I've always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind ... I feel that life is very short and the world is there to see and one should know as much about it as possible. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.

— Paul Bowles

The most scandalous Paul Bowles quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment. And perhaps even more than that, it's having the ability to recall such moments in their totality, to contemplate them like jewels.

68

How fragile we are under the sheltering sky.

Behind the sheltering sky is a vast dark universe, and we're just so small.

43

Everyone is isolated from everyone else.

The concept of society is like a cushion to protect us from the knowledge of that isolation. A fiction that serves as an anesthetic.

31

A black star appears, a point of darkness in the night sky's clarity.

Point of darkness and gateway to repose. Reach out, pierce the fine fabric of the sheltering sky, take repose.

26

Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.

26

It's very hard to write about that which is always beautiful and pleasant and good. You don't get anywhere with it. There's no friction in it. There's no trouble. You have to have trouble. Somebody's got to get in trouble, or no one wants to read it.

21

Illness reduces man to his basic state: a cloaca in which the chemical processes continue. The meaningless hegemony of the involuntary.

20

She was saved from prettiness by the intensity of her gaze.

18

Since the world began has any man ever been able to know what would happen tomorrow? The world of men is today. I'm asking you to open your heart today. Tomorrow belongs to Allah.

14

No one can ever heap enough insults upon me to suit my taste.

I think we all really thrive on hostility, because it's the most intense kind of massage the ego can undergo. Other people's indifference is the only horror.

11

It's unnecessary and destructive to think of oneself at all.

People ask me, 'What do you think of yourself as?' My answer is, 'Nothing.

11

How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

6

About Paul Bowles

Quotes 38 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Composer
Birthday October 16

How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty.

And yet it all seems limitless.

6

We've never managed, either one of us, to get all the way into life.

We're hanging on to the outside for all we're worth, convinced we're going to fall off at the next bump.

4

The soul is the weariest part of the body.

3

Because neither she nor Port had ever lived a life of any kind of regularity, they had both made the fatal error of coming hazily to regard time as non-existent. One year was like another year. Eventually everything would happen.

3

One never took the time to savour the details;

one said: another day, but always with the hidden knowledge that each day was unique and fatal, that there never would be a return, another time.

3

The act of living had been enjoyable;

at some point when I was not paying attention, it had turned into a different sort of experience, to whose grimness I had grown so accustomed that I now took it for granted.

3

That was what he wanted, to be baked dry and hard, to feel the vaporous worries evaporating one by one, to know finally that all the damp little doubts and hesitations that covered the floor of his being were curling up and expiring in the great furnace-blast of the sun.

2

Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

1

If people and their manner of living were alike everywhere, there would not be much point in moving from one place to another.

0

Fiction should always steer clear of political considerations.

0

If you don't know why you like a thing, it is usually worth your while to attempt to find out.

0

Publishers are thieves, they are on the other side of the barricade.

0

The sky hides the night behind it, and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.

0

Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home.

0

I wanted to meet other artists. I suppose I simply felt that I was taking pot shots at clay pipes. Pop! Down goes Gertrude, down goes Jean Cocteau, down goes André Gide.

0

Not all the ravages caused by our merciless age are tangible ones.

The subtler forms of destruction, those involving only the human spirit, are the most to be dreaded.

0

Life is lived only once. And the less seriously the better.

0

Each time I go to a place I have not seen before I hope it will be as different as possible from the places I already know. I assume it is natural for a traveler to seek diversity, and that it is the human element that makes him most aware of difference. If people and their manner of living were alike everywhere, there would not be much point in moving from one place to another.

0

Every second, ten stars set behind the black water in the west.

0

[A]nother important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.

0

The only effort worth making is the one it takes to learn the geography of one's own nature.

0

He awoke, opened his eye. The room meant very little to him; he was too deeply immersed in the non-being from which he had just come. If he had not the energy to ascertain his position in time and space, he also lacked the desire. ... In utter comfort, utter relaxation he lay absolutely still for a while, and then sank back into on the the light momentary sleeps that occur after a long, profound one.

0

There is a way to master silence Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners And listen to the hiss of time outside

0

The Hindus are busy letting themselves be seen riding in Cadillacs instead of smearing themselves with sandalwood paste and bowing in front of Ganpati. The Moslems would rather miss evening prayer than the new Disney movie. The Buddhists think it's more important to take over in the name of Stalin and Progress than to meditate on the four basic sorrows. And we don't even have to mention Christianity or Judaism.

0

It was one of the charms of the International Zone that you could get anything you wanted if you paid for it. Do anything, too, for that matter; - there were no incorruptibles. It was only a question of price.

0
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