It is a most wonderful comfort to sit alone beneath a lamp, book spread before you, and commune with someone from the past whom you have never met.
Yoshida Kenko: A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees
(Essays in Idleness)
Quote of the Week:
It was evening when we made our way back to the cove. The sun was setting fire to the headlands west of us, and the sea had become absolutely still. Not even a cat’s-paw trailed across the purple water. The sea was truly like wine to look at. The professors who had decried Homer’s adjective and invented other meanings for it, had never been sailors.
(Ernle Bradford: The Wind Off the Island)
Quote of the Week / La cita de la semana:
Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
If you realise that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching, 33
(Transl. by Stephen Mitchell)
El que conoce a los demás es inteligente.
El que se conoce a sí mismo es iluminado.
El que vence a los demás es fuerte.
El que se vence a sí mismo es la fuerza.
El que se contenta es rico.
Lao-Tse: Tao te king, XXXIII
En septiembre 1931, el poeta Federico García Lorca hizo un discurso por la ocasión de la inauguración de la biblioteca pública en su pueblo natal, Fuente Vaqueros en Granada.
In September 1931, the poet Federico García Lorca made a speech on occasion of the inauguration of the public library in his hometown, Fuente Vaqueros in Granada.
La cita de la semana / Quote of the Week
¡Libros! ¡Libros! He aquí una palabra mágica que equivale a decir amor, amor, y que debían los pueblos pedir como piden pan o como anhelan la lluvia para sus sementeras.
(Federico García Lorca: Medio pan y un libro)
Books! Books! Here is a magic word that is equivalent to saying love, love, and what people should ask for like they ask for bread or yearn for rain for their crops.
(Federico García Lorca; Half a Bread and a Book)
In 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, mankind discovered a large black monolith on the Moon.
En 2001: Una odisea del espacio por Arthur C. Clarke, la humanidad descubrió un gran monolito negro en la Luna.
…the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else.
The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
(John Stuart Mill: On Liberty)
You might also like: ⇒ On Liberty by John Stuart Mill on Project Gutenberg Image credit: Public domain via Wikipedia
Quote of the Week: Come And Take Them
The ultimate laconic reply of defiance: that of Leonidas to Xerxes at Thermopylae, unbeatable in its simplicity. Especially in Greek where it’s only two words: molon labe.
When Xerxes wrote again: ‘Deliver up your arms,’ he wrote back: ‘Come and take them’.
(Plutarch: Morals, Vol. III, Sayings of Spartans, Leonidas)
La cita de la semana: Ven a tomarlas
Lo último en el desafío lacónico: lo de Leónidas a Jerjes en las Termópilas, con su sencillez imbatible. Especialmente en griego, como que solo consiste de dos palabras: molon labe.
Cuando de nuevo Jerjes escribió: «Entrega tus armas», contestó: «Ven a tomarlas.»
(Plutarco: Moralia, III, Máximas de espartanos, Leónidas)
Don’t read my blog; I’m not writing it for you.
I’m not writing it to please you and much less to please the Google search engine. I’m not promising to solve your problems in life or sell you the magic formula for… [you name it].
Quote of the Week:
For the herds of wild elephants show no resentment when domesticated animals join them. They have none of that herd instinct directed against the stranger that one finds in cattle, in small boys and among many grown-up men. This tolerance is just one of the things about elephants which makes one realise they are big in more ways than one.
(Lt.-Col. J. H. Williams: Elephant Bill)
La cita de la semana / Quote of the Week
La religión es como gaseosa: una vez abierta la botella solo es cuestión de tiempo que pierda el gas.
Religion is like a fizzy drink: once the bottle is open, it’s only a question of time before it goes flat.
(Juan Eslava Galán: Historia de España contada para escépticos / The History of Spain Told for Sceptics)
You might also like: ⇒ God's Chosen People? ⇒ The Bible in Spain ⇒ El sitio de web de Juan Eslava Galán Image credit: Conchiare via Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0]
From the age of six I had a penchant for copying the form of things, and from about fifty, my pictures were frequently published; but until the age of seventy, nothing I drew was worthy of notice.
At seventy-three years, I was somewhat able to fathom the growth of plants and trees, and the structure of birds, animals, insects and fish.
Thus when I reach eighty years, I hope to have made increasing progress, and at ninety to see further into the underlying principles of things, so that at one hundred years I will have achieved a divine state in my art, and at one hundred and ten, every dot and every stroke will be as though alive.
Hokusai: Postscript to One Hundred Views of Mt Fuji, 1834.
Hokusai painted Beauty on a summer morning when he was forty. It’s one of those which he didn’t think were “worthy of notice”. (Just saying.)
You might also like: ⇒ Beyond the Great Wave at the British Museum (until 13 August 2017)
There is always room and occasion enough for a true book on any subject; as there is room for more light the brightest day and more rays will not interfere with the first.
(Henry David Thoreau: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)
Some books have unforgettable First Lines – others have unbeatable endings… (And some have both, with some pretty impressive stuff in between.)
Unos libros tienen inolvidables primeras líneas – otros tienen insuperables finales… (Y algunos tienen los dos, con algo muy impresionante en medio.)
Some books have unforgettable first lines…
Unos libros tienen inolvidables primeras líneas…
When I was a teenager, I kept a notebook into which I copied quotes… (Which one of us didn’t?) I suspect that most of those quotes were rather less clever than I thought at the time but as I didn’t keep the notebook, there’s no evidence against me.
Perhaps that is the travellers deepest melancholy, that the joy of return is always mixed with a felling that is harder to define, the feeling that the places you have ached for since you first saw them simply went on existing without you, that if you really wanted to hold them close you would have to stay with them for ever. But that would turn you into someone you cannot be, someone who stays at home, a sedentary being.
(Cees Nooteboom: Roads to Santiago)
The paradox of travel.
Cita del día:
El temblor del corazón de la bailarina ha de ser armonizado desde las puntas de sus zapatos hasta el abrir y cerrar de sus pestañas, desde el último volante de so cola al juego incesante de sus dedos. Verdadera náufraga en un campo de aire, la bailarina ha de medir líneas, silencios, zigzags y rápidas curvas, con un sexto sentido de arome y geometría, sin equivocar nunca su terreno, como hace el torero, cuyo corazón de estar en el cuello del toro, porque corren el mismo peligro, él de muerte, ella de oscuridad.
(Federico García Lorca: Elogia de Antonia Mercé, «La Argentina»)
Quote of the Day:
The dancer’s trembling heart must bring everything into harmony, from the tips of her shoes to the flutter of her eyelashes, from the rustles of her dress to the incessant play of her fingers. Shipwrecked in a field of air, she must measure lines, silences, zigzags and rapid curves, with a sixth sense of aroma and geometry, without ever mistaking her terrain. In this she resembles the torero, whose heart must keep to the neck of the bull. Both of them face the same danger–he, death; and she, darkness.
(Federico García Lorca: In Praise of Antonia Mercé, “La Argentina”)
Quizá también te gusta / You might also like: ⇒ Alegrías by Pepe Habichuela ⇒ Federico García Lorca: Impresiones y paisajes ⇒ Sketches of Spain: Castile ⇒ Sketches of Spain: Granada
Mediterranean brilliance hit me like a bolt of lightning; the whole of human life was enacted on a single, fabulous, public stage against a careless backdrop of thousands of years of sublime art. Colours, foods, markets, clothing, gestures, language: everything seemed more refined, more vivid, more vibrant…
…like sapphires in colour, only that it is paler and more closely resembles the tint of the water near the sea-shore in appearance.
(Pliny the Elder: Natural History, XXXVII.56)