“What does the creature made all of seadrift do on the dry sand?
What does the mind do - each morning - waking?”
“He didn’t know if he was sane or insane. The thought was driving him insane.”
“To go is to return.”
“He saw the world from last September.”
All from The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin. The first was my email sig file for a time. I’m not sure of the wording on the last one.
“You may think I’m dethpicable, but I’m different. Pain HURT-THS me!” Daffy Duck (another sig file)
“I don’t see buildings. I see people.” Anonymous WTC collapse witness on 9/11/01.
“There are five hundred thousand words in the English language, and there are seven of them you cannot say on television. They must be bad words! That’s what we call them - ‘bad words’. ‘You said a bad word!’ (Pow) ‘Ow! Wah!’. That’s right - you get over here - you seven!” … “But there are no bad words. There are bad deeds, bad intentions - and WORDS.” George Carlin
“There is an asymmetry in the way we view matter and energy.” the first sentence of Einstein’s 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect - the one that won him the Nobel Prize. I cannot reliably cite the full first paragraph from memory, but it’s stunningly brilliant, beautifully written, and ballsy. The last because it was Einstein’s previous paper earlier that same year on Brownian Motion that drove the last nail in the coffin of the idea that matter was continuous, and atoms were just good book-keeping. That patent clerk is going places, I tells ya!
“Subtle is the Lord, but malicious he is not” Einstein again. Part of what prompted Neils Bohr to say “Albert, stop telling God what to do!”
“Poor man wanna be rich. Rich man wanna be king. And the king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything.” Bruce Springsteen “Badlands”
“Those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse.
Is a dream a lie
When it don’t come true
Or is it something worse?” Bruuuce again - “The River”
“Fear’s a powerful thing.
It’ll take your God-filled soul
Fill it with devils and dust.” Springsteen again - “Devils and Dust”
“The Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt are unique I suppose.
When they built you brother, they broke the mold.” The Boss once more - “Terry’s Song”
[I’m from New Jersey - it’s the law! ]
“May the father of peace bring peace to all who mourn. Amen.” My favorite translation of the Mourner’s Kaddish. The original is anonymous of course.
“Fast, cheap, good - pick two!” poster at most workplaces - anonymous again.
“Martel was angry - so much he did not turn his blood from anger.” Cordwainer Smith (pen name for Paul Lineberger) in “Scanners Live in Vain”
A few from John Kessel’s “Faustfeathers”:
Groucho Faustus: “With a couple more assistants like you, I could change gold into base metal”
Grouco: “Around here time is money, and my time is woith a couple of marks. You boys look like a couple of marks - are you brothers?”
Satan: “Behold Dis - the city of Hell!”
Groucho: “You’re a heck of a travel agent - see Dis and Die!”
Diccolini (Chico): “Bella felissima ronzoni alla pachino!”
Helen of Troy: “You know I don’t speak Latin, my lord.”
Chico: “Atsa no Latin. Atsa Italian”
Helen: “I don’t peak that either.”
Chico: “Atsa OK - neither do I!”
ETA: “For a successful technical program, reality must take precedence over public relations, because nature cannot be fooled.” Richard P. Feynman - last sentence of the Appendix to the Challenger Commission Report.