on the page magazine

issue no. 1, winter 2000–2001
outsiders & community


quotes of yesterday

ďA lot of people enjoy being dead. But they're not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. They're players, but they think life is a practice game and they'll save themselves for later. So they sit on the bench, and the only championship they'll ever see goes on before them. The clock ticks away the quarters. At any moment they can join in."

Maude jumped up, shouting encouragement. "Go on, guys! Reach out! Take a chance! Get hurt, maybe. But play as well as you can."

Leading a cheer before a packed stadium, she cried, "Go team, go! Give me an 'L.' Give me an 'I.'

"Give me a 'V.' Give me an 'E.' L-I-V-E. LIVE!"

She sat down beside Harold, very ladylike and composed. "Otherwise," she informed him, "you'll have nothing to talk about in the locker room."

Harold smiled. "I like you, Maude," he said.

Maude smiled back. "I like you, Harold. Come, I'll teach you to waltz."

Colin Higgins, Harold & Maude

All the lonely people,
Where do they all belong?

The Beatles (Lennon/McCartney), "Eleanor Rigby"

I have my books and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armour
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb,
I touch no one and no one touches me.

I am a rock, I am an island
And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.

~ Paul Simon, "I Am a Rock"

No man is an island, entire of itself
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

~ John Donne

Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey.

~ The Beatles (Lennon/McCartney)

Isn't it strange that I who have written only unpopular books should be such a popular fellow?

~ Albert Einstein

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

~ Maya Angelou

I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.

~ Groucho Marx

If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world.

~ Albert Einstein

We have met the enemy and he is us.

~ Pogo, by Walt Kelly

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.

~ The Tempest, II.ii.42

It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.

~ Zora Neale Hurston

Be good and you will be lonesome.

~ Mark Twain

The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.

~ Maya Angelou

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.

~ Woody Allen

Just remember, we're all in this alone.

~ Lily Tomlin

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed. How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him. I have spoken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you.

~ from Ernest Hemingway's Nobel Prize acceptance speech

I'm a controversial figure. My friends either dislike me or hate me.

~ Toni Morrison

"I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy."

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night

It is very easy in the world to live by the opinion of the world. It is very easy in solitude to be self-centered. But the finished man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

~ Emerson

Only presidents, editors and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

~ Mark Twain

It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better ... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.

~ Woody Allen, Side Effects

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.

~ Zora Neale Hurston

You're alone above the street somewhere
Wondering how you'll ever count out there

You can walk, you can talk, you can fight
But inside you've got something to write
In your hand you hold your only friend
Never spend your guitar or your pen

~ The Who, "Guitar and Pen"

There is no such thing as the State;
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

~ W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939

One can acquire everything in solitude except character.

~ Stendhal

And reading became a kind of creative act. With each book, I was somehow collaborating with the writer in the creation of an alternative world. I was at once in Brooklyn and in not-Brooklyn. These books were more than simple collections of abstract symbols called words, printed on paper; they described real events that happened to me....

I carried those books back home, consumed them like food, then brought their stories and characters and lessons down to the streets with me. I couldnít really tell my friends about them. But they were real in my head, they often peopled my dreams, and they helped give me a sense that the streets were not everything.

~ Pete Hamill, A Drinking Life

There's no shame in being a pariah.

~ Marge Simpson

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., March 31, 1968

As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, my country is the world.

~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

I do desire we may be better strangers.

~ As You Like It, III:ii:276

She was not accustomed to taste the joys of solitude except in company.

~ Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:  for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

~ Hebrews 13:1-2

Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

~ Walter Lippmann

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

~ Kurt Vonnegut, commencement address,
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, May 26, 1974

Art is to the community what the dream is to the individual.

~ Thomas Mann

Your husband's work is what we call "outsider art." It could be by a mental patient, a hillbilly or a chimpanzee.

~ The Simpsons

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