Fifteenth Tuesday Quotables

Tagged as Milosz, Quotes

Written on 2007-08-28 14:26:18

I feel compelled to post a translation of last week's quote from Simone Weil. It's a gorgeous quote:

"The case of true contradictions: God exists, God does not exist. I am absolutely sure that there is a God, in the sense that I am absolutely sure my love is not an illusion. I am absolutely sure that there is no God, in the sense that I am absolutely sure nothing real resembles what I can conceive when I pronounce that name. And yet something I cannot conceive is not an illusion." - Simone Weil, Unattainable Earth, p.117

"For me the principal proof of the existence of God is the joy I experience any time I think that God is." - Rene Le Senne, Unattainable Earth, p.82

I've been needing lots of Milosz lately. It's good stuff.

"How do we live on the surface pretending not to feel the terror? In this epoch which I have experienced and which has not been narrated? In this night and not any other destiny, my own, of which I think at night, unable to tell the verdict from chance. How can we be so restrained, conversing in cautious words?" - Czeslaw Milosz, Unattainable Earth, p.62

"Since my youth I have tried to capture in words a reality such as I contemplated walking the streets of a human city and I have never succeeded; that is why each of my poems seems to me the token of an unaccomplished oeuvre. I learned early that language does not adhere to what we really are, that we move in a big make-believe which is maintained by books and pages of newsprint. And every one of my efforts to say something real ended the same way, by my being driven back to the enclosure of form, as if I were a sheep straying from the flock." - Czeslaw Milosz, Unattainable Earth, p.32

"Who will assure me that I perceive the world the same way other people do? It is not improbable that I am a deviation from the norm, an oddity, a mutation, and that I have no access to what they experience. And if that is the case, what right do I have to pronounce general opinions on man, history, the difference between good and evil, society, systems; as if I did not guess that my difference, though hidden, influences my judgments, changes proportions?" - Czeslaw Milosz, Unattainable Earth, p.63
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