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This single stick, which you now behold ingloriously lying in that neglected corner, I once knew in a flourishing state in a forest: it was full of sap, full of leaves, and full of boughs: but now, in vain does the busy art of man pretend to vie with nature, by tying that withered bundle of twigs to its sapless trunk: it is now, at best, but the reverse of what it was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on the earth, and the root in the air; it is now handled by every dirty wench, condemned to do her drudgery, and, by a capricious kind of fate, destined to make other things clean, and be nasty itself: at length, worn to the stumps in the service of the maids, it is either thrown out of doors, or condemned to the last use, of kindling a fire. When I beheld this I sighed, and said within myself, Surely man is a Broomstick!

Jonathan Swift, A Meditation Upon A Broomstick

Since music is the only language with the contradictory attributes of being intelligible and untranslatable, the musical creator is a being comparable to the gods, and music itself the supreme mystery of the science of man.

anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (via jtotheizzoe)

We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them.

Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

(Source: vintageanchorbooks)