Describing Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 99 quotes )
I once heard Jerry Yang, the cofounder of Yahoo!, quote a senior Chinese government official as saying, "Where people have hope, you have a middle class." I think this is a very useful insight. The existence of large, stable middle classes around the world is crucial to geopolitical stability, but middle class is a state of mind, not a state of income. That's why a majority of Americans always describe themselves as "middle class," even though by income statistics some of them wouldn't be considered as such. "Middle class" is another way of describing people who believe that they have a pathway out of poverty or lower-income status toward a higher standard of living and a better future for their kids.
Don’t underestimate this gift of finding a place in the writing world: if you really work at describing creatively on paper the truth as you understand it, as you have experienced it, with the people or material who are in you, who are asking that you help them get written, you will come to a secret feeling of honor.
In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.
Then they wondered if there were men in the stars. Why not? And as creation is harmonious, the inhabitants of Sirius ought to be huge, those of Mars middle-sized, those of Venus very small. Unless it is the same everywhere. There are businessmen, police up there; people trade, fight, dethrone their kings. Some shooting stars suddenly slid past, describing a course in the sky like the parabola of a monstrous rocket. ‘My Word,’ said Bouvard, ‘look at those worlds disappearing.’ Pecuchet replied: ‘If our world in its turn danced about, the citizens of the stars would be no more impressed than we are now. Ideas like that are rather humbling.’ ‘What is the point of it all?’ ‘Perhaps there isn’t a point.’ ‘Yet…’ and Pecuchet repeated the word two or three times, without finding anything more to say.
What was it, he wondered for the hundredth time, that enabled Pastor Harris to hear the answers in his heart? What did he mean when he said he felt God’s presence? Steve supposed he could ask Pastor Harris directly, but he doubted that would do any good. How could anyone explain such a thing? It would be like describing colors to someone blind from birth: The words might be understood, but the concept would remain mysterious and private.
You will remember that Albertus Magnus, after describing minutely the process by which spirits may be invoked and commanded, adds emphatically that the process will instruct and avail only to the few - that a man must be born a magician! - that is, born with a peculiar physical temperament, as a man is born a poet. Rarely are men in whose constitution lurks this occult power of the highest order of intellect - usually in the intellect there is some twist, perversity, or disease.' ("The House And The Brain")
But the whole modern world, or at any rate the whole modern Press, has a perpetual and consuming terror of plain morals. Men always attempt to avoid condemning a thing upon merely moral grounds...Why on earth do the newspapers, in describing a dynamite outrage or any other political assassination, call it a "dastardly outrage" or a cowardly outrage? It is perfectly evident that it is not dastardly in the least. It is perfectly evident that it is about as cowardly as the Christians going to the lions. The man who does it exposes himself to the chance of being torn in pieces by two thousand people. What the thing is, is not cowardly, but profoundly and detestably wicked. The man who does it is very infamous and very brave. But, again, the explanation is that our modern Press would rather appeal to physical arrogance, or to anything, rather than appeal to right and wrong.
But there was a discipline, it was just that we didn't understand. We thought he was formless, but I think now he was tormented by order, what was outside it. He tore apart the plot - see his music was immediately on top of his own life. Echoing. As if, when he was playing he was lost and hunting for the right accidental notes. Listening to him was like talking to Coleman. You were both changing direction with every sentence, sometimes in the middle, using each other as a springboard through the dark. You were moving so fast it was unimportant to finish and clear everything. He would be describing something in 27 ways. There was pain and gentleness everything jammed into each number.
Yes, of course, there's something fishy about describing people's feelings. You try hard to be accurate, but as soon as you start to define such and such a feeling, language lets you down. It's really a machine for making falsehoods. When we really speak the truth, words are insufficient. Almost everything except things like "pass the gravy" is a lie of a sort. And that eing the case, I shall shut up. Oh, and... pass the gravy.
dan brown\The televangelist began quoting verses from the Bible describing hierarchy of angels, demons, and spirits that ruled in heaven and hell. "Protect your souls from evil forces!" He warned them. "Lift your hearts in prayer! God and his angels will hear you!" He's right, Mal'akh knew. But so will the demons.
I hope it is not necessary for me to stress the platonic nature of our relationship- not platonic in the purest sense, there was no philosophical discourse, but we certainly didn't fuck, which is usually what people mean by platonic; which I bet would really piss Plato off, that for all his thinking and chatting his name has become an adjective for describing sexless trysts.
Though simple, the trick was something that struck me as useful right now. Thus, the 'when I was little' nostalgia was misleading: it turned something that I was taking seriously as an adult into something soupier, less precise, more falsely exotic, than it really was. Why should we need lots of nostalgia to license any pleasure taken in the discoveries we carry over from childhood, when it is now so clearly an adult pleasure? I decided that from now on I wouldn't get that faraway look when describing things that excited me now, regardless of whether they had first been childhood enthusiasms or not.
Mimbrates are the bravest people in the world --probably because they don't have brains enough to be afraid of anything. Garion's friend Mandorallen is totally convinced that he's invincible."He is," Ce'Nedra said in automatic defense of her knight. "I saw him kill a lion once with his bare hands."...I heard him suggest to Barak and Hettar once that the three of them attack an entire Tolnedran legion."Perhaps he was joking."Mimbrate knights don't know how to joke," Silk told him."I will not sit here and listen to you people insult my knight," Ce'Nedra said hotly."We'renot insulting hi, Ce'Nedra," Silk told her. "We're describing him. He's so noble he makes my hair hurt."Nobility is an alien concept to a Drasnian, I suppose," she noted."Not alien, Ce'Nedra. Incomprehensible.
Every room I've lived in since I was given my own room at eleven was lined with, and usually overfull of, books. My employment in bookstores was always continuous with my private hours: shelving and alphabetizing, building shelves, and browsing-- in my collection and others-- in order to understand a small amount about the widest possible number of books. Such numbers of books are constantly acquired that constant culling is necessary; if I slouch in this discipline, the books erupt. I've also bricked myself in with music--vinyl records, then compact discs. My homes have been improbably information-dense, like capsules for survival of a nuclear war, or models of the interior of my own skull. That comparison--room as brain-- is one I've often reached for in describing the rooms of others, but it began with the suspicion that I'd externalized my own brain, for anyone who cared to look.
But on the whole the impression was neither of tragedy nor of comedy. There was no describing it. It was manifold and various; there were tears and laughter, happiness and woe; it was tedious and interesting and indifferent; it was as you saw it: it was tumultuous and passionate; it was grave; it was sad and comic; it was trivial; it was simple and complex; joy was there and despair; the love of mothers for their children, and of men for women; lust trailed itself through the rooms with leaden feet, punishing the guilty and the innocent, helpless wives and wretched children; drink seized men and women and cost its inevitable price; death sighed in these rooms; and the beginning of life, filling some poor girl with terror and shame, was diagnosed there. There was neither good nor bad there. There were just facts. It was life.
The theologian may indulge the pleasing task of describing Religion as she descended from Heaven, arrayed in her native purity. A more melancholy duty is imposed on the historian. He must discover the inevitable mixture of error and corruption which she contracted in a long residence upon Earth, among a weak and degenerate race of beings.
We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men. Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.