quotes & citaten

Moderne kunst begint haar vermogen tot negatie te verliezen. Al een aantal jaren zijn haar verwerpingen rtuele herhalingen geworden: rebellie is procedure geworden, kritiek retorica, overtreding een ceremonie. Negatie is niet langer creatief. Ik beweer niet dat we het einde van de kunst beleven; we beleven het einde van de moderne kunst.                                             (Octavio Paz)

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the Earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid.                                                                             (Bertrand Russell)

Het doel van een schilder is voor zijn werk eerder lof, gunst en welwillendheid te verwerven dan rijkdommen. Dat bereikt een schilder als hij met zijn schilderkunst de ogen en zielen van de beschouwers vasthoudt en ontroert.                                       (Leon Battista Alberti in De Pictura, 1435)

As we grow older, we gain confidence about what we really know and simultaneously find it easier to admit ignorance about what we don’t.                                               (Lee Smolin in Time Reborn, 2013)

The assumptions underlying Newton’s laws of motion were overturned by relativity and quantum physics. Ptolemy’s model of the solar system served us well for more than a millennium, yet is was based on ideas that are wildly wrong. It would seem that effectiveness is no guarantee of truth.                                                                                                               (Lee Smolin in Time Reborn, 2013)

Life happens, and it sweeps you up, and then you die.                                                                                                                                                (From the short movie Curmudgeons by Danny deVito, 2016)

Mrs Cleary slowly turned her head and saw Meg standing there. She leapt up with alacrity, revealing all of her voluptuous curves. Her untrimmed lady garden. Meg had not realised that it could grow so wild. She was transfixed by the magnificence of that bush. It looked out at her like a small furry animal disturbed from its nap.                                                         (Mary Watson in Hiding in Plain Sight, 2014)

You see, the chemists have a complicated way of counting: instead of saying “one, two, three, four, five protons,” they say, “hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron.”                                                                                                     (Richard P. Feynman in QED The strange theory of light and matter, 1985)

… you are reminded of a story someone once told you about James Joyce, Joyce in Paris in the 1920s, standing around at a party eighty-five years ago when a woman walked up to him and asked if she could shake the hand that wrote Ulysses. Instead of offering her his right hand, Joyce lifted it in the air, studied it for a few moments, and said: “Let me remind you, madam, that this hand has done many other things as well.” No details given, but what a delicious piece of smut and innuendo, all the more effective because he left everything to the woman’s imagination. What did he want her to see? Wiping his ass, probably, picking his nose, masturbating in bed at night, sticking his fingers into Nora’s cunt and diddling her bumghole, popping pimples, scraping food from his teeth, plucking out nostril hairs, disgorging wax from his ears – fill in the appropriate blanks, the central point being: whatever was most disgusting to her.                                                             (Paul Auster in Winter Journal, 2012)

De wegen van het hart zijn ondoorgrondelijk en de wegen van het lichaam glibberig en ongebaand.                                                                                    (L.H. Wiener in Naar de kelder, 2015)

Alles is mogelijk, maar niets is zeker.                                                             (Marokkaans spreekwoord)

‘En ik las en ik werd van mijn sokken geblazen.’ Er moest een verbod komen op die afgepeigerde uitdrukking, net als op de woorden ‘passie’ en ‘weerhaakjes’, zeker in combinatie met kunst.                                                                          (Griet op de Beeck in Kom hier dat ik u kus, 2015)

“A imaginação, o nosso último santuário, onze verbeeldingskracht is ons laatste heiligdom,” zei Amadeu vaak.                                                           (Pascal Mercier in Nachttrein naar Lissabon, 2006)

Franz: ‘God is een antropocentrisch delirium, maar er bestaan andere opiaten. De kunsten, de prostitutie, de misdaad. Het zijn de overdrukventielen van de beschaving waarlangs haar giftige gassen ontsnappen. Prostituees en priesters dienen elk op hun manier om de mens te temmen. Zoals Voltaire zegt, de vrede is meer waard dan de waarheid.’                   (Ronaldo Wrobel in Hannah, 2014)

Het geluk van de schrijver bestaat uit het sturen van de verbeelding naar plaatsen waar hij zelf graag wil zijn.                                                                                                                     (Nelleke Noordervliet)

Random processes produce many sequences that convince people that the process is not random after all. (…) We are far too willing to reject the belief that much of what we see in life is random.                                                                   (Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, fast and slow, 2011)

Art is life seen through man’s craving for perfection and beauty – his escape from the sordid realities of life into the world of the imagination.                                                                                                          As art is an intellectual as well as an emotional language, the most important thing in any picture is that it has something to say.                                                                                         (Paul Outerbridge)

We moeten ons niet generen om de waarheid te waarderen en deze te verkrijgen waar ze vandaan komt, zelfs als ze van verre volkeren komt en andere landen dan het onze. Niets mag dierbaarder zijn voor de zoeker naar waarheid dan de waarheid zelf, en de waarheid mag niet tekort worden gedaan en personen die haar uitspreken of overbrengen mogen niet geminacht worden.                                                                      (Ya’qub ibn-Ishaq al-Kindi (Lat: Alkindus) 803-873)

“It was not uncommon for a neglected young painter to leap from penury to affluence and fame on the sale of a single work. Many artists, however, had no such luck, and were forced to live on the maintenance grant alone throughout their lives. Some of these, ahead of their time, became world-famous after death, but the great majority were merely untalented enthusiasts. No one dreamed of grudging them their futile but harmless careers, since the community could wel afford to maintain them.”                                                                           (Olaf Stapledon in Darkness and the Light, 1942)

Physics isn’t Christian, though it was invented by Christians. Algebra isn’t Muslim, even though it was invented by Muslims. Whenever we get at the truth, we transcend culture, we transcend our upbringing. The discourse of science is a good example of where we should hold out hope for transcending our tribalism.                                                                                                    (Sam Harris)

“Thus they denote the Folly of a Servant, an Omission of a Child, a Stone that cuts their Feet, a Continuance of foul or unseasonable Weather, and the like, by adding to each the Epithet of Yahoo. For Instance, Hhnm Yahoo, Whnaholm Yahoo, Ynlhmndwihlma Yahoo, and an ill contrived House, Ynholmbumrohlnw Yahoo.”                                                    (Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, 1726)

“They divide the pleasures of the body into two sorts; [ … ] or that which arises from satisfying the appetite which Nature has wisely given to lead us the propagation of the species.”
                                                                                                                 (Thomas More in Utopia, 1516)

Not content with ignoring the normal requirements of biology, the cat was also in clear breach of the laws of physics.                                                                      (Douglas Adams in The Salmon of Doubt)

Wacht je voor degenen, die door de natuur getekend zijn, zei Willem Spek, en hij zag zelf scheel, had kromme benen en een scheve bek.          (Harrebomée, Spreekwoordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal)

Een tekening staat altijd in de tegenwoordige tijd.                                                 (Breyten Breytenbach)

Van de maan af gezien zijn wij allen even groot.                                                        (Multatuli Idee 155)

The artist’s imagination anticipates the patterns which the scientist discovers in nature.     (Max Perutz)

All equations of physics that serve to correlate experiments in a vast area and to predict new results have a certain beauty about them and can be appreciated, by those who understand them, on an aesthetic level.                                                     (D. Halliday & R. Resnick in Fundamentals of Physics)

Science is nothing else than the search to discover unity in the wild variety of nature … Poetry, painting, the arts are the same search.                                                                        (Jacob Bronowski)

Christenen, Joden, Parsen, Moslemin, / zij dolen allen; voor wie toe wil zien, / vervalt de gansche menschheid slechts in tweeën, / twee soorten enkel worden er ontdekt: / intelligente menschen zonder vroomheid / en vrome menschen zonder intellect.                                                             (J.H. Leopold)

Developing quantum field theory took physicists into new branches of mathematics such as infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces, operator theory, and matrix algebra, once again vindicating the remarkable notion that the fundamental laws of nature are specified in terms of beautiful mathematics.                                                                                                                                                           (Heinz R. Pagels)

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.                                                 (John Wheeler)

Alle Kunst ist der Freude gewidmet.                                                                            (Friedrich Schiller)

Men zegt dat ik dood ben, maar ik weet van niks.                                                   (Wim Reimert, 2052)