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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quotations for the Ages

This is going to be my last Quotations post for a while. I am certainly not going to be dragging my Oxford Dictionary of Quotations with me to Germany, and tomorrow afternoon I am taking the train out to stay the weekend with my girlfriend's family before I fly out on Sunday for Goettingen. Thus, this is my last chance to make some headway through the 'B' section, so this is going to be a little longer than the usual list.

"It's not perfect, but to me on balance Right Now is a lot better than the Good Old Days." - Maeve Binchy, Irish novelist, 1940-

"We French, we English, never lost our civil war,
endure it still, a bloodless civil bore;
no wounded lying about, no Whitman wanted.
It's only by our lack of ghosts we're haunted."
- Earle Birney, Canadian poet, 1904-95

"The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia."
"If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans."
- Otto von Bismarck, German statesman, 1815-98

"If I'd known I was gonna live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." - Eubie Blake, American ragtime pianist, 1883-1983

"Architecture should be at the head of the arts, not at the foot of the professions." - Reginald Blomfield, English architect, 1856-1942

Speaking of quantum mechanics:
"Anybody who is not shocked by this subject has failed to understand it." - Niels Bohr, Danish physicist, 1885-1962

"A fool can always find a greater fool to admire him." - Nicolas Boileau, French critic and poet, 1636-1711

Also, as a random aside, I thought it was neat to point out that Earle Birney, while born in Calgary, grew up in my hometown in BC. Oddly, I don't ever remember learning about him in elementary school. When you understand how small my hometown is, one would think it would at least be mentioned. We had a famous (for Canada) poet grow up in the area! Considering that really the only other noteworthy features of the area on a national scale are beer and close proximity to polygamists, I think a famous poet is worth a mention. Of course, there is a good chance that all my childhood friends who actually went to highschool in the area studied him in English class, and he was simply deemed too complicated to mention to grade 6 students.


sarah said...

"A fool can always find a greater fool to admire him." - I really like this one, I think it's what gets me through most days, actually.