An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance."
An erroneous appraisement.
Evident to one's self and to nobody else.
Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others."
"...most literary types, probably, would hope for inclusion somewhere or other on Nabokov's sliding scale: 'I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child.'
Mr Hitchens isn't like that. Christopher and His Kind runs the title of one of Isherwood's famous memoirs. And yet this Christopher doesn't have a kind. Everyone is unique - but Christopher is preternatural. And it may even be that he exactly inverts the Nabokovian paradigm. He thinks like a child (that is to say, his judgments are far more instinctive and moral-visceral than they seem, and are animated by a child's eager apprehension of what feels just and true); he writes like a distinguished author; and he speaks like a genius."
"Finally, according to the cable, last week the Tortoise arrived at the finish line.
At the press conference he declared modestly that all along he had feared that he was going to lose, since his competitor was right on his heels.
As it happened, one ten thousand trillionth of a second later, like an arrow and cursing Zeno of Elea, Achilles crossed the line."
"On waking, the dinosaur was still there."
"...where most see monsters as a question mark, Arcimboldo saw in his monsters an explanation. Another interpretation of monstrum is 'to show.' We think that monsters exist so that we can look at them, judge them, laugh at them. In actuality, the monsters are looking at us. As they show us ourselves, they are showing us the world through the monster's eyes. It is a world where deformity and irregularity are the norm.
If we stop giggling and give him a chance, Arcimboldo has something to say after all. To know the world is to know monsters. To know the world, therefore, is to know chaos. Vertumnus, after all, is not just the god of the seasons, but also the god of change. This is not simply weird for weird's sake; it's an epistemology."
"The spirit of man is more penetrating than conclusive and embraces more than it can bind."
"Passions often generate others that are contrary to them. Avarice sometimes produces prodigality, and prodigality avarice; one is often steadfast due to weakness, and audacious because of timidity."
"We promise according to our hopes, and we follow through according to our fears."
"When I hear it contended that the least sensitive are, on the whole, the most happy, I recall the Indian proverb: 'It's better to sit than to stand, it is better lie down than to sit, but death is best of all.'"
"There were grammatical errors even in his silence."