Posts filed under ‘Quotes’

Letters to a Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke

The Eight Letter
Borgeby gard, Flädie, Sweden
12 August 1904

How could we be capable of forgetting the old myths that stand at the threshold of al mankind, myths of dragons transforming themselves at the last moment into princesses? Perhaps all dragons in our lives are really princesses just waiting to see us just once being beautiful and courageous

“We must accept our existence to the greatest extent possible; everything, the unprecendent also, needs to be accepted. That is basically the only case of courage required of us: to be courageous in the face of the strangest, the most whimsical and unexplainable thing that we could encounter.
The fact that people have been cowards in that regard has cause infinite harm to life. The experiences that one calls “ghosts”, the entire spirit world, death, all these related things have been forced out of life through daily resistance to such an extent that the senses have become atrophied. And that is not even considering the question of God.
The fear of the unexplainable impoverished not only the existence of the individual, but also caused the relationship of one person to another to be limited”.

The seventh letter
Rome 14 May 1904

“Everything in nature grows and struggles in its own way, establishing its own identity, insisting on it at all cost, against all resistance. We can be sure of very little, but the need to court struggle is a surety that will not leave us. It is good to be lonely, for being alone is not easy. The fact that something is difficult must be one more reason to do it.
To love is also good, for love is difficult. For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test. It is that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation. For that reason young people – who are beginners in everything – cannot yet love; they do not know how to love. They must learn it. With their whole being, with all strengths enveloping their lonely, disquieted heart, they must learn to love – even while their heartbeat is quickening. However, the process of learning always involves time set aside for solitude.Thus to love constantly and far into a lifespan is indeed aloneness, heightened and deepened aloneness for one who loves.
Love does not at first have anything to do with arousal, surrender, and uniting with another being – for what union can be built upon uncertainty, immaturity and lack of coherence? Love is a high inducement for individuals to ripen, to strive to mature in the inner self, to manifest maturity in the outer world, to become that manifestation for the sake of another. This is a great, demanding task; it calls one to expand one´s horizon greatly”.

“Everyone loses himself for the sake of the other and losses the other and many others that would yet have wished to come. They lose perspective and limit opportunities. They exchange the softly advancing and retreating of gentle premonitions of the spirit for an unfruitful restlessness. Nothing can come of it”.

“No area of human experience is provided with as many conventions as this one [human love]: there are flotations devices of the most unusual sort; there are boats and life belts. Society has known how to create every kind of refuge conceivable. Since it is inclined to perceived love life as entertainment, it needs to display it as easily available, inexpensive, safe, and reliable, just like common public entertainment”.

“Questions of love are personal, intimate questions, from one person to another, that in every case require a new, special, and an exclusively personal answer”.

“They act [young people] from a source of mutual helplessness. If, with the best of intentions, they wish to avoid the convention that is approaching them (marriage, for example) they find themselves in the clutches of another conventional solution, one less obvious, but just as deadly. Everything surrounding them, spread wide about them, is – convention”.

“Whoever will seriously consider the question of love will find that, as with the question of death, difficult as it is, there is no enlightened answer, no solution, not the hint of a path has yet been found. And for these two concerns we carry safely disguised within us and that we pass on unresolved, for them no comforting principle will be learned, none finding general agreement”.

“The simple humanity of women, brought about through pain and abasement, shall then come to light when the convention of her ultra-feminism will have been stripped off, transforming her status in the world. The men, who today cannot yet feel it coming, shall be surprised and defeated by it. One day (…) the girl and the woman shall exist with her name no longer contrasted to the masculine; it shall have a meaning in itself. It shall not bring to mind complement or limitation – only life and being: the feminine human being.
This progress shall transform the experience of love, presently full of error, opposed at first by men, who have been overtaken in their progress by women. It shall thoroughly change the love experience to the rebuilding of a relationship meant to be between two persons, no longer just man and woman. And this more human love will be consummated, endlessly considerate and gentle, good and clear in its bounding and releasing; it shall resemble that love for which we must prepare painstakingly and with fervor, which will be comprised of two lonelinesses protecting one another, setting limits, and acknowledging one another.
And one more thing: Do not believe that this idea of a great love, which, when you were a boy, was imposed upon you, has been lost. (…) I believe that this idea of love remains so strong and mighty in your memory because it was your first deep experience of aloneness and the first inner work that you have done on your life”.

November 10, 2008 at 12:06 am Leave a comment

Nach vorn

“Es ist gerade die Distanz zu meinem Ursprüngen, die mir gefällt.
Ich habe nichts, wohin ich zurückkehren könnte”

Susan Sontag,, The Passion for Words, Interview mit Marithelma Costa
und Adelaida Lopez (1987).

September 16, 2008 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

This is exactly how I feel today…

(Rachel Weisz in My Blueberry Nights
by Wong Kar Wai

“Wieder ein ewiger Tag des Wartens”.
(“Der Erwartung” Monodrama by Arnold Schönberg,
Libretto by Marie Pappenheim)

July 7, 2008 at 11:16 am 1 comment

No One Belongs Here More Than You – Miranda July

Selected quotes:

“We met twice a week in my apartment. When they arrived, I had three bowls of warm tap water lined up on the floor, and then a forth bowl in front of those, the coach´s bowl. I added salt to the water because it´s supposed to be healthy to snort warm salt water, and I figured they would be snorting accidentally. I showed them how to put their noses and mouths in the water and how to take a breath to the side. Then we added the legs, and then the arms. I admitted these were not perfect conditions for learning to swim, but, I pointed out, this was how Olympic swimmers trained when there wasn´t a pool nearby. Yes, yes, yes, this was a lie but, we needed it because we were four people lying on the kitchen floor, kicking it loudly as if angry, as if furious, as if disappointed or frustrated and not afraid to show it”.
The Swim Team in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“This pain, this dying, this is just normal. This is how life is. In fact, I realize, there never was an earthquake. Life is just this way, broken, and I am crazy to hope for something else”.
Majesty in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“I had made everything just horrible enough to bring Theresa´s sadness down to the next level, and I joined her there. It was a place of overflowing collaborative misery, and we cried together, We could smell each other´s shampoo and the laundry detergents we had chosen, and I smelled that she didn´t smoke but someone she loved did, and she could feel that I was large but not genetically, not permanently, just until I found my way again”.
It was Romance in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

“My mind ballooned with nervous fear. I looked at Pip and for a split second I felt as though she was nobody special in the larger scheme of my life. She was just some girl who had tied me to her leg to help her sink when she jumped of the bridge. Then I blinked and I was in love with her again”.
Something that needs nothing in No One Belongs Here More Than You, Stories by Miranda July

April 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Haruki Marukami – Norwegian Wood

“Tell me how you could say such a thing,” she said, staring at the ground beneath her feet. “You´re not telling me anything I don´t know already. “Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.” What´s the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I´d fall apart. I´ve always lived like this, and it´s the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I´d might never find my way back. I´d go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can´t you see that? How can you talk about watching over me if you can´t see that?”

Haruki Marukami, excerpt from Norwegian Wood

April 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

On Memory- Haruki Murakami

“Memory is a funny thing. When I was in the scene I hardly paid it any attention. I never stopped to think of it as something that would make a lasting impression, certainly never imagined that 18 years later I would recall it in such detail. I didn´t give a damn about the scenery that day. I was thinking about myself . I was thinking about the beautiful girl walking next to me. I was thinking about the two of us together, and then about myself again. I was at that age, that time of life when every sight, every feeling, every thought came back, like a boomerang, to me. And worse, I was in love. Love with complications. Scenery was the last thing on my mind.
Now, though, that meadow scene is the first thing that comes back to me. The smell of grass, the faint chill of the wind, the line of the hills, the barking of a dog: these are the first things, and they come with absolute clarity. I feel as if I can reach out and trace them with a fingertip. And yet, as clear as the scene may be, no one is in it. No one. Naoko is not there, and neither am I. Where could we have disappeared to? How could such a thing have happened? Everything that seemed so important back then – Naoko, and the self I was then, and the world I had then: where could have they all gone? It´s true, I can´t even bring back her face – not strait away, at least. All I´m left holding is a background, pure scenery, with no people at the front”.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

April 8, 2008 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

Art is not chaos but a composition of chaos that yields the vision or sensation, so that it constitutes, as Joyce says, a chaosmos, a composed chaos – neither forseen nor preconceived. Art transforms chaotic variability into chaoid variety… Art struggles with chaos but it does so in order to render it sensory, even through the most charming character, the most enchanted landscape.

March 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

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