Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.

— Theodore Zeldin

The most spectacular Theodore Zeldin quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

The brain is full of lonely ideas, begging you to make some sense of them, to recognize them as interesting. The lazy brain just files them away in old pigeonholes, like a bureaucrat who wants an easy life. The lively brain picks and chooses and creates new works of art out of ideas.

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Art is, nowadays, our new religion and museums are our cathedrals.

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A dream is what makes people love life even when it is painful.

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We should abolish 'work.' By that I mean abolishing the distinction between work and leisure, one of the greatest mistakes of the last century, one that enables employers to keep workers in lousy jobs by granting them some leisure time.

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Each person is an enigma. You're a puzzle not only to yourself but also to everyone else, and the great mystery of our time is how we penetrate this puzzle.

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No history of the world can be complete which does not mention Mary Helen Keller... whose overcoming of her blindness and deafness were arguably victories more important than those of Alexander the Great, because they have implications still for every living person.

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The past is what provides us with the building blocks.

Our job today is to create new buildings out of them.

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Forks and spoons have probably done more to reconcile people who cannot agree than guns and bombs ever did

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The Renaissance… was based on a new idea of the importance of the individual.

But this was a fragile foundation, because individuals depended on constant applause and admiration to sustain them. There is a shortage of applause in the world, and there is not enough respect to go around.

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Brilliant lecturers shouldn't be wasted in lecture rooms: they should appear onTV. We need black market universities, in which people just help each other, and which don't leave out the poor.

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Conversation creates a new kind of network within organizations.

Current networks are used for competitive advantage, but conversation is focused on encouraging people to realize their potential.

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The great attraction of fashion is that it diverted attention from the insoluble problems of beauty and provided an easy way -- which money could buy... to a simply stated, easily reproduced ideal of beauty, however temporary that ideal.

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About Theodore Zeldin

Quotes 36 sayings
Birthday October 16

People in this world of superficial communication find themselves isolated and lonely and have difficult in talking about personal things that really matter to them.

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One of the great ambitions is to discover the diversity of the world, to discover who inhabits the world.

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Nothing influences our ability to cope with the difficulties of our existence so much as the context in which we view them; the more contexts we can choose between, the less do the difficulties appear to be inevitable and insurmountable.

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The British have turned their sense of humour into a national virtue.

It is odd, because through much of history, humour has been considered cheap, and laughter something for the lower orders. But British aristocrats didn't care a damn about what people thought of them, so they made humour acceptable.

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All invention and progress comes from finding a link between two ideas that have never met.

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What we make of people, and what we see in the mirror when we look at ourselves, depends on what we know of the world, what we believe to be possible, what memories we have, and whether our loyalties are to the past, the present or the future.

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To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they can control it, wish to influence its direction.

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To idolise a person means you don't get to know them, and the idea that you can become one is a myth, and it also means that you don't need to talk to one another because you're the same person.

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I think the hero in our generation is not the individual but the pair, two people who together add up to more than they are apart.

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The kind of conversation I like is one in which you are prepared to emerge a slightly different person.

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Two individuals, conversing honestly, can be inspired by the feeling that they are engaged in a joint enterprise, aiming at inventing an art which has not been tried before.

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The institution of marriage, if you look at it over many centuries, has come and gone.

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Never before have humans been so ambitious, have they thought that they could be much more than their parents were.

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The English reputation for humour is a way by which people avoid revealing themselves and have superficial relationships, so that you can engage in banter without making yourself vulnerable.

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Breaking accepted rules does bring people together.

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When will we make the same breakthroughs in the way we treat each other as we have made in technology?

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Change the way you think, and you are halfway to changing the world.

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We should strive to be employed in such a way that we don't realize that what we're doing is work.

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Everything I am going to say to you is the child of a conversation.

[...] That is the aspect of conversation that particularly excites me: how conversation changes the way you see the world, and even changes the world.

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The violent have been victorious for most of history because they kindled the fear with which everyone is born.

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The great thing about marriage is that it creates trust, the most precious of things.

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The French have made conversation their claim to civilisation.

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Only when people learn to converse will they begin to be equal.

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