott)


And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (translated by W. K. Marriott)


He had been deeply shaken by the mosaic of the Last Judgment over the altar, but his fears were soon swept away by the sight of the gold-background Madonna and Child opposite the altar, in the apse. This was precisely the tension, between condemnation and promise, "tragedy and hope," he sought to re-create in Houston.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


In what would remain as perhaps one of the finest testimonies of the artist-curator relatonship, Robertson later recalled: "My strongest personal memory is of leaving the Whitechapel gallery with Rothko late one winter afternoon, when the daylight had practically gone. He asked me to switch all the lights off, everywhere; and suddenly, Rothko's color made its own light: the effect, once the retina had adjusted itself, was unforgettable, smoldering and blazing and glowing softly from the walls -- color in darkness. We stood there a long time and I wished everyone could have seen the world Rothko had made, in those perfect conditions, radiating its own energy and uncorrupted by artifice or the market place."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Phyllis Lambert openly admitted that "Rothko had this religious feeling about his work, and simply didn't want it hanging where it would serve merely as decoration. I kind of understood his point." But Philip Johnson was less indulgent, stating that "Rothko knew perfectly well it would be an expensive restaurant." On the other hand, Rothko's assistant Dan Rice confirmed Kuh's vision. He clearly recalled the evening Rothko went to dinner with Mell at the Four Seasons to check out the space. "I had arrived early in the studio the morning after and he came through the door like a bull, as only Rothko could, in an absolute rage. He said explosively, 'Anybody who will eat that kind of food for those kinds of prices will never look at a picture of mine.'"
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Tell them that I have painted Greek temples all my life, without knowing it,"
Mark Rothko, quoted by John Fischer, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


'In fact, I've come to believe that no painting should ever be displayed in a public place. I accepted this assignment as a challenge, with strictly malicious intentions. I hope to paint something that will ruin the appetite of every son of a bitch who ever eats in that room. If the restaurant would refuse to put up my murals, that would be the ultimate compliment.'"
Mark Rothko, quoted by John Fischer, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Mark Rothko ... illuminated an icy New York with eleven new nobilissime visioni. They were as fine as his previous best, which is to say that anyone who has ever wondered what it was like to have seen with fresh eyes a masterpiece new from its creator's hand had only to go and look. The variety, the luxuriance Rothko's austerity permits, again astounded ... And Rothko's appeal is as thorough as that of a folk or fairy tale or any tale well told. The economy is part of the moral and part of the pleasure, and so is the inexorable beauty, like an ending that is truer than true and which even the most credulous cannot help but believe in."
Anonymous review of Mark Rothko's 1958 Janis exhibition, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Besides, he continued, "the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate those basic human emotions ... The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"interested only in expressing basic human emotions -- tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on."
Mark Rothko, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Subtly, fastidiously and impersonally painted, they are images of lightand space, not in any naturalistic sense but, as it were, echoes of these. Big rectangles of misty, dark and often stormy color float majestically upward from the bottom of the canvases, in a movement sufficiently oblivious of the confines of the frame as to give the impression that they sail right out to invade the gallery ... It is tempting to charge the Whistler of the 'Nocturnes' with the same ancestral relationship to Rothko. But, whatever the likenesses, Whistler was a literary artist, whose abstract 'arrangements' ultimately come to terms with what he saw. With Rothko ends are the means and vice veresa. His pictures are self-subsistent. Cut off from the visual world, their roots lie in the world of the artist's feeling (and very delicate and nuanced it is) for harmonies of form and color. In some cases this might be insufficiently nourishing ground. Not so with Rothko."
Stuart Preston, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Rothko's work is charged with what we mean by matters of the spirit," Hubert Crehan declared in Art Digest, drawing a comparison with a "Biblical image of the heavens opening up and revealing a celestial light, a light sometimes so blinding, its brilliance so intense that the light itself becomes the content of the vision, within which were delivered annunciations of things closest to the human spirt. Rothko's vision is a focus on the modern sensibility's need for its own authentic spiritual experience. And the image of the work is the symbolic expression of this idea.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"It is true," Kuh wrote in the Art Institute's bulletin, "that to enjoy Rothko's paintings seems less a thinking than a feeling process ... One tends to enter into his canvases -- not merely look at them."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


the walls are defeated
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Since my pictures are large, colorful and unframed, and since museum walls are usually immense and formidable, there is the danger that the pictures relate themselves as decorative areas to the walls. This would be a distortion of their meaning, since the pictures are intimate and intense, and are the opposite of what is decorative; and have been painted in a scale of normal living rather than an institutional scale."
Mark Rothko, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Nevertheless, in my life at least, there must be some congruity between convictions and actions if I am to continue to function and work."
Mark Rothko, quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"I paint very large pictures," the artist explained in an interview with the magazine Interiors, as if to fend off criticism. "I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them however -- I think it applies to other painters I know -- is precisely because I want to be intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn't something you command."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Stanley Kunitz recalled precisely Rothko's vehemence upon his return to New York and "his flat rejection" of the "whole tradition of European painting beginning with the Renaissance." "We have wiped the slate clean. We start new. A new land. We've got to forget what the Old Masters did," the boy from Dvinsk bluntly told him.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


At the New York Times, it was no longer Jewell but Stuart Preston who presided as the art critic, and Preston noticed the exhibition's "single-minded experimentation." He noticed the "abstracts which proclaim the deserton of his former calligraphic manner." He noticed the "conjuring with patches of luminous color that float softly up or impetuously punctuate the thinly coated surfaces of his canvases." He noticed everything, including the "design [that] is casual and uncertain." He even noticed the "'philosophic' overtones that ... are ... no more than the involuntary reactions set up in his eyes by gazing at the color harmonies for a given length of time." This fine tribute was later cited by the artist himself in conversations with William Seitz. His evolution toward the Multiform, Rothko explained, resulted not so much from the fact that "the figures had been removed" from the canvas, but that they had been replaced, first by "the symbols for the figures" (during his Mythological and Surrealist phases), and then by forms that evolved into "new substitutes for the figures."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"A picture lives by companionship and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky and unfeeling act to send it out into the world."
Mark Rothko, Tiger's Eye (quoted by Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel)


The magic of those months spent in San Francisco with Mell considerably affected the painter's identity, to the point that he wished for the city to become "the art center of the world": "The city is unspeakably beautiful & the weather perfect ... The weather is now (and I am told always) benignly autumnal, combining a slight briskness with melancholy -- nourishing my Slavic predilections. (We live, in fact, on Russian Hill) ... There is no doubt that ... this city has earned the right to be the art center of the world,
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


In May 1946, when Betty Parsons showed his watercolors at the Mortimer Brandt gallery, Rothko exulted, "One person invested more than $1,000 in the stuff. So maybe there is hope."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"My world has become infinitely enlarged," the artist admitted somewhat reservedly
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Those who think that the world of today is more gentle and graceful than the primeval and predatory passions from which these myths spring," Rothko stated firmly, "are either not aware of reality or do not wish to see it in art."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


On October 13, they had the opportunity to hammer home their point on the WNYC radio broadcast "The Portrait and the Modern Artist." "Neither Mr. Gottlieb's paintings nor mine should be considered abstract paintings," Rothko asserted. "If our own titles recall the known myths of antiquity, we have used them because they are the eternal symbols upon which we must fall back to express basic psychological ideas. They are the symbols of man's primitive fears and motivations, no matter in which land or what time."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Art historians consider 1943 a pivotal year: it was then that the U.S. artists who felt they didn't fit in with the American Abstract artists movement transitioned to abstraction.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


"Yet the absence of myth," the painter insisted, "cannot deprive man of the desire for heroic deeds ... as men could not live long without gods."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Was it any wonder that Marcus Rothkowitz chose to become a painter? Socially, he was a rebel who, after enduring a series of setbacks, had developed a precocious political awareness as well as a desire for revenge.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


Only with the creation of the first school of American painting, the Hudson River School, around the mid-nineteenth century, did U.S. artists become aware of their identity and start clamoring for recognition.
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


He condemned the social conventions that, at the expense of academic values, ruled that "house of the dead," the university. "The undergraduate cringes before fancies that were born in his own mind," he wrote, implicitly referring to the golden calf of the Bible. He stressed the fact that Yale students worshiped an idol they had themselves built and that dictated their behavior, diverting them from essential values (work, truth, and friendship). "False gods! Idols of clay!" he exclaimed. "There is only one way to smash them, and that is a revolution in mind and spirit in the student body at Yale University. Let us think..."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


In one of his early journalistic enterprises, he taunted Yale students who "instead of talking about art and literature ... spend their evenings in basketball discussion, bridge playing and dancing" and declared outright that "the whole institution is a lie and serves as a cloak of respectability for a social and athletic club."
Annie Cohen-Solal, Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel


His work communicates on a level that is explicitly preverbal. Indeed, it would be hard to find less-narrative painting. Like music, my father's artwork seeks to express the inexpressible -- we are far removed from the realm of words.
Christopher Rothko, foreword to The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art


The walls fell away; his self fell away from him, and he was nothing. He was the words: he was the word, the word spoken in darkness with none to hear at the beginning, the first page of time. His self had fallen from him and he was utterly, everlastingly himself: nameless, single, one.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


Laws are made against the impulse a people most fears in itself.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


Hope is a slighter, tougher thing even than trust, he thought, pacing his room as the soundless, vague lightning flashed overhead. In a good season one trusts life; in a bad season one only hopes. But they are of the same essence: they are the mind's indispensable relationship with other minds, with the world, and with time. Without trust, a man lives, but not a human life; without hope, he dies.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


I do not wish to die again before my death!
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


"Oh fool, oh desolation!" said the Prince of Kansas. "I'll give you ten women to accompany you to the Palace of the Lie, with lutes and flutes and tambourines and contraceptive pills.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


I honor life, because it's a much more difficult and uncertain matter than death;
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


That did hearten him; for he knew himself so little that all his acts were also acts of self-discovery, like those of a boy, and knowing that he lacked so much he was glad to learn that at least he was not without courage.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


That did hearten him; for he knew himself so little that all his acts were also acts of self-discovery, like those of a boy, and knowing that he lacked so much he was glad to learn that at least he was not without courage.
Ursula K. Le Guin, City of Illusions


I think of you often, dear Mr. Kappus, and with such a concentration of good wishes that really in some way it ought to help.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


We should in general be very careful with names; it is so often the name of a crime which destroys a life, not the nameless and personal act itself, which was perhaps completely necessary to that life and could have been absorbed by it without difficulty.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


We have no reason to be mistrustful of our world, for it is not against us. If it holds terrors they are our terrors, if it has its abysses these abysses belong to us, if there are dangers then we must try to love them.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


But only someone who is ready for anything and rules nothing out, not even the most enigmatic things, will experience the relationship with another a living thing and will himself live his own existence to the full.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


The future is fixed, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move around in infinite space.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


We have already had to adjust our understanding of so many theories of planetary motion, and so too we shall gradually learn to recognize that what we call fate originates in ourselves, in humankind, and does not work on us from the outside.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


One might easily suppose that nothing had happened, but we have altered the way a house alters when a guest enters it.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


If it were possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and a little beyond the outworks of our intuitions, perhaps we should then bear our sadnesses with greater assurance than our joys. For they are moments when something new enters into us, something unknown to us; our feelings, shy and inhibited, fall silent, everything in us withdraws, a stillness settles on us, and at the centre of it is the new presence that nobody yet knows, making no sound.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


To love is also good, for love is hard. Love between one person and another: that is perhaps the hardest thing it is laid on us to do, the utmost, the ultimate trial and test, the work for which all other work is just preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


You will see: I have copied out your sonnet because I found that it had beauty and simplicity and a native form in which it unfolds with such quiet propriety. It is the best of the verses of yours I have been permitted to read. And I'm giving you this copy now because I know that it is important and a whole new experience to come across a work of one's own in a foreign hand. Read the lines as if they were unknown to you, and you will feel in your inmost self how very much they are yours. --
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


but there is a great deal of beauty here, because there is beauty everywhere.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


the unspeakable excess of esteem, nourished by academics and philologists with the help of run-of-the-mill tourists, given to all these disfigured and spoilt objects which after all are basically nothing more than accidental vestiges of another age and of a life that is not our own and is not meant to be.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


The care with which the rain is wrong and the green is wrong and the white is wrong, the care with which there is a chair and plenty of breathing. The care with which there is incredible justice and likeness, and all this makes a magnificent asparagus, and also a fountain.
Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons


Why is there so much useless suffering. Why is there.
Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons


Dance a clean dream and an extravagant turn up, secure the steady rights and translate more than translate the authority, show the choice and make no more mistakes than yesterday.
Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons