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8+ quotes from Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen

Quotes from Seven Gothic Tales

Isak Dinesen ·  420 pages

Rating: (2.3K votes)

“Do you know a cure for me?"

"Why yes," he said, "I know a cure for everything. Salt water."

"Salt water?" I asked him.

"Yes," he said, "in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“The real difference between God and human beings, he thought, was that God cannot stand continuance. No sooner has he created a season of a year, or a time of the day, than he wishes for something quite different, and sweeps it all away. No sooner was one a young man, and happy at that, than the nature of things would rush one into marriage, martyrdom or old age. And human beings cleave to the existing state of things. All their lives they are striving to hold the moment fast....Their art itself is nothing but the attempt to catch by all means the one particular moment, one light, the momentary beauty of one woman or one flower, and make it everlasting.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“For really, dreaming is the well-mannered people's way of committing suicide.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“Where, My Lord, is music bred—upon the instrument or within the ear that listens? The loveliness of woman is created in the eye of man.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“She had what the Councillor knew, in the technical language of the ballet, as "ballon", a lightness that is not only the negation of weight, but which actually seems to carry upwards and make for flight, and which is rarely found in thin dancers - as if the matter itself had here become lighter than air, so that the more there is of it the better it works.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“Perhaps to them the first condition for anything having real charm was this: that it must not really exist.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

“Truth, like time, is an idea arising from, and dependent upon, human intercourse.”
― Isak Dinesen, quote from Seven Gothic Tales

About the author

Isak Dinesen
Born place: in Rungsted, Denmark
Born date April 17, 1885
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Popular quotes

“When one tries to rise above Nature one is liable to fall below it.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, quote from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

“Phaethon asked: “Do you think there is something wrong with the Sophotechs? We are Manorials, father! We let Rhadamanthus control our finances and property, umpire our disputes, teach our children, design our thoughtscapes, and even play matchmaker to find us wives and husbands!”

“Son, the Sophotechs may be sufficient to advise the Parliament on laws and rules. Laws are a matter of logic and common sense. Specially designed human-thinking versions, like Rhadamanthus, can tell us how to fulfill our desires and balance our account books. Those are questions of strategy, of efficient allocation of resources and time. But the Sophotechs, they cannot choose our desires for us. They cannot guide our culture, our values, our tastes. That is a question of the spirit.”

“Then what would you have us do? Would you change our laws?”

“Our mores, not our laws. There are many things which are repugnant, deadly to the spirit, and self-destructive, but which law should not forbid. Addiction, self-delusion, self-destruction, slander, perversion, love of ugliness. How can we discourage such things without the use of force? It was in response to this need that the College of Hortators evolved. Peacefully, by means of boycotts, public protests, denouncements, and shunnings, our society can maintain her sanity against the dangers to our spirit, to our humanity, to which such unboundried liberty, and such potent technology, exposes us.”

(...) But Phaethon certainly did not want to hear a lecture, not today. “Why are you telling me all this? What is the point?”

“Phaethon, I will let you pass through those doors, and, once through, you will have at your command all the powers and perquisites I myself possess. The point of my story is simple. The paradox of liberty of which you spoke before applies to our entire society. We cannot be free without being free to harm ourselves. Advances in technology can remove physical dangers from our lives, but, when they do, the spiritual dangers increase. By spiritual danger I mean a danger to your integrity, your decency, your sense of life. Against those dangers I warn you; you can be invulnerable, if you choose, because no spiritual danger can conquer you without your own consent. But, once they have your consent, those dangers are all-powerful, because no outside force can come to your aid. Spiritual dangers are always faced alone. It is for this reason that the Silver-Gray School was formed; it is for this reason that we practice the exercise of self-discipline. Once you pass those doors, my son, you will be one of us, and there will be nothing to restrain you from corruption and self-destruction except yourself.

“You have a bright and fiery soul, Phaethon, a power to do great things; but I fear you may one day unleash such a tempest of fire that you may consume yourself, and all the world around you.”
― quote from The Golden Age

“When he bit into the flesh there softly, I almost accused him right there of lying to me about me being his first girlfriend, because he was way too good at this.”
― Shelly Crane, quote from Independence

“Child, think not of those things, those dark possibilities. Your father and brothers are here with you today. Lavain will tug at your braids, Tirry will sing you songs, and your father will see his wife's beauty in you. Savor their love today. And it will never leave you.”
― Lisa Ann Sandell, quote from Song of the Sparrow

“Can you be happy here, lass?” She smiled and turned her gaze to the beautiful land covered in green and budding flowers. “I am happy wherever you are, husband.”
― Maya Banks, quote from Never Seduce a Scot

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