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a selection of quotes

From Jacques Barzun:
The book, like the bicycle, is a perfect form.
From Eric Hoffer:
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.
From Janusz Korczak:
To demand that others should provide you with textbook answers is like asking a strange woman to give birth to your baby. There are insights that can be born only of your own pain, and they are the most precious.
From Terry Eagleton, in After Theory:
Dead bodies are indecent: they proclaim with embarrassing candour the secret of all matter, that it has no obvious relation to meaning.
From Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, British soldier and Tory statesman, sometime after the battle of Waterloo:
We always have been, we are, and I hope we always shall be, detested in France.
From Thomas Merton, in The Man in the Sycamore Tree:
If you want to identify me ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can determine the identity of any person.
From Robertson Davies, in The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday:
I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves.
From D. T. Suzuki:
Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transcience, we suffer.