‘Imagination to power’, as the French students said. ‘Be practical, do the impossible’, because if you don’t do the impossible, as I’ve cried out over and over again, we’re going to wind up with the unthinkable—and that will be the destruction of the planet itself. So to do the impossible is the most rational and practical thing we can do. And that impossible is both in our own conviction and in our shared conviction with our brothers and sisters, to begin to try to create, or work toward a very distinct notion of what constitutes a finally truly liberated as well as ecological society. A utopian notion, not a futuristic notion.

—Murray Bookchin (1978)

Purity of heart for Kierkegaard is unity. But it is unity AND the good. There is no purity outside of God. Conclusion: resign oneself to the impure? I am far from the good and I thirst for unity. That is irreparable.

—Albert Camus, Notebooks

Because truths we don’t suspect have a hard time making themselves felt, as when thirteen species of whip tail lizards composed entirely of females stay undiscovered due to bias against such things existing,‬ we have to meet the universe halfway. Nothing will unfold for us unless we move toward what looks to us like nothing: faith is a cascade.

—Alice Fulton

VOYNITSKY. She is my good friend.
ASTROV. Really?
VOYNITSKY. What does that ‘really’ mean?
ASTROV. A woman can be a man’s good friend only in the following sequence of events: first friend, then lover, then good friend.

—Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya

Basically, I no longer work for anything but the sensation I have while working.

—Alberto Giacometti

To be cured we must rise from our graves and throw off the cerements of the dead. Nobody can do it for another — it is a private affair which is best done collectively. We must die as egos and be born again in the swarm, not separate and self-hypnotized, but individual and related.

—Henry Miller, Sexus

Idea: He rejects everything offered him, every happiness proposed because of a deeper exigence. He ruins his marriage, gets involved in only half-satisfactory liaisons, waits and hopes. “I couldn’t really define it, but I feel it.” Thus it is to the end of his life. “No, I’ll never be able to define it.”

—Albert Camus, Notebooks

Well, I wish you all the best. Remember me kindly. I’m very grateful to you for being kind to me. [Shakes his hand vigorously] Send me your books, inscribed please. Only please don’t write “To my dear friend,” but just “To Marya, parentage forgotten, purpose of existence in this world unknown.” Goodbye. [Exit]

—Anton Chekhov, The Seagull

One is ejected into the world like a dirty little mummy; the roads are slippery with blood and no one knows why it should be so. Each one is traveling his own way and, though the earth be rotting with good things, there is no time to pluck the fruits; the procession scrambles toward the exit sign, and such a panic is there, such a sweat to escape, that the weak and the helpless are trampled into the mud and their cries are unheard.

—Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.

—Goethe