Innocence Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 828 quotes )
...innocence is not safe in a civilization like ours, where a man must practice a 'ruled undemonstrative distrustfulness' in order to defend himself against traps. This 'ruled undemonstrative distrustfulness' is not confined to business men, but exists everywhere. We all exercise it. I know I do, and I should be surprised if you, who are listening to me, didn't. All we can do (and Melville gives us this hint) is to exercise it consciously, as Captain Vere did. It is unconscious distrustfulness that corrodes the heart and destroys the heart's insight, and prevents it from saluting goodness.
I still don't know which way I would teach you. I was once so free and innocent. I too laughed for no reason. But later I threw away my foolish innocence to protect myself. And then I taught my daughter, your mother, to shed her innocence so she would not be hurt as well. Hwai dungsyi, was this kind of thinking wrong? If I now recognize evil in other people, is it not because I have become evil too? If I see someone has a suspicious nose, have I not smelled the same bad things?...Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.
You know what my father said about innocent clients? ... He said the scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you fuck up and he goes to prison, it'll scar you for life ... He said there is no in-between with an innocent client. No negotiation, no plea bargain, no middle ground. There's only one verdict. You have to put an NG up on the scoreboard. There's no other verdict but not guilty."Levin nodded thoughtfully."The bottom line was my old man was a damn good lawyer and he didn't like having innocent clients," I said. "I'm not sure I do, either.
Kurt Vonnegut to Shakespeare: I asked him if he had love affairs with men as well as women, knowing how eager my WNYC audience was to have this matter settled. His answer, however, celebrated affection between animals of any sort:"We were as twinn'd lambs that did frisk in the sun, and bleat the one at the other: what we chang'd was innocence for innocence." By changed he meant exchanged: "What we exchanged was innocence for innocence." That has to be the softest core pornography I ever heard.
There are no moments more painful for a parent than those in which you contemplate your child's perfect innocence of some imminent pain, misfortune, or sorrow. That innocence (like every kind of innocence children have) is rooted in their trust of you, one that you will shortly be obliged to betray; whether it is fair or not, whether you can help it or not, you are always the ultimate guarantor or destroyer of that innocence.
... 'But Gold was not all. The other kings bring Frank Innocence and Mirth.' | Darcourt was startled, then delighted. 'That is very fine, Yerko; is it your own?' | 'No, it is in the story. I saw it in New York. The kings say, We bring you Gold, Frank Innocence, and Mirth.' | 'Sancta simplicitas,' said Darcourt, raising his eyes to mine. 'If only there were more Mirth in the message He has left to us. We miss it sadly, in the world we have made. And Frank Innocence. Oh, Yerko, you dear man.' ...
I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows that he cannot say to her "I love you madly", because he knows that she knows (and that she knows he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still there is a solution. He can say "As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly". At this point, having avoided false innocence, having said clearly it is no longer possible to talk innocently, he will nevertheless say what he wanted to say to the woman: that he loves her in an age of lost innocence.
It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection," and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.
We are born one time only, we can never start a new life equipped with the experience we've gained from the previous one. We leave childhood without knowing what youth is, we marry without knowing what it is to be married, and even when we enter old age, we don't know what it is we're heading for: the old are innocent children innocent of thier old age. In that sense, man's world is the planet of inexperience.
That was my first instinct -- to protect him. It never occurred to me that there was a greater need to protect myself. Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.