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"There are creators in politics, and creative movements, that are poised for a moment in history. Hitler, on the contrary, lacked to a singular degree any Nietzschean element. Hitler is not Zarathoustra. Nor is Trujillo. They represented what Nietzsche calls “the monkey of Zarathoustra.” As Nietzsche said, if one wants to be “a master,” it is not enough to come to power. More often than not it is the “slaves” who come to power, and who keep it, and who remain slaves while they keep it.
The masters according to Nietzsche are the untimely, those who create, who destroy in order to create, not to preserve. Nietzsche says that under the huge earth-shattering events are tiny silent events, which he likens to the creation of new worlds: there once again you see the presence of the poetic under the historical. In France, for instance, there are no earth-shattering events right now. They are far away, and horrible, in Vietnam. But we still have tiny imperceptible events, which maybe announce an exodus from today’s desert. Maybe the return to Nietzsche is one of those “tiny events” and already a reinterpretation of the world."

— Gilles Deleuze, in an interview with Guy Dumur, from Le Nouvel Observateur, April 5, 1967, pp. 40-41.

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"Foucault insists on the importance of the techniques of interpretation. It’s possible that in the actual idea of interpretation is something which goes beyond the dialectical opposition between “knowing” and “transforming” the world. Freud is the great interpreter, so is Nietzsche, but in a different way. Nietzsche’s idea is that things and actions are already interpretations. So to interpret is to interpret interpretations, and thus to change things, “to change life.” What is clear for Nietzsche is that society cannot be an ultimate authority. The ultimate authority is creation, it is art: or rather, art represents the absence and the impossibility of an ultimate authority. From the very beginning of his work, Nietzsche posits that there exist ends “just a little higher” than those of the State, than those of society. He inserts his entire corpus in a dimension which is neither historical, even understood dialectically, nor eternal. What he calls this new dimension which operates both in time and against time is the untimely. It is in this that life as interpretation finds its source. Maybe the reason for the “return to Nietzsche” is a rediscovery of the untimely, that dimension which is distinct both from classical philosophy in its “timeless” enterprise and from dialectical philosophy in its understanding of history: a singular element of upheaval."

— Gilles Deleuze, in an interview with Guy Dumur, from Le Nouvel Observateur, April 5, 1967, pp. 40-41.

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"Change is one thing, progress is another. “Change” is scientific, “progress” is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy."

— Bertrand Russell

(Source: man-of-prose)

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"Have I the right, as an artist still attached to liberty, to accept the advantages in money and consideration that are linked to that attitude? The reply for me would be simple. It is in poverty that I have found and shall always find the conditions essential to keep my culpability, if it exists, from being shameful at least and to keep it proud. But must I reduce my children to poverty, refuse even the very modest comfort I am preparing for them? And in these conditions, was I wrong to accept the simplest human tasks and duties, such as having children? In the end, has one the right to have children, to assume the human condition when one doesn’t believe in God?"

— Albert Camus, Notebooks 1942-1951

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"Death gives its shape to love as it does to life – transforming it into fate. The one you love died while you loved her and now it is a love fixed forever – which, without such an end, would have fallen to pieces. What would the world be without death – a succession of forms evaporating and returning, and anguished flight, and unfinishable world. But fortunately here is death, the stable one."

— Albert Camus - Notebooks 1942-1951

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"No morality but fulfillment. And there is no other fulfillment than that of love, in other words of yielding to oneself and dying to the world. Go all the way. Disappear. Dissolve in love. Then the force of love will create without me. Be swallowed up. Break up. Vanish in fulfillment and the passion of truth."

— Albert Camus - Notebooks 1942-1951

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"I think I don’t care if I’m in a state of contradiction; I don’t want to be a philosophical genius. I don’t even want to be a genius at all, for I have enough trouble just being a man."

— Albert Camus - Notebooks 1942-1951

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"One evening, when we look in the mirror, we see a deeper line around our mouth. What is it? The stuff from which I made the happiness I overcame."

— Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942

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"The more I read the pessimists, the more I love life. After reading Schopenhauer, I always feel like a bridegroom on his wedding night."

— Emile Cioran

(Source: stickyembraces, via circumstanceanddisposition-deac)

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"Indeed, every instance of taking a thing profoundly and fundamentally, is a violation, an intentional injuring of the fundamental will of the spirit, which instinctively aims at appearance and superficiality - in all desire for knowledge there is already a drop of cruelty."

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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"We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost."

— Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

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"Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves."

— Emil Cioran

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"If there is a sin against life, it lies perhaps less in despairing of it than in hoping for another life and evading the implacable grandeur of the one we have."

— Albert Camus - “Summer in Algiers,” Nuptials

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"I want to keep my lucidity to the last, and gaze upon my death with all the fullness of my jealousy and horror. It is to the extent I cut myself off from the world that I fear death the most, to the degree I attach myself to the fate of living men instead of contemplating the unchanging sky. Creating conscious deaths is to diminish the distance that separates us from the world and to accept a consummation without joy, alert to rapturous images of a world forever lost. And the melancholy song of the Djemila hills plunges this bitter lesson deeper into my soul."

— Albert Camus - “The Wind at Djemila,” Nuptials

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"I tell myself: I am going to die, but this means nothing, since I cannot manage to believe it and can only experience other people’s death. I have seen people die. Above all, I have seen dogs die. It was touching them that overwhelmed me. Then I think of flowers, smiles, the desire for women, and realize that my whole horror of death lies in my anxiety to live. I am jealous of those who will live and for whom flowers and the desire for women will have their full flesh and blood meaning. I am envious because I love life too much not to be selfish"

— Albert Camus - “The Wind at Djemila,” Nuptials