“If you want to be a legend, God help you, it’s so easy. You just do one thing. You can be the master of suspense, say. But if you want to be as invisible as is practical, then it’s fun to do a lot of different things.”
— Mike Nichols, quoted in “Mike Nichols, Master of Invisibility”, The New York Times, April 10, 2009, https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/movies/12mcgr.html?_r=1&8dpc
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
IS NOT FREEDOM TO SPEAK
IT IS THE FREEDOM
— Ian Hamilton Finlay, in Selections, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2012, p. 217
“Today I am no longer, as I once was, the prisoner of interminable tasks, which so often prevented me from leaping into the unknown, mathematical or otherwise. The time of tasks for me is over. If age has brought me anything, it is lightness.”
— Alexandre Grothendieck, Esquisse d’un Programme, quoted in
http://www.ams.org/notices/200410/fea-grothendieck-part2.pdf, pp. 1209-1210
“I always think fatigue is a great Saver from Ambition and worldly values, when all else fails!”
— Stevie Smith, letter to J. C. Powys, 11 July 1952. Quoted in Frances Spalding, Stevie Smith: A Biography, W. W. Norton 1988, p. 203.
“I too had said…that teaching ‘was a process trying to look like a result.’ As a careful and consequential thinker, or teacher, I was only twelve years or so in producing the corollary: ‘yes, but isn’t everything?’ like history, I meant, and life and the world entire.”
— Howard Nemerov, “In Conclusion,” from The Oak in the Acorn (1987), in A Howard Nemerov Reader, University of Missouri Press, 1991, p. 308.
“Years later, Edith [Carow Roosevelt] explained that her aloofness was simply ‘a trick of manner’ to obscure her own perceived defects. While it may have deprived her of camaraderie, her tactic succeeded in establishing the distance and mystery that prevented humiliation.”
—Doris Kearns Goodwin, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, Simon & Schuster, 2013, p. 117.
“However, the experts at Western Union can tell, and I suppose that is all that matters. If I knew what it was they did, and how they were able to tell time by the stars, I should be an expert at the Western Union. That is, of course, provided that I was socially acceptable to the present experts.”
—Robert Benchley, “What Time Is It? And What Of It” in Chips Off the Old Benchley, Harper and Brothers, 1949, p. 114.