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Contents

Paradoxical Quotations

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Bizarre, absurd, irrational, often self-contradictory sayings and quotes that do not make much sense.


Meaning of Life

Emile M. CioranTo be or not to be… Neither one nor the other.

—  Emile M. Cioran, 1911-1995, French-Romanian philosopher


Human Being

Georg Christoph LichtenbergThat man is the noblest creature may also be inferred from the fact that no other creature has yet contested this claim.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims


Identity

Bob DylanI'm glad I'm not me.

—  Bob Dylan, 1941-, American singer [Nobel 2016]


World

Charles BaudelaireIf the word doesn't exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn't exist.

—  Charles Baudelaire, 1821-1867, French poet

3 likes
Kurt VonnegutThe universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

—  Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007, American writer


Life

Stanislaw Jerzy LecPeople find life entirely too time-consuming.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims


Death

Andy WarholI never think that people die. They just go to department stores.

—  Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, American artist

Antonio PorchiaWhen I die, I will not see myself die, for the first time.

—  Antonio Porchia, 1885-1968, Italian-Argentinian poet

Stanislaw Jerzy LecI am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims

Arthur ClarkeBehind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer


Suicide

Gore VidalWrite something, even if it's just a suicide note.

—  Gore Vidal, 1925-2012, American writer


Astrology

Arthur ClarkeI don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer


Afterlife

Samuel BeckettIn the afterlife, we’ll sit around talking about the good old days, when we wished that we were dead.

—  Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989, Irish writer, Nobel 1969

6 likes
Stanislaw Jerzy LecOnly the dead can be resurrected. It’s more difficult with the living.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims


God

H.L. MenckenIf the average man is made in God's image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Jules RenardGod does not believe in our God.

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer


Christianity

Mark TwainIf Christ were here, there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer


Devil

Jean CocteauGod exists. He is the devil.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist


Duration

Eugene IonescoOnly the ephemeral lasts.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright


Age

Walt DisneyThat’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.

—  Walt Disney, 1901-1966, American businessman & cartoonist


Environment

Ronald ReaganAll the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.

—  Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004, American President [1981-1989]


Night

George CarlinThere are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

1 likes

Memory

Samuel BeckettIn the afterlife, we’ll sit around talking about the good old days, when we wished that we were dead.

—  Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989, Irish writer, Nobel 1969

6 likes

Health

Eugene IonescoThere are diseases that are healthy.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright


Psychology

Karl KrausPsychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer

3 likes

Preferences

Stanislaw Jerzy LecCannibals prefer those who have no spines.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims


Genius

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThe truth is, a great mind must be androgynous.

—  Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772-1834, English poet & philosopher


Patience

Antonio PorchiaI can wait for you longer. Because you have arrived.

—  Antonio Porchia, 1885-1968, Italian-Argentinian poet


Greatness

H.L. MenckenIf the average man is made in God's image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic


Annoyance

Sam GoldwynIf Roosevelt were alive today, he'd turn over in his grave.

—  Sam Goldwyn, 1879-1974, American film producer


Disbelief

Arthur ClarkeI don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

—  Arthur Clarke, 1917-2008, British Sci-Fi writer


Absurdity

George CarlinYou know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

1 likes

Marriage

Benjamin DisraeliI have always thought that every woman should marry, and no man.

—  Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Prime Minister

3 likes

Treating others

DanteTo be rude to him was courtesy.

—  Dante, 1265-1321, Italian poet


Protection

Jean CocteauWe shelter an angel within us. We must be the guardians of that angel.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist


Solitude

Andy WarholI had a lot of dates, but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.

—  Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, American artist


Prison

Antonio PorchiaNothing is not only nothing. It is also our prison.

—  Antonio Porchia, 1885-1968, Italian-Argentinian poet


War & Peace

Carl SandburgSomeday they'll give a war and nobody will come.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet


First phrases

George OrwellIt was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

     (first phrase of “1984”)


Poetry

Carl SandburgPoetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet


Hypotheses

Mark TwainIf Christ were here, there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer


Options

Emile M. CioranTo be or not to be… Neither one nor the other.

—  Emile M. Cioran, 1911-1995, French-Romanian philosopher


Experience

Oscar LevantI've been around so long, I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.

—  Oscar Levant, 1906-1972, American pianist

1 likes

Results

Eugene IonescoFondle a circle and it will become vicious.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright

1 likes

Punishment

Stanislaw Jerzy LecI am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims


Happiness

Jules RenardTrue happiness is to reminisce the present.

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer


Troubles

Samuel BeckettWhen you're in the shit up to your neck, there's nothing left to do but sing.

—  Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989, Irish writer, Nobel 1969


Cats

Eugene IonescoAll cats are mortal. Socrates is mortal. Therefore Socrates is a cat.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright

     (making a parody of the classic syllogism by Aristotle)


Wolves

George CarlinThere are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

1 likes

Void

Antonio PorchiaNothing is not only nothing. It is also our prison.

—  Antonio Porchia, 1885-1968, Italian-Argentinian poet


Mirror

Jean CocteauMirrors would do well to reflect a little more before sending back images.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

2 likes

Difference

William JamesThere are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher













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The words of truth are paradoxical.
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