Provoked Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 126 quotes )
Say a word, say a thousand to me on the telephone and I shall choose the wrong one to cling to as though you had said it after long deliberation when only I provoked it from you, I will cling to it from among a thousand, to be provoked and hurl it back with something I mean no more than you meant that, something for you to cling to and retreat clinging to.
In these days Melissa's absorbed and provoking gentleness had all the qualities of a rediscovered youth. Her long uncertain fingers - I used to feel them moving over my face when she thought I slept, as if to memorize the happiness we had shared. In her there was a pliancy, a resilience which was Oriental - a passion to serve. My shabby clothes - the way she picked up a dirty shirt seemed to engulf it with an overflowing solicitude; in the morning I found my razor beautifully cleaned and even the toothpaste laid upon the brush in readiness. Her care for me was a goad, provoking me to give my life some sort of shape and style that might match the simplicity of hers. Of her experiences in love she would never speak, turning from them with a weariness and distaste which suggested that they had been born of necessity rather than desire. She paid me the comlpiment of saying: "For the first time I am not afraid to be light-headed or foolish with a man".
The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth. Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.
(The presence of evil) in his life provokes him into either overcoming it or yielding to it. If the first, it has led him to work for his own improvement; if the second it has led him to acknowledge his own weakness. Sooner or later, the unpleasant consequences of such weakness will lead him to grapple with it, and develop his power of will...Immediately and directly, it may either strengthen him or weaken him. Ultimately, it can only strengthen him.
Elves are wonderful; they provoke wonder. Elves aremarvellous; they cause marvels. Elves are fantastic; they create fantasies. Elves are glamorous; they project glamour. Elves are enchanting; they weave enchantment. Elves sre terrific; they beget terror. The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning. No one ever said elves are nice. Elves are bad.
He discovered wonderful stories, also, about jewels. In Alphonso's Clericalis Disciplina a serpent was mentioned with eyes of real jacinth, and in the romantic history of Alexander, the Conqueror of Emathia was said to have found in the vale of Jordan snakes 'with collars of real emeralds growing on their backs.' There was a gem in the brain of the dragon, Philostratus told us, and 'by the exhibition of golden letters and a scarlet robe' the monster could be thrown into a magical sleep and slain. According to the great alchemist, Pierre de Boniface, the diamond rendered a man invisible, and the agate of India made him eloquent. The cornelian appeased anger, and the hyacinth provoked sleep, and the amethyst drove away the fumes of wine. The garnet cast out demons, and the hydropicus deprived the moon of her color. The selenite waxed and waned with the moon, and the meloceus, that discovers thieves, could be affected only by the blood of kids. Leonardus Camillus had seen a white stone taken from the brain of a newly killed toad, that was a certain antidote against poison. The bezoar, that was found in the heart of the Arabian deer, was a charm that could cure the plague. In the nests of Arabian birds was the aspirates, that, according to Democritus, kept the wearer from any danger by fire.
Look at us. We build giant highways and murderously fast cars for killing each other and committing suicide. Instead of bomb shelters we construct gigantic frail glass buildings all over Manhattan at Ground Zero, a thousand feet high, open to the sky, life a woman undressing before an intruder and provoking him to rape her. We ring Russia's borders with missile-launching pads, and then scream that she's threatening us. In all history there's never been a more lurid mass example of the sadist-masochist expression of the thanatos instinct than the present conduct of the United States. The Nazis by comparison were Eagle Scouts.
People might feel sorry for a man who's fallen on hard times, but when an entire nation is poor, the rest of the world assumes that all its people must be brainless, lazy, dirty, clumsy fools. Instead of pity, the people provoke laughter. It's all a joke: their culture, their customs, their practices. In time the rest of the world may, some of them, begin to feel ashamed for having thought this way, and when they look around and see immigrants from that poor country mopping their floors and doing all the other lowest paying jobs, naturally they worry about what might happen if these workers one day rose up against them. So, to keep things sweet, they start taking an interest in the immigrants' culture and sometimes even pretend they think of them as equals.
If the empire had been afflicted by any recent calamity, by a plague, a famine, or an unsuccessful war; if the Tiber had, or if the Nile had not, risen beyond its banks; if the earth had shaken, or if the temperate order of the seasons had been interrupted, the superstitious Pagans were convinced that the crimes and the impiety of the Christians, who were spared by the excessive lenity of the government, had at length provoked the divine justice.
Zachary's mother, Lucy, waylaid him on the third-floor landing and offered, unsolicited, her opinion that the Traumatics had been the kind of adolescently posturing, angst-mongering boy group that never interested her. Then she waited, with parted lips and a saucy challenge in her eyes, to see how her presence --the drama of being her-- was registering. In the way of such chicks, she seemed convinced of the originality of her provocation. Katz had encountered, practically verbatim, the same provocation a hundred times before, which put him in the ridiculous position now of feeling bad for being unable to pretend to be provoked: of pitying Lucy's doughty little ego, its floatation on a sea of aging-female insecurity. He doubted he could get anywhere with her even if he felt like trying, but he knew that her pride would be hurt if he didn't make at least a token effort to be disagreeable. (p. 194)
Menuret repeats an observation of Forestier's that clearly shows how an excessive loss of a humor, by drying out the vessels and fibers, may provoke a state of mania; this was the case of a young man who 'having married his wife in the summertime, became maniacal as a result of the excessive intercourse he had with her.
But nothing happened there now of a nature to provoke a disturbance. There were no complaints to the management or the police, and the dark glory of the upper galleries was a legend in such memories as that of the late Emiel Kroger and the present Pablo Gonzales, and one by one, of course, those memories died out and the legend died out with them. Places like the Joy Rio and the legends about them make one more than usually aware of the short bloom and the long fading out of things. ("The Mysteries of the Joy Rio")
Spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenellated heat. Above all else they appeared wholly at venture, primal, provisional, devoid of order. Like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondwanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all.
After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it. Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming famous for making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people.
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...)2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...)3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...)5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...)6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...)7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...)8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano. And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.[From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
I do not think I responded immediately, for it took me a moment or two to fully digest these words of Miss Kenton. Moreover, as you might appreciate, their implications were such as to provoke a certain degree of sorrow within me. Indeed- why should I not admit it? - at that moment, my heart was breaking.
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, makng the world more human and more fraternal.
Listening to the Gospel on Palm Sunday, it struck me that many people criticise Pontius Pilate for his role in the affair while letting the multitude go scot free. Pilate did what little he could to dissuade them from the extremely unpleasant course of action on which they were set, but the multitude kept shouting for a crucifixion. Pilate could not have done more without provoking a riot. The crucifixion when it happened was a victory for direct democracy against the effete, liberal paternalism of Pilate. If I am right, and the crucifixion be seen as an early victory for the principle of direct democracy, then it must follow... that good men should struggle to confound and frustrate the multitude whenever possible.
His lectures were always well attended, and not just because he imparted so much wisdom and knowledge: he also managed to do it with humour. It had taken Danny some time to realize that the professor enjoyed provoking discussion and argument by offering up outrageous statements to see what reaction he would arouse from his students.
Why should our rulers, normally phlegmatic men, react with sudden hysteria to the pinpricks of terrorism when for decades they were able to go about their everyday business unruffled, in full awareness that in a deep bunker somewhere in the Urals an enemy watched and waited with a finger on a button, ready if provoked to wipe them and their cities from the face of the earth?
Creatures naturally hate their fellow-creatures, and whenever their own interest requires it, harm them. We cannot therefore avoid hatred and injuries from men, while to a great extent we can avoid their scorn. This is why there is usually little point in the respect which young people and those new to the world pay to those they come across, not through mean-mindedness or any other form of self-interest, but through a benevolent desire not to provoke enmity and to win hearts. They do not fulfill this desire, and in some ways they harm their own repute, because the person who is so respected comes to have a greater idea of himself, and he who pays the respect a lesser idea of himself. He who does not look to men for usefulness or fame, should not look for love either, since he will not obtain it. If he wants my opinion, he should preserve his own dignity completely, giving to everyone no more than his due. Thus he will be somewhat more hated and persecuted than otherwise, but not often despised.
Let us suppose that I have wept, on account of some incident of which the other has not even become aware (to weep is part of the normal activity of the amorous body), and that, so this cannot be seen, I put on dark glasses to mask my swollen eyes (a fine example of denial: to darken the sight in order not to be seen). The intention of this gesture is a calculated one: I want to keep the moral advantage of stoicism, of “dignity” (I take myself for Clotilde de Vaux), and at the same time, contradictorily, I want to provoke the tender question (”But what’s the matter with you?”); I want to be both pathetic and admirable, I want to be at the same time a child and an adult. Thereby I gamble, I take a risk: for it is always possible that the other will simply ask no question whatever about these unaccustomed glasses; that the other will see, in the fact, no sign.