Fifteenth Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 17 quotes )
We wanted to blast the world free of history.... picture yourself planting radishes and seed potatoes on the fifteenth green of a forgotten golf course. You'll hunt elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center, and dig clams next to the skeleton of the Space Needle leaning at a forty-five degree angle. We'll paint the skyscrapers with huge totem faces and goblin tikis, and every evening what's left of mankind will retreat to empty zoos and lock itself in cages as protection against the bears and big cats and wolves that pace and watch us from outside the cage bars at night.
He belonged to a walled city of the fifteenth century, a city of narrow, cobbled streets, and thin spires, where the inhabitants wore pointed shoes and worsted hose. His face was arresting, sensitive, medieval in some strange inexplicable way, and I was reminded of a portrait seen in a gallery I had forgotten where, of a certain Gentleman Unknown. Could one but rob him of his English tweeds, and put him in black, with lace at his throat and wrists, he would stare down at us in our new world from a long distant past—a past where men walked cloaked at night, and stood in the shadow of old doorways, a past of narrow stairways and dim dungeons, a past of whispers in the dark, of shimmering rapier blades, of silent, exquisite courtesy.
A rowboat, without oars. An outboard motor. As you can sit there for years, forever, with that outboard motor, pulling again, and yet again, that rope, or cord, or wire, or whatever it is, and winding yet again, and each time, every single time, the motor, though it may give a cough or two, will fail to start, though if it starts, and when it starts, you are, at whatever speed you choose, within the engine's limits and the hazards of the course, well on your way, until it starts you are no nearer where you were going on the fifteenth try than on the first; the enterprise may last forever, and never yet quite begin. The fact seems to be, however, that unless some apparently unrelated event should intervene -- a bullet, a heart attack, a cry from shore that dinner's ready, or company has come, or junior's run away -- the engine will eventually start. In the meantime, though, while you have been intensely busy, it is difficult to account for how the time is spent.
I will not subscribe to the argument that ornament increases the pleasure of the life of a cultivated person, or the argument which covers itself with the words: “But if the ornament is beautiful! ...” To me, and to all the cultivated people, ornament does not increase the pleasures of life. If I want to eat a piece of gingerbread I will choose one that is completely plain and not a piece which represents a baby in arms of a horserider, a piece which is covered over and over with decoration. The man of the fifteenth century would not understand me. But modern people will. The supporter of ornament believes that the urge for simplicity is equivalent to self-denial. No, dear professor from the College of Applied Arts, I am not denying myself! To me, it tastes better this way.
But now that I am old, moving every year closer to the end of my life, I also feel closer to the beginning. And I remember everything that happened that day becasue it has happened many times in my life. The same innocence, trust, and restlessness; the wonder, fear, and lonliness. How I lost myself. I remember all these things. And tonight, on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, I also remember what I asked the Moon Lady so long ago. I wished to be found.
The sixth of January, 1482, is not, however, a day of which history has preserved the memory. There was nothing notable in the event which thus set the bells and the bourgeois of Paris in a ferment from early morning. It was neither an assault by the Picards nor the Burgundians, nor a hunt led along in procession, nor a revolt of scholars in the town of Laas, nor an entry of “our much dread lord, monsieur the king,” nor even a pretty hanging of male and female thieves by the courts of Paris. Neither was it the arrival, so frequent in the fifteenth