What angels invented these splendid ornaments, these rich conveniences, this ocean of air above, this ocean of water beneath, this firmament of earth between? this zodiac of lights, this tent of dropping clouds, this striped coat of climates, this fourfold year?
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Nature, ch. 2 (1836, revised and repr. 1849).)
Let my style capture all the sounds of my time. This should make it an annoyance to my contemporaries. But later generations should hold it to their ears like a seashell in which there is the music of an ocean of mud.
(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).)
... for the modern soul, for which it is mere child's play to bridge oceans and continents, there is nothing so impossible as to find the contact with the souls dwelling just around the corner.
(Robert Musil (1880-1942), Austrian author. repr. Perigee (1980). The Man Without Qualities, book I, part 2, ch. 55, trans. and with a foreword by Eithne Wilkins and Ernst Kaiser, Coward-McCann (1953).)
... the ocean could not be swept back with a broom. The truth was out. It illuminated the world. Motherhood no longer cringed before the relentless laws of fecundity.
(Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), U.S. birth control advocate. My Fight for Birth Control, ch. 21 (1931).
On her success, in 1922, in obtaining New York State incorporation for the American Birth Control League. Sanger was President of the League.)
What doubts, what hypotheses, what labyrinths of amusement, what fields of disputation, what an ocean of false learning, may be avoided by that single notion of immaterialism!
(George Berkeley (1685-1753), Irish bishop, philosopher. Hylas, in "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous," dial. 3, p. 262, The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, eds. A. Luce and T. Jessop, London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. (1948-1957).)
Do not rely too much on isolation.... Oceans are not as wide as they used to be.
(Howard Koch (1901-1995), U.S. screenwriter. Michael Curtiz. Litvinov (Oscar Homolka), Mission to Moscow, speaking of American isolationism (1943).
Although in reality highly fictionalized, the film purports to be based on Ambassador Joseph E. Davies memoirs of the same title. Davies himself introduces the film in a prologue.)