Quotations About / On: DESPAIR

  • 31.
    Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference.
    (Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), British actor, screenwriter, director, and Orson Welles. Monsieur Henri Verdoux (Charles Chaplin), Monsieur Verdoux, said to The Girl (Marilyn Nash) after she has become wealthy and Verdoux has given up murder (1947).)
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  • 32.
    To be young is to live in the hope of escaping youth; to be old, in the despair of having succeeded.
    (José Bergamín (1895-1983), Spanish writer. El cohete y la estrella (The Rocket and the Star), p. 51, Madrid, Biblioteca de Indice (1923).)
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  • 33.
    Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man, and this immediately, though, of course, only in the case of complete and permanent humility.
    (Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 24, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
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  • 34.
    At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.
    (Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), U.S. fiction writer and essayist. Mystery and Manners, part 5 (1969). From "Novelist and Believer," a paper given in March 1963 at a symposium at Sweet Briar College, Virginia.)
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  • 35.
    Shakespeare was the great one before us. His place was between God and despair.
    (Eugène Ionesco (b. 1912), Rumanian-born French playwright. International Herald Tribune (Paris, June 17, 1988).)
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  • 36.
    Despair, feeding, as it always does, on phantasmagoria, is imperturbably leading literature to the rejection, en masse, of all divine and social laws, towards practical and theoretical evil.
    (Isidore Ducasse, Comte de Lautréamont (1846-1870), French author, poet. Poems, pt. 1 (1870).)
  • 37.
    It is closing time in the gardens of the West and from now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair.
    (Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. Horizon (London, Dec. 1949).)
  • 38.
    Rome took all the vanity out of me; for after seeing the wonders there, I felt too insignificant to live, and gave up all my foolish hopes in despair.
    (Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), U.S. author. Amy March, in Little Women, pt. 2, ch. 16 (1869).)
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  • 39.
    A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Economy," Walden (1854).)
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  • 40.
    Beside some philosophers of larger vision, Carlyle stands like an honest, half-despairing boy, grasping at some details only of their world systems.
    (Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Thomas Carlyle and His Works" (1847), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 348, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
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