Particular Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 2066 quotes )
It's no wonder we don't defend the land where we live. We don't live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.
That's what art is, he said, the story of a life in all its particularity. It's the only thing that really is particular and personal. It's the expression and, at the same time, the fabric of the particular. And what do you mean by the fabric of the particular? I asked, supposing he would answer: Art. I was also thinking, indulgently, that we were pretty drunk already and that it was time to go home. But my friend said: What I mean is the secret story.... The secret story is the one we'll never know, although we're living it from day to day, thinking we're alive, thinking we've got it all under control and the stuff we overlook doesn't matter. But every damn thing matters! It's just that we don't realize. We tell ourselves that art runs on one track and life, our lives, on another, we don't even realize that's a lie.
Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself? educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.
A novel, in which all is created by the author's whim, must strike a more profound level of truth, or it is worthless."And yet, I have heard you say that any novel that relieves your ennui for an hour has proved its usefulness."You have a good memory. It must have been ten thousands of years ago that I uttered those words."And if it was?"In another ten thousand, perhaps I will agree with them again."In my opinion, the proper way to judge a novel is this: Does it give one an accurate reflection of the moods and characteristics of a particular group of people in a particular place at a particular time? If so, it has value. Otherwise, it has none."You do not find this rather narrow?"Mada?"Well?"I was quoting you.
But will anyone again look at that tree, read that poem, love a dog in quite my way? I am a particular and, despite the commonness of all people, a unique person in the way I perceive and think and appreciate, and I am sad that this particularity shall before too long be gone. This is not arrogance; it is the simple truth, known to anyone who has loved a person dead in the fullness of her life: what we miss is the particularity, that unique voice. [pp. 184-185]
And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.
Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.
For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic'd reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu'd, which he calls himself; tho' I am certain there is no such principle in me.
...Man has a tyrant, ignorance. I voted for the demise of that particular tyrant. That particular tyrant has engendered royalty, which is authority based on falsehood, whereas science is authority based on truth. Man should be governed by science alone."And conscience," added the bishop."It's the same thing. Conscience is the quota of innate science we each have inside us.
I felt suddenly that 'this sort of thing' would kill me. The definition of the cause was vague, but the thought itself was no mere morbid artificiality of sentiment but a genuine conviction. 'That sort of thing' was what I would have to die from. It wouldn't be from the innumerable doubts. Any sort of certitude would be also deadly. It wouldn't be from a stab—a kiss would kill me as surely. It would not be from a frown or from any particular word or any particular act—but from having to bear them all, together and in succession—from having to live with 'that sort of thing.' About the time I finished with my neck-tie I had done with life too.
Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial scheme again, Mr. Darnay?"I am frightfully confused regarding time and place, but I am so far mended as to feel that."It must be an immense satisfaction!"He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again: which was a large one."As to me, the greatest desire I have is to forget that I belong to it. It has no good in it for me--except wine like this--nor I for it. So we are not much alike in that particular. Indeed, I begin to think we are not much alike in any particular, you and I.
My needlework teacher suffered from a problem of vision. She recognised things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, sea and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she'd either not see it at all, or call it Mrs. Jones and talk about fishcakes. But most likely, she's do what most people do when confronted with something they don't understand. Panic.
We don't need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They're always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.
What could I do? My needlework teacher suffered from a problem of vision. She recognised things according to expectation and environment. If you were in a particular place, you expected to see particular things. Sheep and hills, sea and fish; if there was an elephant in the supermarket, she’d either not see it at all, or call it Mrs Jones and talk about fishcakes. But most likely, she’d do what most people do when confronted with something they don’t understand: Panic.
Henry liked to put to himself when he was a schoolboy: what are the chances of this particular fish, from that shoal, off that continental shelf ending up in the pages of this copy of the Daily Mirror? Something just short of infinity to one. Similarly, the grains of sand on a beach, arranged just so. The random ordering of the world, the unimaginable odds against any particular condition, still please him. Even as a child, and especially after Aberfan, he never believed in fate or providence, or the future being made by someone in the sky. Instead, at every instant, a trillion trillion possible futures; the pickiness of pure chance and physical laws seemed like freedom from the scheming of a gloomy god.
Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint...They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems.
I have never had much need for companionship, unless it was the companionship of someone I could call a friend. Certainly I have seldom wished the conversation of strangers or the sight of strange faces. I believe rather that when I was alone I felt I had in some fashion lost my individuality; to the thrush and the rabbit I had been not Severian, but Man. The many people who like to be utterly alone, and particularly to be utterly alone in a wilderness, do so, I believe, because they enjoy playing that part. But I wanted to be a particular person again, and so I sought the mirror of other persons, which would show me that I was not as they were.