Introduction: Perspectives on Ideas 2 is the second volume of quotes in a series. The major difference between this collection of quotes and others is that I summarize briefly in bold face the complex quotes. My purpose for reading is ideas. These quotes are taken from books unfamiliar to many readers. I have grouped them according to topic. The quotes could be useful to support ideas in the reader's writing and speaking. They are also useful for reflection. I welcome the reader's sending quotes to me to be included, with credit, in my blog. I will appreciate any comments from my readers.
Achievement 1323 Theseus was too active to bother talking about what he had already accomplished. “Theseus, however, was much too brave and active a young man to be willing to spend all his time in relating things which had already happened.” “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.
Achievement 777 His spirit was ever reaching beyond what he had already achieved. “And, with her whole spirit, she prayed, that, for a single moment, she might satisfy his highest and deepest conception; longer than one moment, she well knew, it could not be; for his spirit was ever on the march—ever ascending—and each instant required something that was beyond the scope of the instant before.” Hawthorne: “The Birth Mark”
Achievement 912 I don’t want to be honored for inventing some new pedestrian machine. “I am not ambitious to be honored with the paternity of a new kind of cotton-machine.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 913 The greatest ideas are shattered by “practical” people. “Thus it is, that ideas which grow up within the imagination, and appear so lovely to it, and of value beyond whatever men call valuable, are exposed to be shattered and annihilated by contact with the practical…he must keep his faith in himself, while the incredulous world assails him with its utter disbelief; he must stand up against mankind and be his own sole disciple, both as respects his genius, and the objects to which it is directed.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 915 The evil spirit of leaden thoughts and despondency of others keeps me from achieving the task I was born for. “You are my evil spirit, answered Owen…you and the hard coarse world; the leaden thoughts and the despondency that you fling upon me are my clogs; else, I should long ago have achieved the task that I was created for.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 917 People who are in advance of mankind experience a shiver of moral cold. “To persons whose pursuits are insulated from the common business of life—who are either in advance of mankind, or apart from it—there often comes a sensation of moral cold, that makes the spirit shiver, as if it had reached the frozen solitudes around the pole.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 928 The reward of all achievement is in the achievement itself. “…to learn that the reward of all high performance must be sought within itself, or sought in vain.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 931 The symbol of his achievement meant little to him. “When the artist rose high enough to achieve the Beautiful, the symbol by which he made it perceptible to mortal senses became of little value in his eyes, while his spirit possessed itself in the enjoyment of the reality.” Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Achievement 943 For one moment his creative power and genius achieved its goal, but he could never repeat it. “…on the supposition, that in every human spirit there is imagination, sensibility, creative power, genius, which, according to circumstances, may either be developed in this world, or shrouded in a mask of dullness until another state of being; to our friend Drowne, there came a brief season of excitement…rendered him a genius for that one occasion, but, quenched in disappointment, left him again the mechanical carver in wood, without the power even of appreciating the work that his own hands had wrought.” Hawthorne: “Drowne’s Wooden Image”
Achievement 37 One has to love life in order to achieve. “The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.” Dr. Johnson. 1750-02. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 96 “There is no such thing as a great talent without great will power.” Balzac. 1843. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 96 The first who try fail, leaving the advantages to those who follow. “The first undertakers in all great attempts commonly miscarry, and leave the advantages of their losses to those that come after them.” Samuel Butler (I). 1660-80. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 97 If every objection must be overcome, nothing will be attempted. “Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.” Sam. Johnson. 1759. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 97 In order to achieve, one must renounce everything else. “In accomplishing anything definite a man renounces everything else.” Santayana. 1905-6. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 100 To get anything done, do not care who gets the credit. “The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit of dong them.” Benjamin Jowett. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Achievement 27 Great ideas in science often start with ideas that are unscientific. “Great advances in science so often start from prejudice, on ideas got not from science but straight out of a scientist’s head, on notions that are…the opposite of the prevailing superstitious nonsense of the day.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 67 Pasteur enjoyed working alone and speaking to audiences. “…he [Pasteur] loved to be alone as he worked just as he greatly enjoyed spouting his glorious results to worshipful, brilliant audiences.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 73 Pasteur was gifted in presenting his ideas. “…Pasteur proved himself much more useful than Leeuwenhoek or Spallanzani—he did excellent experiments, and then had a knack of presenting them in a way to heat up the world about them.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 94 “He [Pasteur] was an investigator and a marvelous missionary...” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 164 “Pasteur started out, as he so often did, by making mistakes.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 169 Pasteur sometimes succeeded by ignoring common sense. “With every fact against him Pasteur searched and tried and failed and tried again with that insane neglect of common sense that sometimes turns hopeless causes into victory.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 170 Pasteur anticipated people who would understand his ideas. “He [Pasteur] was, those days, like old Ludwig van Beethoven writing unplayable horn parts for his symphonies--and then miraculously discovering horn blowers to play those parts.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 208 If you look for one thing you sometimes find something else. “This history [Microbe Hunters] has already made it clear that microbe hunters usually find other things than they set out to look for....” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 264 To succeed, you have to overcome disappointment. “He [Bruce] had the persistence to claw his way out of the bogs of disappointment….” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 274 Success sometimes comes because you ignore what everyone else accepts as true. “Ross was sublimely ignorant but maybe that was best for he had nothing to unlearn.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 287 True searching requires loneliness. “The priceless loneliness that is the one condition for all true searching.” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 328 Success requires exactness. Ehrlich: “It is because we are not exact that we fail” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 339 Success in science sometimes comes from a theory that appears not to be true. “Next was that Paul Ehrlich made a lucky stab, that came from reading a theory with no truth in it” DeKruif, Microbe Hunters.
Achievement 85 Learn, because when you need it, what you have learned will come to bear. “Everything in him was functioning for one purpose, and from experience, with a confident unstated certainty, he knew that when demanded of him all this information would crystallize into the proper reactions.” Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Achievement 321 An unusual motivation for constructing. “…wondered whether or not he too might be falling into the vice of building so that he could take apart….” Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.