Saturday, February 26, 2005

Victor Hugo on Hell and Paradise

Today is the birthday of Victor Hugo, the French poet, dramatist, and novelist (1802-1885) who said that
A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.

A library implies an act of faith.

All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters.

A saint addicted to excessive self-abnegation is a dangerous associate; he may infect you with poverty, and a stiffening of those joints which are needed for advancement — in a word, with more renunciation than you care for — and so you flee the contagion.

The following quote might give pause to those who consider capitalist America a living hell and state-interventionist Europe the closest thing to heaven on Earth:
An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.
And might the following not concern Bush's (non-)reaction in the Florida classroom to the first 911 news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center?
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labour and there is invisible labour.

No comments: