Whenever a mind is simple and receives an old wisdom, old things pass away,means, teachers, texts, temples fall; it lives now, and absorbs past and future into present hour. All things are made sacred by relation to it,one as much as another.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Self-Reliance," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).)
The fact is that all writers create their precursors. Their work modifies our conception of the past, just as it is bound to modify the future.
(Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), Argentinian author. "Kafka and His Precursors" ["Kafka y sus precursores"], Other Inquisitions [Otras inquisiciones] (1952).
Cf. also the essay on Hawthorne in the same volume, in which Borges says: "Wakefield" prefigures Franz Kafka, but the latter modifies, and sharpens, the reading of "Wakefield." The debt is mutual; a great writer creates his or her precursors. He or she creates them and in some fashion justifies them.)
Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions.
(André Breton (1896-1966), French surrealist. repr. In Manifestos of Surrealism (1969). "Second Manifesto of Surrealism," (1930).)
We have all heard of Young America. He is the most current youth of the age.
Some think him conceited, and arrogant; but has he not reason to entertain a rather extensive opinion of himself? Is he not the inventor and owner of the present, and sole hope of the future?
(Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. second lecture on discoveries and inventions, Feb. 11, 1859. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 356, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).)