Detail Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 628 quotes )
Am I mistaken to think that even back then, in the vivid present, the fullness of life stirred our emotions to an extraordinary extent? Has anywhere since so engrossed you in its ocean of details? The detail, the immensity of the detail, the force of the detail, the weight of the detailthe rich endlessness of detail surrounding you in your young life like the six feet of dirt that’ll be packed on your grave when you’re dead
Don't worry,' he said. 'So long as the facts are there, I can write the story. But please,' he added, 'let me have plenty of detail. That's what counts in our business, tiny little details, like you had a broken shoelace on your left shoe, or a fly settled on the rim of your glasses at lunch, or the man you were talking to had a broken front tooth...
When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children, in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you're expected to move again only you don't remember what moves you because no one has asked in so long. Not even yourself.
Is this Tree of Life a God one could worship? Pray to? Fear? Probably not. But it did make the ivy twine and the sky so blue, so perhaps the song I love tells a truth after all. The Tree of Life is neither perfect nor infinite in space or time, but it is actual, and if it is not Anselm's "Being greater than which nothing can be conceived," it is surely a being that is greater than anything any of us will ever conceive of in detail worthy of its detail. Is something sacred? Yes, say I with Nietzsche. I could not pray to it, but I can stand in affirmation of its magnificence. This world is sacred.
And if I'm guilty of having gratuitous sex, then I'm also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes. A novel for me is an immersive experience where I feel as if I have lived it and that I've tasted the food and experienced the sex and experienced the terror of battle. So I want all of the detail, all of the sensory things—whether it's a good experience, or a bad experience, I want to put the reader through it. To that mind, detail is necessary, showing not telling is necessary, and nothing is gratuitous.
If astronomy teaches anything, it teaches that man is but a detail in the evolution of the universe, and the resemblant though diverse details are inevitably to be expected in the hosts of orbs around him. He learns that, though he will probably never find his double anywhere, he is destined to discover any number of cousins scattered through space.
Our visual cortexes are wired to quickly recognize faces and then quickly subtract massive amounts of detail from them, zeroing in on their essential message: Is this person happy? Angry? Fearful? Individual faces may vary greatly, but a smirk on one is a lot like a smirk on another. Smirks are conceptual, not pictorial. Our brains are like cartoonists - and cartoonists are like our brains, simplifying and exaggerating, subordinating facial detail to abstract comic concepts.
And in every detail of your life, if no ultimate purpose redeemed it, there was a quality of greyness, of desolation, that could never be described, but which you could feel like a physical pang at your heart. Life, if the grave really ends it, is monstrous and dreadful. No use trying to argue it away. Think of life as it really is, think of the details of life; and then think that there is no meaning in it, no purpose, no goal except the grave. Surely only fools or self-deceivers, or those whose lives are exceptionally fortunate, can face that thought without flinching?
I had no respect whatsoever for the creative works of either the painter or the novelist. I thought Karabekian with his meaningless pictures had entered into a conspiracy with millionaires to make poor people feel stupid. I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.
I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, it’s madness. Ultimately, in the history of [the] world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much.
you have to be able to answer those questions plainly and clearly. There can be qualifications and “get-outs,” but the answers must remain comprehensible, because they define you. They add up to a political, not merely personal, character. This requires thought, detailed analysis and intellectual rigour. Politics is a far more intellectual business than is often realized. You may think: Well, if it’s simplicity that’s required, you don’t need a whole lot of detail. Wrong. The simplicity is not born of superficial analysis. It is simple precisely because it is the product of being worked through.
Fragments of a vessel which are to be glued together must match one another in the smallest details, although they need not be like one another. In the same way a translation, instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original's mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel.
... There, in his foul, stinking cellar, our offended, down-trodden and ridiculed mouse immerses himself in cold, venomous and, cheifly, everlasting spite. For forty years on end he will remember the offence, down to the smallest and most shameful detail, constantly adding more shameful details of his own, maliciously teasing and irritating himself with his own fantasies. He himself will be ashamed of his fantasies, but nevertheless he will remember all of them, weighing them up and inventing all sorts of things that never happend to him, on the pretext that they too could have happend and he'll forgive nothing. Probably he'll start taking his revenge, but somehow in fits and starts, pettily, anonymously, from behind the stove, believing neither in his right to take revenge, nor in the success of his revenge and knowing beforehand that he will suffer one hundred times more from every single one of his attempts at revenge than the object of his revenge, who, most likely, wont't give a damn.
Education can help us only if it produces "whole men." The truly educated man is not a man who knows a bit of everything, not even the man who knows all the details of all subjects (if such a thing were possible): the "whole man," in fact, may have very little detailed knowledge of facts & theories...but he will be truly in touch with the centre. He will not be in doubt about his basic convictions, about his view on the meaning and purpose of his life. He may not be able to explain these matters in words, but the conduct of his life will show a certain sureness of touch which stems from his inner clarity.
Everything he had ever done that had been better left undone. Every lie he had told? told to himself, or told to others. Every little hurt, and all the great hurts. Each one was pulled out of him, detail by detail, inch by inch. The demon stripped away the cover of forgetfulness, stripped everything down to truth, and it hurt more than anything.
If for instance the sentiment possessing for the moment the empire of our mind is sorrow, will not the genius sharpen the sorrow and the sorrow purify the genius? Together, will they not be like a cut diamond for which language is only the wax on which they stamp their imprint? I believe that genius, thus awakened, has no need to seek out details, that it scarcely pauses to reflect, that it never thinks of unity: I believe that the details come naturally without search by the poet, that inspiration takes the place of reflection and as for unity, I think there is no unity so perfect as that which results from a heart filled with a single idea...The nature of genius is related to that of instinct; it's operation is both simple and marvelous.