Herman Melville was as separated from a civilized literature as the lost Atlantis was said to have been from the great peoples of the earth.— Edward Dahlberg
The most empowering Edward Dahlberg quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
When one realizes that his life is worthless he either commits suicide or travels.
Nothing in our times has become so unattractive as virtue.
A strong foe is better than a weak friend.
Recognize the cunning man not by the corpses he pays homage to but by the living writers he conspires against with the most shameful weapon, Silence, or the briefest review.
The ruin of the human heart is self-interest, which the American merchant calls self-service. We have become a self-service populace, and all our specious comforts --the automatic elevator, the escalator, the cafeteria --are depriving us of volition and moral and physical energy.
Writing is conscience, scruple, and the farming of our ancestors.
One of the weaknesses in the cooperative is that it has never been sufficiently leavened by the imagination. This is a quick-silver faculty, and likely to be a cause of worry to any collective settlement.
What most men desire is a virgin who is a whore.
It is very perplexing how an intrepid frontier people, who fought a wilderness, floods, tornadoes, and the Rockies, cower before criticism, which is regarded as a malignant tumor in the imagination.
We cannot live, suffer or die for somebody else, for suffering is too precious to be shared.
Genius, like truth, has a shabby and neglected mien.
Those who write for lucre or fame are grosser than the cartel robbers, for they steal the genius of the people, which is its will to resist evil.
Of all the animals on earth, none is so brutish as man when he seeks the delirium of coition.
So much of our lives is given over to the consideration of our imperfections that there is no time to improve our imaginary virtues. The truth is we only perfect our vices, and man is a worse creature when he dies than he was when he was born.
Every decision you make is a mistake.
Always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. Walt Disney Every decision you make is a mistake.
Ambition is a Dead Sea fruit, and the greatest peril to the soul is that one is likely to get precisely what he is seeking.
The bad poet is a toady mimicking nature.
Man hoards himself when he has nothing to give away.
We are a most solitary people, and we live, repelled by one another, in the gray, outcast cities of Cain.
There is hardly a man on earth who will take advice unless he is certain that it is positively bad.
I know sage, wormwood, and hyssop, but I can't smell character unless it stinks.
I would rather take hellebore than spend a conversation with a good, little man.
To write is a humiliation.
Intellectual sodomy, which comes from the refusal to be simple about plain matters, is as gross and abundant today as sexual perversion and they are nowise different from one another.
The earnings of a poet could be reckoned by a metaphysician rather than a bookkeeper.
We are always talking about being together, and yet whatever we invent destroys the family, and makes us wild, touchless beasts feeding on technicolor prairies and rivers.
The machine has had a pernicious effect upon virtue, pity, and love, and young men used to machines which induce inertia, and fear, are near impotent.
Men are mad most of their lives; few live sane, fewer die so. The acts of people are baffling unless we realize that their wits are disordered. Man is driven to justice by his lunacy.
I have no confidence in a man whose faults you cannot see.
Utility is our national shibboleth: the savior of the American businessman is fact and his uterine half-brother, statistics.
One cat in a house is a sign of loneliness, two of barrenness, and three of sodomy.
No country has suffered so much from the ruins of war while being at peace as the American.
What has a writer to be bombastic about? Whatever good a man may write is the consequence of accident, luck, or surprise, and nobody is more surprised than an honest writer when he makes a good phrase or says something truthful.
Men are too unstable to be just; they are crabbed because they have not passed water at the usual time, or testy because they have not been stroked or praised.
Man is at the nadir of his stregth when the Earth, the seas, the mountains are not in him, for without them his soul is unsourced, and he has no images by which to abide.
Narcissus never wrote well nor was a friend.
We can only write well about our sins because it is too difficult to recall a virtuous act or even whether it was the result of good or evil motives.
There are men that are birds, and their raiment is trembling feathers, for they show their souls to everyone and everything that is ungentle or untutored or evil or mockery is as a rude stone cast at them, and they suffer all day long, or as Paul remarks they are slain every moment.
Though man is the only beast that can write, he has small reason to be proud of it. When he utters something that is wise it is nothing that the river horse does not know, and most of his creations are the result of accident.
What is most appalling in an F. Scott Fitzgerald book is that it is peopleless fiction: Fitzgerald writes about spectral, muscledsuits; dresses, hats, and sleeves which have some sort of vague, libidinous throb. These are plainly the product of sickness.
Who has enough credit in this world to pay for his mistakes?
Everything ultimately fails, for we die, and that is either the penultimate failure or our most enigmatical achievement.
The ancients understood the regulation of power better than the regulation of liberty.
The newspaper has debauched the American until he is a slavish, simpering, and angerless citizen; it has taught him to be a lump mass-man toward fraud, simony, murder, and lunacies more vile than those of Commodus or Caracalla.
Perhaps Samuel Johnson was a great man; he was certainly a drumbling one.
We are uneasy with an affectionate man, for we are positive he wants something of us, particularly our love.
Look at this poet William Carlos Williams: he is primitive and native, and his roots are in raw forest and violent places; he is word-sick and place-crazy. He admires strength, but for what? Violence! This is the cult of the frontier mind.
We are ruled by chance but never have enough patience to accept its despotism.