- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“Neither dogmatize yourself, nor accept another’s dogmatism.”

 

Happy birthday, Ralph Waldo Emerson! Here are some quotes from his writing.

“The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.”

“He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.”

“Yet a man may love a paradox, without losing either his wit or his honesty.”

“Literature is the effort of man to indemnify himself for the wrongs of his condition.”

“The thing done avails, and not what is said about it. An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the censures.”

“Every man is a new method.”

“Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him.”

“Money often costs too much.”

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”

“Leave this hypocritical prating about the masses. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them.”

“We are always getting ready to live, but never living.”

“Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.”

“I wish to write such rhymes as shall not suggest a restraint, but contrariwise the wildest freedom.”

“It is easy to live for others; everybody does. I call on you to live for yourselves.”

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”

“Poetry must be new as foam, and as old as the rock.”

“Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.”

“The state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters,—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man.”

“Life is our dictionary.”

“Explore, and explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatise yourself, nor accept another’s dogmatism.”

“Thought is all light, and publishes itself to the universe. It will speak, though you were dumb, by its own miraculous organ. It will flow out of your actions, your manners, and your face. It will bring you friendships. It will impledge you to truth by the love and expectation of generous minds. By virtue of the laws of that Nature, which is one and perfect, it shall yield every sincere good that is in the soul, to the scholar beloved of earth and heaven.”

“Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love. Your goodness must have some edge to it, —else it is none.”

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

“The world globes itself in a drop of dew.”

“A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.”

“Tomorrow will be like today. Life wastes itself whilst we are preparing to live.”

“Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.”

“The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

“If a man own land, the land owns him.”

“The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.”

“By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.”

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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