The Moviegoer (1961)
-Hatred strikes me as one of the few signs of life remaining in the world. This is another thing about the world which is upsidedown: all the friendly and likable people seem dead to me; only the haters seem alive.
-I had discovered that a person does not have to be this or be that or be anything, not even oneself. One is free.
-She refers to a phenomenon of moviegoing which I have called certification. Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.
-I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see.
-A repetition is the re-enactment of past experience toward the end of isolating the time segment which has lapsed in order that it, the lapsed time, can be savored of itself and without the usual adulteration of events that clog time like peanuts in brittle.
-The enduring is something which must be accounted for. One cannot simply shrug it off.
-She can only believe I am serious in her own fashion of being serious: as an antic sort of seriousness, which is not seriousness at all but despair masquerading as seriousness.
-As for hobbies, people with stimulating hobbies suffer from the most noxious of despairs since they are tranquilized in their despair.
-Oh the crap that lies lurking in the English soul. Somewhere it, the English soul, received an injection of romanticism which nearly killed it.
-A good rotation. A rotation I define as the experiencing of the new beyond the expectation of the experiencing of the new.
-Christians talk about the horror of sin, but they have overlooked something. They keep talking as if everyone were a great sinner, when the truth is that nowadays one is hardly up to it. There is very little sin in the depths of the malaise. The highest moment of a malaisian's life can be the moment when he manages to sin like a proper human (Look at us, Binx--my vagabond friends as good as cried out to me--we're sinning! We're succeeding! We're human after all!)
-Not a single thing do I remember from the first trip but this: the sense of the place, the savor of the genie-soul of the place which every place has or else is not a place...there it is as big as life, the genie-soul of the place which, wherever you go, you must meet and master first thing or be met and mastered.
The Message in a Bottle (1975)
-Where does one start with a theory of man if the theory of man as an organism in an environment doesn't work and all the attributes of man which were accepted in the old modern age are now called into question: his soul, mind, freedom, will, Godlikeness?
-There is only one place to start: the place where man's singularity is there for all to see and cannot be called into question, even in a new age in which everything else is in dispute.
That singularity is language...
-Why is there such a gap between nonspeaking animals and speaking man, when there is no other such gap in nature?
Is it possible that a theory of man is nothing more nor less than a theory of the speaking creatures?
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book (1983)
-Why it is that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos -- novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes -- you are beyond doubt the strangest?
-Why is it that one can look at a lion or a planet or an owl or at someone’s finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair?