Quotes about history

A collection of quotes on the topic of history.

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Mikhail Bakunin photo
Mikhail Bakunin photo
Jose Cecilio del Valle photo
Octavia E. Butler photo
H.P. Lovecraft photo

„I can better understand the inert blindness & defiant ignorance of the reactionaries from having been one of them. I know how smugly ignorant I was—wrapped up in the arts, the natural (not social) sciences, the externals of history & antiquarianism, the abstract academic phases of philosophy, & so on—all the one-sided standard lore to which, according to the traditions of the dying order, a liberal education was limited. God! the things that were left out—the inside facts of history, the rational interpretation of periodic social crises, the foundations of economics & sociology, the actual state of the world today … & above all, the habit of applying disinterested reason to problems hitherto approached only with traditional genuflections, flag-waving, & callous shoulder-shrugs! All this comes up with humiliating force through an incident of a few days ago—when young Conover, having established contact with Henneberger, the ex-owner of WT, obtained from the latter a long epistle which I wrote Edwin Baird on Feby. 3, 1924, in response to a request for biographical & personal data. Little Willis asked permission to publish the text in his combined SFC-Fantasy, & I began looking the thing over to see what it was like—for I had not the least recollection of ever having penned it. Well …. I managed to get through, after about 10 closely typed pages of egotistical reminiscences & showing-off & expressions of opinion about mankind & the universe. I did not faint—but I looked around for a 1924 photograph of myself to burn, spit on, or stick pins in! Holy Hades—was I that much of a dub at 33 … only 13 years ago? There was no getting out of it—I really had thrown all that haughty, complacent, snobbish, self-centred, intolerant bull, & at a mature age when anybody but a perfect damned fool would have known better! That earlier illness had kept me in seclusion, limited my knowledge of the world, & given me something of the fatuous effusiveness of a belated adolescent when I finally was able to get around more in 1920, is hardly much of an excuse. Well—there was nothing to be done … except to rush a note back to Conover & tell him I'd dismember him & run the fragments through a sausage-grinder if he ever thought of printing such a thing! The only consolation lay in the reflection that I had matured a bit since '24. It's hard to have done all one's growing up since 33—but that's a damn sight better than not growing up at all.“

—  H.P. Lovecraft American author 1890 - 1937

Letter to Catherine L. Moore (7 February 1937), in Selected Letters V, 1934-1937 edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, pp. 407-408
Non-Fiction, Letters

Friedrich Schiller photo

„World history is the world's court.“

—  Friedrich Schiller German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright 1759 - 1805

Resignation (1786)
Context: Translation: World history is the world's court.

Angela Carter photo
Wole Soyinka photo

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Alice A. Bailey photo
Jim Carrey photo

„I think we're past the time in history where you have to come out and say, "you know I'm just happy all the time! I'm a joker, I'm a crazy man!"“

—  Jim Carrey Canadian-American actor, comedian, and producer 1962

you know kind of thing. I think people understand I can turn that switch on but I'm also a sensitive, normal human being with feelings and I know how to express those too.
Fun with Dick & Jane: An Interview with Jim Carrey http://www.blackfilm.com/20051216/features/jimcarrey.shtml by Wilson Morales in Features, BlackFilm.com (December 2005)

Kobe Bryant photo
Maurice Merleau-Ponty photo
Alice Morse Earle photo
Paul Valéry photo
Lionel Messi photo

„Diego is Diego and for me he is the greatest player of all time. Even after a million years I am not even going to be close to Maradona. I have no intention of comparing myself with Maradona - I want to make my own history for something I have achieved.“

—  Lionel Messi Argentine association football player 1987

Response to the Maradona comparisons, 2010 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/players/lionel-messi/7527633/Barcelonas-Lionel-Messi-says-he-will-never-be-as-good-as-Diego-Maradona.html

Michael Parenti photo
Fernando Alonso photo
Jânio Quadros photo

„Lincoln was one of history's greatest men, but Americans are not like him. He was a lonely exception.“

—  Jânio Quadros Brazilian politician 1917 - 1992

"One Man's Cup of Coffee," Time Magazine profile (June 30, 1961)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“