In Praise of Quotation & Aphorisms
[The most profound or exciting idea you come across in your reading will often seem lifeless when you return to it after an interval, just words printed on paper. Memorizing it by rote will usually bring back some of the old lustre, but to really bring it to life you must acquire it; that is you must remember it in such a way that you can call it up almost as effortlessly as you call up everyday words and expressions when you open your mouth to speak. The way to acquire an idea is to read it aloud in a strong clear voice, changing it to fit your natural speaking style or in whatever way you see fit. If you repeat this exercise often enough you will be able to acquire the entire quote or passage without the disagreeable effort of memorization. However, it is essential to remember that the words must come through the ear and not via the printed page—it is not enough to read them silently to oneself. You will then find these “acquired” ideas springing to your mind when you need them; and they will come couched in clear sentences should you want to express them.]
The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.
It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
Sir Winston Churchill
The only way to read a book of aphorisms without being bored is to open it at random and, having found something that interests you, close the book and meditate.
Prince De Ligne
He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.
This delivering of knowledge in distinct and disjointed aphorisms doth leave the wit of man more free to turn and toss, and to make use of that which is so delivered to more several purposes and applications.
Sir Francis Bacon
An aphorism is the pithy packaging of deep wisdom. It is the consequence of a long process of analysis. It forces the reader to wrestle with it and to be creative with it.
Aphorisms give you more for your time and money than any other literary form.
Someone who can write aphorisms should not fritter away his time writing essays.
Pointed axioms and acute replies fly loose about the world, and are assigned successively to those whom it may be the fashion to celebrate.
All the good maxims already exist in the world; we just fail to apply them.
The great writers of aphorisms read as if they had all known each other well.
I always have a quotation for everything. It saves original thinking.
A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
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