Coherent Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 88 quotes )
Any battle-seasoned general will tell you that, even in a small-scale engagement (as this one was), there always comes a point where coherence breaks down, and the narrative flow, and any real sense of how things are going. These matters are re-created by historians later on. The need to re-create the myth of coherence may be one of the reasons why history exists in the first place.
It seems to me that we do live in two worlds... there is this physical one, which is coherant, and there is the spiritual one, which to the average man with his flashes of religious experience, is very often incoherant. This experience of having two worlds to live in all the time, or not all the time, is a vital one, and is what living is like.
As we grow older we become more conscious of the complexity, incoherence, and unreasonableness of human beings; this indeed is the only excuse that offers for the middle-aged or elderly writer, whose thoughts should more properly be turned to graver matters, occupying himself with the trivial concerns of imaginary people. For if the proper study of mankind is man it is evidently more sensible to occupy yourself with the coherent, substantial, and significant creatures of fiction than with the irrational and shadowy figures of real life.
The exegesis Fat labored on month after month struck me as a Pyrrhic victory if there ever was one -- in this case an attempt by a beleaguered mind to make sense out of the inscrutable. Perhaps this is the bottom line to mental illness: incomprehensible events occur; your life becomes a bin for hoax-like fluctuations of what used to be reality. And not only that -- as if that weren't enough -- but you, like Fat, ponder forever over these fluctuations in an effort to order them into a coherency, when in fact the only sense they make is the sense you impose on them, out of necessity to restore everything into shapes and processes you can recognize. The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know.
Freedom! To fill people's mailboxes, eyes, ears and brains with commercial rubbish against their will, television programs that are impossible to watch with a sense of coherence. Freedom! To force information on people, taking no account of their right not to accept it or their right of peace of mind. Freedom! To spit in the eyes and souls of passersby with advertisements.
Quick work doesn't mean less serious work, it depends on one's self-confidence and experience. In the same way Jules Gurard, the lion hunter, says in his book that in the beginning young lions have a lot of trouble killing a horse or an ox, but that the old lions kill with a single blow of the paw or a well-placed bite, and that they are amazingly sure at the job... I must warn you that everyone will think that I work too fast. Don't you believe a word of it. Is it not emotion, the sincerity of one's feeling for nature, that draws us, and if the emotions are sometimes so strong that one works without knowing one works, when sometimes the strokes come with a continuity and coherence like words in a speech or a letter, then one must remember that it has not always been so, and that in time to come there will again be hard days, empty of inspiration. So one must strike while the iron is hot, and put the forged bars on one side.
If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easierfor you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness, awakeness, and knowledge.
There's no chance of their having a conscious glimpse of the truth as long as they refuse to disturb the things they take for granted and remain incapable of explaining them. For if your starting-point is unknown, and your end-point and intermediate stages are woven together out of unknown material, there may be coherence, but knowledge is completely out of the question.
The bricoleur, says Levi-Strauss, is someone who uses ‘the means at hand,’ that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous – and so forth. There is therefor a critique of language in the form of bricolage, and it has even been said that bricolage is critical language itself…If one calls bricolage the necessity of borrowing one’s concepts from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is bricoleur.
There it was: the tactless severity of vital male youth, not a single doubt about his coherence, blind with self-confidence and the virtue of knowing what matters most. The ruthless sense of necessity. The annihilating impulse in the face of an obstacle. Those grand grandstand days when you shrink from nothing and you're only right. Everything is a target; you're on the attack; and you, and you alone, are right.
To save myself, I would try to summon up a vision of Mattie, but I could not see her. I could not imagine her. Some nights in the midst of this loneliness I swung among the scattered stars at the end of the thin thread of faith alone. And then I would wake up and be in awe to see the daylight coming and my old familiar workaday life taking shape again in the dear world. Coherence and clarity returned. I could imagine myself again. I could imagine Mattie Chatham. I could imagine Port William.
Now, it would be wholly foolish to deny the existence of laws of nature. And if that is what we are talking about when we say God, then no one can possibly be an atheist, or at least anyone who would profess atheism would have to give a coherent argument about why the laws of nature are inapplicable. I think he or she would be hard-pressed. So with this latter definition of God, we all believe in God.
Literature presents you with alternate mappings of the human experience. You see that the experiences of other people and other cultures are as rich, coherent, and troubled as your own experiences. They are as beset with suffering as yours. Literature is a kind of legitimate voyeurism through the keyhole of language where you really come to know other people's lives--their anguish, their loves, their passions. Often you discover that once you dive into those lives and get below the surface, the veneer, there is a real closeness.
By now it was too late to call St. Jude. He chose an out-of-the-way patch of airport carpeting and lay it down to sleep. He didn't understand what had happened to him. He felt like a piece of paper that had once had coherent writing on it but had been through the wash. He felt roughened, bleached and worn out along the fold lines. He semi-dreamed of disembodied eyes and isolated mouths in ski masks. He'd lost track of what he wanted, and since who a person was was what a person wanted, you could say that he'd lost track of himself.
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.
At first he had appreciated only the material quality of the sounds which those instruments secreted. And it had been a source of keen pleasure when, below the narrow ribbon the violin part, delicate, unyielding, substantial and governing the whole, he had suddenly perceived, where it was trying to surge upwards in a flowing tide of sound, the mass of the piano-part, multiform, coherent, level, and breaking everywhere in melody like the deep blue tumult of the sea, silvered and charmed into a minor key by the moonlight. But at a given moment, without being able to distinguish any clear outline, or to give a name to what was pleasing him, suddenly enraptured, he had tried to collect, to treasure in his memory the phrase or harmony—he knew not which—that had just been played, and had opened and expanded his soul, just as the fragrance of certain roses, wafted upon the moist air of evening, has the power of dilating our nostrils.
They've discovered how to turn excess body fat into gold," he said, in a sudden blur of coherence."You're kidding.""Oh yes," he said, "no," he corrected himself, "they have."He rounded on the doubting part of his audience, which was all of it, and so it took a little while to round on it completely."Have you been to California?" he demanded. "Do you know the sort of stuff they do there?"Three members of his audience said they had and that he was talking nonsense."You haven't seen anything," insisted Arthur. "Oh yes," he added, because someone was offering to buy another round.
In spite of all the refinements of civilization that conspired to make art--the dizzying perfection of the string quartet or the sprawling grandeur of Fragonard's canvases--beauty was savage. It was as dangerous and lawless as the earth had been eons before man had one single coherent thought in his head or wrote codes of conduct on tablets of clay. Beauty was a Savage Garden.
In Tar Baby, the classic concept of the individual with a solid, coherent identity is eschewed for a model of identity which sees the individual as a kaleidoscope of heterogeneous impulses and desires, constructed from multiple forms of interaction with the world as a play of difference that cannot be completely comprehended.
Postmodernity is said to be a culture of fragmentary sensations, eclectic nostalgia, disposable simulacra, and promiscuous superficiality, in which the traditionally valued qualities of depth, coherence, meaning, originality, and authenticity are evacuated or dissolved amid the random swirl of empty signals.