I like these quotes…
Once, if I remember well, my life was a feast where all hearts opened and all wines flowed.
One evening I seated Beauty on my knees. And I found her bitter. And I cursed her.
I armed myself against justice.
I fled. O Witches, O Misery, O Hate, to you has my treasure been entrusted!
I contrived to purge my mind of all human hope. Of all joy, to strangle it, I pounced with the stealth of a wild beast.
I called to the executioners that I might gnaw their rifle-butts while dying. I called to the plagues to smother me in blood, in sand. Misfortune was my God. I laid myself down in the mud. I dried myself in the air of crime. I played sly tricks on madness.
Et le printemps m’a apporte l’affreux rire de l’idiot.
–Rimbaud, A Season in Hell
It is even part of my good fortune not to be a house owner.
–Nietzsche, The Gay Science
Venus had twisted her lips in prayer. Agenbite of inwit: remorse of conscience. It is an age of exhausted whoredom groping for its god.
This means that they (Bacon and Descartes) failed to solve the great problem: How can we admit that our knowledge is a human-an all to human-affair, without at the same time implying that it is all individual whim and arbitrariness?
Yet this problem had been seen and solved long before; first, it appears, by Xenophanes, and then by Democritus, and by Socrates (the Socrates of the Apology rather than of the Meno). The solution lies in the realization that all of us may and do err, singly and collectively, but that this very idea of error and human fallibility involves another one-the idea objective truth: the standard which we may fall short of. Thus the doctrine of fallibility should not be regarded as part of a pessimistic epistemology. This doctrine implies that we may seek for truth, for objective truth, though more often than not we may miss it by a wide margin. And it implies that if we respect truth, we must search for it by persistently searching for our errors: by indefatigable rational criticism, and self-criticism.
–K. Popper, Conjectures and Refutations
What they were most determined for me to swallow was my fellow creatures…I remember little or nothing of these lectures. I cannot have understood a great deal. But I seem to have retained certain descriptions, in spite of myself. They gave me courses on love, on intelligence, most precious, most precious. They also taught me to count, and even to reason. Some of this rubbish has come in handy on occasions, I don’t deny it, on occasions which would never have arisen if they had left me in peace. I use it still, to scratch my arse with.
–Sam Beckett, The Unnameable