|Aphorist Friedrich Nietzsche |
noticing his four-litre
supply of moustache wax
is almost empty
- One can be a 'big reader' without being a good reader - like a chatterbox who likes talk, but does not listen.
- The ambiguity of silence: for some, a chance to think; for others, a chance to keep on talking. Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive.
- One can loathe parties precisely because of one's sociability: because they impede good conversation.
- Dear dogmatists: certainty is not truth. Truth often requires hesitation and doubt.
- Some invent rules for good reasons, but keep following the rules after the reasons have gone. A longing for certainty above all else.
- Good writing is sometimes the achievement of alienation from one's own prose. "Did I write this?"
- The hierarchy of dissatisfaction: 'criticism' from above, 'complaint' from below.
- The distinctive beauty of an athletic body derives partly from what it suggests about character: discipline, restraint, passion, endurance.
- Some friends are for nodding company, not bleak honesty, and vice versa - it can be a tragedy to confuse the two.
- Instead of reading horoscopes every day, read a novel. It's a more truthful fiction.
- Everyday eternity: the seemingly timeless pause between uncapping one's pen and putting nib to paper.
- One unnoticed success of the 20th century: recognising the craft of acting. One unnoticed failure: ignoring this in favour of celebrity.
- People who describe their disembodied souls often use embodied metaphors. Life without this flesh is literally unimaginable.
- In the future, everybody will have 15 minutes of silence. But not consecutively.
- Some conversations merit awkwardness. Deceit only replaces public with private discomfort.
- New Age spirituality is often the worst of both worlds: philosophical abstraction without clarity, religious faith without morality.
- Sometimes we are drawn to a friend because of their possibility, not their actuality. From then on, they are our bolstering disappointment.
- Prudence is the difference between fictional ideals and ordinary virtue.
- We lack a word for the odd pleasure that petty individuals enjoy when chastising strangers for trivial errors.
- Some are furious when actors or comedians are smart, well-informed - as if one may have a few good qualities, but not too many.