Quotations About / On: BIRTH

  • 61.
    If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.
    (Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. journal entry, Jan. 24, 1922. The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923, ed. Max Brod (1948).)
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  • 62.
    An idea's birth is legitimate if one has the feeling that one is catching oneself plagiarizing oneself.
    (Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).)
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  • 63.
    Well, there's no one at all, they do be saying, but is deserving of some punishment from the very minute of his birth.
    (Augusta, Lady Gregory (1859-1932), Irish playwright, director. O'Malley, in Shanwalla, act 2.)
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  • 64.
    It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not.
    (Jean De La Bruyère (1645-1696), French writer, moralist. Characters, "Of Personal Merit," aph. 21 (1688).)
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  • 65.
    One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
    (Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), British novelist. "Hours in a Library," Times Literary Supplement (London, November 30, 1916).)
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  • 66.
    And Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men too, when they, at their birth, have grey hair on their temples.
    (Hesiod (c. 8th century B.C.), Greek didactic poet. Works and Days, 180-181.)
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  • 67.
    But ancient insolence is wont to bear an insolence that has its youth among human miseries, sooner or later, when the fixed time of birth is come.
    (Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.), Greek tragedian. Agamemnon, l. 764.)
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  • 68.
    Thus do I want man and woman to be: the one fit to wage war and the other fit to give birth, but both fit to dance with head and feet.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 264, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Third Part, "On Old and New Tablets," section 23 (1884).)
  • 69.
    A small boy puts his hand on the wall, and looks down intently as he wriggles his toes. The birth of thought?
    (Mason Cooley (b. 1927), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Fifth Selection, New York (1988).)
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  • 70.
    No phallic hero, no matter what he does to himself or to another to prove his courage, ever matches the solitary, existential courage of the woman who gives birth.
    (Andrea Dworkin (b. 1946), U.S. feminist critic. Speech, first delivered to Queens College, City University of New York, March 12, 1975. "The Sexual Politics of Fear and Courage," published in Our Blood, ch. 5 (1976).)
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