Orientation Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 154 quotes )
Modern Orientalism embodies a systematic discipline of accumulation. Far from this being exclusively an intellectual or theoretical feature, it made Orientalism tend fatally towards the systematic accumulation of human beings and territories. To reconstruct a dead or lost Oriental language meant ultimately to reconstruct a dead or neglected Orient; it also meant that reconstructive precision, science, even imagination could prepare the way for what armies, administrators, and bureaucracies would later do on the ground.
The Orient and Islam have a kind of extrareal, phenomenologically reduced status that puts them out of reach of everyone except the Western expert. From the beginning of Western speculation about the Orient, the one thing th orient could not do was to represent itself. Evidence of the Orient was credible only after it had passed through and been made firm by the refining fire of the Orientalist’s work.
I was in the army.... We went to fight a bad white man, or so the whites told us. We had meetings that were called orientation and education. There were films. It was to show us how this bad white man was doing terrible things in his country. Everybody was angry after the films, and eager to fight. Except me. I was only there because the army paid more than an Indian can earn anywhere else. So I was not angry, but puzzled. There was nothing that this white leader did that the white leaders in this country do not also do. They told us about a place named Lidice. It was much like Wounded Knee. They told us of families moved thousands of miles to be destroyed. It was much like the Trail of Tears. They told us of how this man ruled his nation, so that none dared disobey him. It was much like the way white men work in corporations in New York City, as Sam has described it to me. I asked another soldier about this, a black white man. He was easier to talk to than the regular white man. I asked him what he thought of the orientation and education. He said it was shit, and he spoke from the heart! I thought about it a long time, and I knew he was right. The orientation and education was shit.
He would have admired one of those fantastic visions, those magic apparitions one sometimes sees in the great theaters of Europe, in which the deafening melodies of an orchestra are made to appear among a deluge of light, a torrent of oriental diamonds and gold surrounded by a diaphanous mist, from which a deity, a sylph comes forward, her feet barely touching the floor encircled and accompanied by a luminous cloud. In her wake flowers shoot forth, a dance bursts out, harmonies awaken, and choirs of devils, nymphs, satyrs, spirits, country maidens, angels, and shepherds dance, shake tambourines gesticulate wildly, and lay tribute at the goddess’s feet.
The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of the body. The child's primary business is learning. It is also the primary entertainment. To retain that orientation into adulthood, so that consciousness is not a burden but a joy, is the mark of the successfully developed human being.
From Orient PointThe art of living isn't hard to muster: Enjoy the hour, not what it might portend. When someone makes you promises, don't trust herunless they're in the here and now, and just herwilling largesse free-handed to a friend. The art of living isn't hard to muster: groom the old dog, her coat gets back its luster; take brisk walks so you're hungry at the end. When someone makes you promises, don't trust herto know she can afford what they will cost herto keep until they're kept. Till then, pretendthe art of living isn't hard to muster. Cooking, eating and drinking are a clusterof pleasures. Next time, don't go round the bendwhen someone makes you promises. Don't trust herpast where you'd trust yourself, and don't adjust herwords to mean more to you than she'd intend. The art of living isn't hard to muster. You never had her, so you haven't lost herlike spare house keys. Whatever she opens, when someone makes you promises, don't. Trust yourart; go on living: that's not hard to muster.
A wonderful point in favor of some kind of hereafter is this: When the mind rejects as childishly absurd a paradise with musical angels or abstract colonnades with Horace and Milton in togas conversing and walking together through the eternal twilight, or the protracted voluptas of the orient or any other eternity -- such as the one with devils and porcupines -- we forget that if we could have imagined life before living it would have seemed more improbable than all our hereafters
But the dignity of human life is unbreakably linked to the existence of the personal-infinite God. It is because there is a personal-infinite God who has made men and women in His own image that they have a unique dignity of life as human beings. Human life then is filled with dignity, and the state and humanistically oriented law have no right and no authority to take human life arbitrarily in the way it is being taken.
Such was the Arab of the desert, the dweller in tents, in whom was fulfilled the prophetic destiny of his ancestor Ishmael. " He will be a wild man ; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him." Nature had fitted him for his destiny. His form was light and meagre, but sinewy and active, and capable oi sustaining great fatigue and hardship. He was temper- ate and even abstemious, requiring but little food, and that of the simplest kind. His mind, like his body, was light and agile. He eminently possessed the intellectual attributes of the Shemitic race, penetrating sagacity, sub- tle wit, a ready conception, and a brilliant imagination. His sensibilities were quick and acute, though not last- ing ; a proud and daring spirit was stamped on his sal- low visage and flashed from his dark and kindling eye. He was easily aroused by the appeals of eloquence, and charmed by the graces of poetry. Speaking a language copious in the extreme, the words of which have been com- pared to gems and flowers, he was naturally an orator ; but he delighted in proverbs and apothegms, rather than in sustained flights of declamation, and was prone to con-vey his ideas in the oriental style, by apologue and parable.
The Greeks were the first mathematicians who are still ‘real’ to us to-day. Oriental mathematics may be an interesting curiosity, but Greek mathematics is the real thing. The Greeks first spoke a language which modern mathematicians can understand: as Littlewood said to me once, they are not clever schoolboys or ‘scholarship candidates’, but ‘Fellows of another college’. So Greek mathematics is ‘permanent’, more permanent even than Greek literature. Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. ‘Immortality’ may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean.
His overriding life necessity was not love, it was his profession…He had come to medicine not by coincidence or calculation but by a deep inner desire. Insofar as it is possible to divide people into categories, the surest criterion is the deep-seated desires that orient them to one or another lifelong activity. Every Frenchman is different. But all the actors the world over are similar.
All my other current friends were "intellectuals"––Chad the Nietzschean anthropologist, Carlo Marx and his nutty surrealist low-voiced serious staring talk, Old Bull Lee and his critical anti-everything drawl––or else they were slinking criminals like Elmer Hassel, with that hip sneer; Jane Lee the same, sprawled on the Oriental cover of her couch, sniffing at the New Yorker. But Dean's intelligence was every bit as formal and shining and complete, without the tedious intellectualness. And his "criminality" was not something that sulked and sneered; it was a wild yea-saying overburst of American joy; it was Western, the west wind, an ode from the Plains, something new, long prophesied, long a-coming. Besides, all my New York friends were in the negative, nightmare position of putting down society and giving their tired bookish or political or psychoanalytical reasons, but Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love; he didn't care one way or the other.
Now, there is a tendency at a point like this to look over one’s shoulder at the cover artist and start going on at length about leather, tightboots and naked blades. Words like ‘full’, ‘round’ and even ‘pert’ creep into the narrative, until the writer has to go and have a cold shower and a lie down. Which is all rather silly, because any woman setting out to make a living by the sword isn’t about to go around looking like something off the cover of the more advanced kind of lingerie catalogue for the specialized buyer. Oh well, all right. The point that must be made is that although Herrena the Henna-Haired Harridan would look quite stunning after a good bath, a heavy-duty manicure, and the pick of the leather racks in Woo Hun Ling’s Oriental Exotica and Martial Aids on Heroes Street, she was currently quite sensibly dressed in light chain mail, soft boots, and a short sword. All right, maybe the boots were leather. But not black.
And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and went into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself; for the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for such as have the light and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear withal; for the heathen in the far islands of the sea; and closed with a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a grateful harvest of good. Amen.