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Quotes 1995

Once Oscar Wilde, coming down to lunch, was asked how he had spent his morning. "I was hard at work," he said.

"Oh?" he was asked. "Did you accomplish much?"

"Yes indeed," said Wilde. "I inserted a comma."

At dinner, he was asked how he had spent his afternoon. "More work," he said.

"Inserted another comma?" was the rather sardonic question.

"No, said Wilde, unperturbed. "I removed the one I had inserted in the morning."
Isaac Asimov, Gold
[With reference to an article entitled "Revisions" that deals with the struggles of writing and as you may have guessed, revising material.]


"Look ... at the pale blue dot... Take a good long look at it. Stare at the dot for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. ...doesn't [it] strike you as unlikely..."
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
[With reference to a photograph of Earth, at right, taken by Voyager 1 from beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto. Earth appears as a small, featureless blue dot on the black background of open space]
  Earth as seen from beyond Neptune and Pluto

"However far you may travel in this world, you will still occupy the same volume of space."
[Traditional Ur-Bororo saying]
Will Self, The Quantity Theory Of Insanity


"You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think."
Attributed to Dorothy Parker


"Some people have a thousand thoughts, others the same thought a thousand times."
Rita Mae Brown, High Hearts


"I have enjoyed isolated moments of great happiness... I think that's all there is..."
Rita Mae Brown, High Hearts


"You'll never convince a doorknob that there's anything more in life than getting pushed, pulled, and turned."
John Dunning, The Bookman's Wake


"...in so much of the story of our lives, can we ever know who is the author? Who is the narrator? Who is speaking?"
Josephine Hart, Oblivion


"...little in life is resolved; much is only overheard; much, in the end, is only an echo."
Josephine Hart, Oblivion


"Pleasures don't last...like the snow falls in the river, A moment white -- then melts for ever."
Minette Walters, The Ice House


"Is it irreverent to suggest that an infinite God could scarcely find the opportunities to enjoy Himself, to exercise His godhead, if a single planet were the sole seat of His activities?"
E. A. Milne
Paul Davies, Are We Alone?


"I suspect that most of us get old without growing up, and that inside every adult (sometimes not very far inside) is a bratty kid who wants everything his own way."
Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book


"I've never understood people who remember childhood as an idyllic time."
Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book


"What is alternative music? ... After ten or twelve videos ... she thought she detected a pattern. White boys, once in a while a girl. Images and design once considered signs of modernism; cutting and camera angles once the province exclusively of the avant-garde; ironically apocalyptic rather than merely apocalyptic lyrics; voices and tunes far more melodic than heavier rock or rap but less obvious than pop; a droning instrumental accompaniment, often acoustic; bad posture."
Cathleen Schine, The Love Letter


"Helen loved her car... When the door was opened and the ignition key turned, the car spoke. In a confident, Hal-like computer voice, it said "A door is ajar!" ... "A door is not a jar," she [Helen] would answer..."
Cathleen Schine, The Love Letter


"I think you don't really get to know a man until you see him with his pants down."
Ben Bova, Mars


"There are some people...whom you can f#$% only if you have permission to kill them immediately afterward."
Susanna Moore, In The Cut


"Survival alters ideology."
Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch - A Different Kind Of Writer's Manual