Century Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1288 quotes )
Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs. .... Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol' Adam and Eve story? .... You ever wonder when God's coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?
Centuries ago, sailors on long voyages used to leave a pair of pigs on every deserted island. Or they'd leave a pair of goats. Either way, on any future visit, the island would be a source of meat. These islands, they were pristine. These were home to breeds of birds with no natural predators. Breeds of birds that lived nowhere else on earth. The plants there, without enemies they evolved without thorns or poisons. Without predators and enemies, these islands, they were paradise. The sailors, the next time they visited these islands, the only things still there would be herds of goats or pigs. Oyster is telling this story. The sailors called this "seeding meat." Oyster says, "Does this remind you of anything? Maybe the ol' Adam and Eve story?" Looking out the car window, he says, "You ever wonder when God's coming back with a lot of barbecue sauce?
… my century..is unique in the history of men for two reasons. It is the first century since life began when a decisive part of the most articulate section of mankind has not merely ceased to believe in God, but has deliberately rejected God. And it is the century in which this religious rejection has taken a specifically political form….
In this century, the human race faces, once again, the virulent reign of the State—of the State now armed with the fruits of man’s creative powers, confiscated and perverted to its own aims. The last few centuries were times when men tried to place constitutional and other limits on the State, only to find that such limits, as with all other attempts, have failed. Of all the numerous forms that governments have taken over the centuries, of all the concepts and institutions that have been tried, none has succeeded in keeping the State in check. The problem of the State is evidently as far from solution as ever. Perhaps new paths of inquiry must be explored, if the successful, final solution of the State question is ever to be attained.
Today history is no more than a thin thread of the remembered stretching over an ocean of the forgotten, but time moves on, and an epoch of millennia will come which the inextensible memory of the individual will be unable to encompass; whole centuries and millennia will therefore fall away, centuries of paintings and music, centuries of discoveries, of battles, of books, and this will be dire, because man will lose the notion of his self, and his history, unfathomable, unencompassable, will shrivel into a few schematic signs destitute of all sense.
There is a striking feature of the twentieth century… the musical creation of the 20th century is qualitatively different from the 18th century, in that it lacks that immediate access or short-term access that was true of the past… I have no doubt that if we took two children of today two groups and taught one of them Mozart Haydn & Beethoven and the other Schoenberg and post Schoenbergian music, that there would be very substantial difference in their capacity to comprehend and deal with it, and that may reflect, and in fact if that’s correct it would reflect, something about our innate musical capacities.
A person of your century: Great persons are of their time. Not all were born into a period worthy of them, and many so born failed to benefit by it. Some merited a better century, for all that is good does not always triumph. Fashions have their periods and even the greatest virtues, their styles. But the philosopher, being ageless, has one advantage: Should this not prove the right century, many to follow will.
In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!
But in the 17th century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an internal schism. In the 18th, the country was shaken by Peter's forcibly imposed transformations, which favored the economy, the state, and the military at the expense of the religious spirit and national life. And along with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the first whiff of secularism; its subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the Revolution, faith had virtually disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.
Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.
The fact was that, as droves of demon kings had noticed, there was a limit to what you could do to a soul with, e. g., red-hot tweezers, because even fairly evil and corrupt souls were bright enough to realize that since they didn't have the concomitant body and nerve endings attached to them there was no real reason, other than force of habit, why they should suffer excruciating agony. So they didn't. Demons went on doing it anyway, because numb and mindless stupidity is part of what being a demon is all about, but since no one was suffering they didn't enjoy it much either and the whole thing was pointless. Centuries and centuries of pointlessness.
More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century. The equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women die in labor each day... life time risk of maternal death is 1,000x higher in a poor country than in the west. That should be an international scandal.
It is often difficult, I find, for people today to grasp the notion that one family, working through several restaurants could change the eating habit of an entire country. But such was the achievement of the Delmonicos in the United States of the last century. Before they opened their first small cafe on William Street in 1823, catering to the business and financial communities of Lower Manhattan, American food could generally be described as things boiled or fried whose purpose was to sustain hard work and hold down alcohol - usually bad alcohol. The Delmonicos, though Swiss, had brought the French method to America, and each generation of their family refined an expanded the experience ... The craving for first-rate dining became a kind of national fever in the latter decades of the century - and Delmonico's was responsible.
Probably we’d have been better off born in nineteenth-century Russia. I’d have been Prince So-and-so and you Count Such-and-such. We’d go hunting together, fight, be rivals in love, have our metaphysical complaints, drink beer watching the sunset from the shores of the Black Sea. In our later years, the two of us would be implicated in the Something-or-other Rebellion and exiled to Siberia, where we’d die. Brilliant, don’t you think? Me, if I’d been born in the nineteenth century, I’m sure I could have written better novels. Maybe not your Dostoyevsky, but a known second-rate novelist. And what would you have been doing? Maybe you’d only have been Count Such-and-such straight through. That wouldn’t be so bad, just being Count Such-and-such. That’d be nice and nineteenth century.
Standing here, as immune to the cold as a marble statue, gazing towards Charlotte Street, towards a foreshortened jumble of faades, scaffolding and pitched roofs, Henry thinks the city is a success, a brilliant invention, a biological masterpiece--millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselves, harmonious for the most part, nearly everyone wanting it to work. And the Perownes own corner, a triumph of congruent proportion; the perfect square laid out by Robert Adam enclosing a perfect circle of garden--an eighteenth century dream bathed and embraced by modernity, by street light from above, and from below by fibre-optic cables, and cool fresh water coursing down pipes, and sewage borne away in an instant of forgetting.