“It is, I think, absolutely impossible to conceive of meaning without order. There is something very curious in semantics, that the word ‘meaning’ is probably, in the whole language, the word the meaning of which is the most difficult to find.”
― Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Myth and Meaning. 1978.
Image: Claude Lévi-Strauss and his wife, Dina, in their tent while doing fieldwork in Mato Grosso, Brazil © Musée du Quai Branly
“If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation.”
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84.
Image: Orpheus and Euridice, Paris Opera Ballet © Agathe Poupeney
“I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Image: Myanmar © Cosiana Tours
“He breathed out the bitter air that makes women doubt everything, and I breathed it in, as I had always done. I expelled my dust, the powder of everything I had destroyed with doubt, and he pulled it into his lungs.”
― Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You
Image: Miranda July © Daryl Peveto.
“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot
Image: Yuliya Borisova in The Idiot (1958) by Ivan Pyryev.
“There is something about love — I will not say defective for the defect lies in ourselves: but something we have mistaken about its nature. For example, the love you now feel for Justine is not a different love for a different object but the same love you feel for Melissa trying to work itself out through the medium of Justine. Love is horribly stable, and each of us is only allotted a certain portion of it, a ration. It is capable of appearing in an infinity of forms and attaching itself to an infinity of people. But is is limited in quantity, can be used up, become shopworn and faded before it reaches its true object. For its destination lies somewhere in the deepest regions of the psyche where it will come to recognize itself as self-love, the ground upon which we build the sort of health of the psyche. I do not mean egoism or narcissism.”
Laurence Durrell, Justine, The Alexandria Quartet.
Image: Willy Ronis, La Nuit au Chalet, 1935.
“He always seemed to women different from what he was, and they loved in him not himself, but the man created by their imagination, whom they had been eagerly seeking all their lives; and afterwards, when they noticed their mistake, they loved him all the same. And not one of them had been happy with him. Time passed, he had made their acquaintance, got on with them, parted, but he had never once loved; it was anything you like, but not love.”
― Anton Chekhov, The Lady With the Dog in “The Essential Tales of Chekhov,” translated by Constance Garnett.
Image: Still from The Lady with the Dog, 1960, directed by Iosif Kheifits.
“Why is it that you Greeks want so much to be loved? You have an overwhelming need for warmth and care. You divide all foreigners into friends and foes – Philellenes and Misellenes, Greek-lovers and Greek-haters. Has it never dawned upon you that most people are neutral and indifferent?”
― Nikos Dimou, “The Glory that was Greece,” Dialogues.
You can read Nikos Dimou’s Dialogues here.
Image: Constantine Manos © Constantine Manos/MAGNUM/AURION.
“I’m not in the position to order you to go on a journey, so it is I who will be obliged to go away for the sake of your development, for separation makes a person wise.”
― Shams of Tabriz to Rumi, 1247
Image: Andreas Embeirikos, 1953. Copyright: The Box.
“I don’t believe in luck.
You should. It rules the world.”
― Zadie Smith, NW
Image: Still from “March of the Penguins” by Luc Jacquet, 2005.