Colossal Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 50 quotes )
And it was never but once a year that they were brought together anyway, and that was on the neutral, dereligionized ground of Thanksgiving, when everybody gets to eat the same thing, nobody sneaking off to eat funny stuff--no kugel, no gefilte fish, no bitter herbs, just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people--one colossal turkey feeds all. A moratorium on the three-thousand-year-old nostalgia of the Jews, a moratorium on Christ and the cross and the crucifixion of the Christians, when everyone in New Jersey and elsewhere can be more passive about their irrationalities than they are the rest of the year. A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments, and not only for the Dwyers and the Levovs but for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours.
No one doubts that an ordinary man can get on with this world: but we demand not strength enough to get on with it, but strength enough to get it on. Can he hate it enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing? Can he look up at its colossal good without once feeling acquiescence? Can he look up at its colossal evil without once feeling despair? Can he, in short, be at once not only a pessimist and an optimist, but a fanatical pessimist and a fanatical optimist? Is he enough of a pagan to die for the world, and enough of a Christian to die to it? In this combination, I maintain, it is the rational optimist who fails, the irrational optimist who succeeds. He is ready to smash the whole universe for the sake of itself.
But Moominpappa wasn't listening, because just at that moment he had got the right grip on a big round boulder, and with a great thud it rolled down the slope. It made two very clear sparks and left a faint but enchanting smell of gunpowder behind. Now it was lying at the bottom, just where it should lie. It was wonderful to roll stones, first pushing with all one's might, then feeling them beginning to move just a little at first -- then a little more -- and then giving way and rolling into the sea with a colossal splash, leaving one standing there trembling with effort and pride.
There are no chains of houses; there are no crowds of men. The colossal diagram of streets and houses is an illusion, the opium dream of a speculative builder. Each of these men is supremely solitary and supremely important to himself. Each of these houses stands in the centre of the world. There is no single house of all those millions which has not seemed to someone at some time the heart of all things and the end of travel.
Besides," said Kennedy, "the time when industry gets a grip of everything and uses it to its own advantage may not be particularly amusing. If men go on inventing machinery they'll end up by being swallowed by their own machines. I've always thought that the last day will be brought about by some colossal boiler heated to three thousand atmospheres blowing up the world."And I bet the Yankees will have had a hand in it," said Joe.
If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay," said Gatsby. "You always have a green light that burns at the end of your dock." Daisy put her arm through his abruptly but he seemed absorbed in what he had just said. Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to him, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted things had diminished by one.
I don’t think people realise how vital libraries are or what a colossal danger it would be if we were to lose any more. Having had a truncated school life myself, all of my education from the age of 17 has been self-taught. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the opportunities the library gave me.
She walked with measured steps, draped in striped and fringed cloths, treading the earth proudly, with a slight jingle and flash of barbarous ornaments. She carried her head high; her hair was done in the shape of a helmet; she had brass leggings to the knee, brass wire gauntlets to the elbow, a crimson spot on her tawny cheek, innumerable necklaces of glass beads on her neck; bizarre things, charms, gifts of witch-men, that hung about her, glittered and trembled at every step. She must have had the value of several elephant tusks upon her. She was savage and superb, wild-eyed and magnificent; there was something ominous and stately in her deliberate progress. And in the hush that had fallen suddenly upon the whole sorrowful land, the immense wilderness, the colossal body of the pensive, as though it had been looking at the image of its own tenebrous and passionate soul.
Almost five years! There must have been moments even that afternoon whe Daisy tumbled short of his dreams? not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams -- not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion, adding to it all the time, decking it out with every bright feather that drifted his way. No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart.
I met a traveller from an antique land. Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone. Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown. And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command. Tell that its sculptor well those passions read. Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear:'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'Nothing beside remains. Round the decay. Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
From authors whom I read more than once I learn to value the weight of words and to delight in their meter and cadence -- in Gibbon's polyphonic counterpoint and Guedalla's command of the subjunctive, in Mailer's hyperbole and Dillard's similes, in Twain's invectives and burlesques with which he set the torch of his ferocious wit to the hospitality tents of the world's colossal humbug . . . I know no other way out of what is both the maze of the eternal present and the prison of the self except with a string of words."- from Harper's Notebook, November 2010
The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.
The bourgeoisie...by its imperialist methods of appropriation is destroying the economic structure of the world and human culture generally. Nevertheless, the historical persistence of the bourgeoisie is colossal. It holds power, and does not wish to abandon it...The red terror is a weapon utilised against a class, doomed to destruction which does not wish to perish.
A normal woman, indeed, no more believes in democracy in the nation than she believes in democracy at her own fireside; she knows that there must be a class to order and a class to obey, and that the two can never coalesce. Nor is she, susceptible to the stock sentimentalities upon which the whole democratic process is based. This was shown very dramatically in them United States at the national election of 1920, in which the late Woodrow Wilson was brought down to colossal and ignominious defeat—The first general election in which all American women could vote. All the sentimentality of the situation was on the side of Wilson, and yet fully three-fourths of the newly-enfranchised women voters voted against him.
A man taken out of his room and, almost without preparation or transition, placed on the heights of a great mountain range, would feel something like that: an unequalled insecurity, an abandonment to the nameless, would almost annihilate him. He would feel he was falling or think he was being catapulted out into space or exploded into a thousand pieces: what a colossal lie his brain would have to invent in order to catch up with and explain the situation of his senses.
He could never forgive her for "cheating" on his father. His words, not hers. A child's word. "Selfish bitch," he'd called her once, he who knew nothing of selfishness or bitchery, no more than he knew of selflessness or whatever the opposite of bitchery was (sophrosyne?), knew only his own colossal ego, too self-centered even to understand why he couldn't simply dismiss her as evil and forget it. Sweet Christ how she hated him! But no. No more than she hated his father. It was past that. Caught in impossibilities, but knowing, at least, why she hated the part of herself she hated and why she could not escape, ever, for all the grinning cow-catchers and whistling boats and twinkling propellers in Christendom. Ah, Christendom! she thought.
Will a day come when the race will detect the funniness of these juvenilities and laugh at them--and by laughing at them destroy them? For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Power, Money, Persuasion, Supplication, Persecution--these can lift at a colossal humbug,--push it a little-- crowd it a little--weaken it a little, century by century: but only Laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of Laughter nothing can stand.- "The Chronicle of Young Satan," Mysterious Stranger Manuscripts
I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
The eternal raison d'etre of America is in its being the "sweet land of liberty". Should a land so dreamed into existence, so degenerate through material prosperity as to become what its European critics, with too much justice, have scornfully renamed it the "Land of the Dollar" - such a development will be one of the sorriest conclusions of history, and the most colossal disillusionment that has ever happened to mankind.
But I got a great deal else from the experience. I learned to pitch a tent and sleep beneath the stars. For a brief, proud period I was slender and fit. I gained a profound respect for the wilderness and nature and the benign dark power of woods. I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world. I found patience and fortitude that I didn't know I had. I discovered an America that millions of people scarcely know exists. I made a friend. I came home.
There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love, and like that colossal adventure it is an experience of great social import. Even as the tranced swain, the booklover yearns to tell others of his bliss. He writes letters about it, adds it to the postscript of all manner of communications, intrudes it into telephone messages, and insists on his friends writing down the title of the find. Like the simple-hearted betrothed, once certain of his conquest, “I want you to love her, too!” It is a jealous passion also. He feels a little indignant if he finds that any one else has discovered the book, too.