Staked Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 249 quotes )
The trick to making a story matter is that every now and then, somebody you care about has to go. If it's somebody that you don't care about, then it doesn't really have - the stakes aren't there. But if you do that every now and then, then the story matters to people. And there are actual stakes involved, emotional stakes.
There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that that have nothing to lose. People who have stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.
Bridge-players tell me that there must be some money on the game 'or else people won't take it seriously'. Apparently it's like that. Your bid - for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity - will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high, until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world.
XXIXYou have set me among those who are defeated. I know it is not for me to win, nor to leave the game. I shall plunge into the pool although but to sink to the bottom. I shall play the game of my undoing. I shall stake all I have and when I lose my last penny I shall stake myself, and then I think I shall have won through my utter defeat.
The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German. from "Disappearance of Literature
Do you really think ... that it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations that it requires strength, strength and courage, to yield to. To stake all one's life on a single moment, to risk everything on one throw, whether the stake be power or pleasure, I care not -- there is no weakness in that.
But his kind will always lose in the end. I know this, and now I know why. Whether it's wife or nation they occupy, their mistake is the same: they stand still, and their stake moves underneath them.... Chains rattle, rivers roll, animals startle and bolt, forests inspire and expand, babies stretch open-mouthed from the womb, new seedlings arch their necks and creep forward into the light. Even a language won't stand still. A territory is only possessed for a moment in time. They stake everything on that moment, posing for photographs while planting the flag, casting themselves in bronze.... Even before the flagpole begins to peel and splinter, the ground underneath arches and slides forward into its own new destiny. It may bear the marks of boots on its back, but those marks become the possessions of the land.
I will be the first. As of tonight, I renounce my citizenship in the United Nations, and my allegiance to the Shelter state. From now on I will be a citizen--a citizen of no country but that bounded by the limits of my own mind. I do not know what those limits are, and I may never find out, but I shall devote my life to searching for them, in whatever manner seems good to me, and in no other manner whatsoever. You must do the same. Tear up your registration cards. If you are asked your serial number, tell them you never had one. Never fill in another form. Stay above ground when the siren sounds. Stake out plots; grow crops; abandon the corridors. Do not commit any violence; simply refuse to obey. Nobody has the. right to compel you, as non-citizens. Passivity is the key. Renounce, resist, deny!
Huddled in her mink in the Kansas City airport, she had a vision of women writing about sex as openly as male writers, but quite, quite differently. Some women would treat sex much as men did,as conquest, as adventure--in a way as McCarthy had. Other women would treat female sexuality far less romantically then men who did not consider themselves romantics, like Hemingway, were wont to. The earth would not move, no, there would be more biology and less theatrics. Women had less ego involvement in sex than men did, but far more at stake economically.
If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. He loves games? Let him play for stakes. This you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages, do you not think that this will be again? Aye. And again. With other people, with other sons.
I do not think I exaggerate when I say that some of us put our offering in the plate with a kind of triumphant bounce as much as to say: "There - now God will feel better!" I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have. He does not need a dime of your money. It is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as these. You have the right to keep what you have all to yourself - but it will rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you.
If we look on idly, heaven and earth will never be joined. To join heaven and earth, some decisive deed of purity is necessary. To accomplish so resolute an action, you have to stake your life, giving no thought to personal gain or loss. You have to turn into a dragon and stir up a whirlwind, tear the dark, brooding clouds asunder and soar up into the azure-blue sky.
God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, ie., everybody, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
Having a moment of clarity was one thing; I'd had moments like that before. It had to be followed with a dedicated push of daily exercise. It's a trite axiom, but practice DOES make perfect. If you want to be a strong swimmer or an accomplished musician, you have to practice. It's the same with sobriety, though the stakes are higher. If you don't practice your program every day, you're putting yourself in a position where you could fly out of the orbit one more time.
Everywhere was the atmosphere of a long debauch that had to end; the orchestras played too fast, the stakes were too high at the gambling tables, the players were so empty, so tired, secretly hoping to vanish together into sleep and ... maybe wake on a very distant morning and hear nothing, whatever, no shouting or crooning, find all things changed.
The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people nave enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.