„What is this world? what asketh men to have?“

The Knight's Tale, IV, 1919 - 1921
The Canterbury Tales
Context: What is this world? what asketh men to have?
Now with his love, now in his colde grave
Allone, withouten any compaignye.

Last update May 22, 2020. History
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Geoffrey Chaucer98
English poet 1343 - 1400

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„For men love what they cannot have, and hate what they cannot control.“

—  Robin Maxwell American writer 1948

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„What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.“

—  John Bunyan English Christian writer and preacher 1628 - 1688

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„What difference does it make after all? — anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what's heaven? what's earth? All in the mind.“

—  Jack Kerouac, book On the Road

Part Three, Ch. 11
Source: On the Road (1957)
Context: In 1942 I was the star in one of the filthiest dramas of all time. I was a seaman, and went to the Imperial Café on Scollay Square in Boston to drink; I drank sixty glasses of beer and retired to the toilet, where I wrapped myself around the toilet bowl and went to sleep. During the night at least a hundred seamen and assorted civilians came in and cast their sentient debouchements on me till I was unrecognizably caked. What difference does it make after all? — anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what's heaven? what's earth? All in the mind.

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„Have we despised what the world esteems and esteemed what it despises? Have we fled what it wants and wanted what it flees? Have we loved what it hates and hated what it loves?“

—  Louis Tronson French Roman Catholic priest 1622 - 1700

Avons-nous pour cela méprisé ce qu'il estime, et estimé ce qu'il méprise? Avons nous fui ce qu'il recherche , et recherché ce qu'il fuit? Avons-nous aimé ce qu'il hait, et haï ce qu'il aime?
Examens particuliers sur divers sujets, p. 321 http://books.google.com/books?id=esY9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA321
Examens particuliers sur divers sujets [Examination of Conscience upon Special Subjects] (1690)

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„What I know of this world is what my senses have told me.“

—  Мэттью Беллами English singer-songwriter 1978

[2001-10-11, http://museandamuse3.free.fr/press/articles_nme2.html, Vengence is ours (History of the band), NME, museandamuse3.free.fr, 2018-06-08, https://archive.li/J2FiB, no, 2018-06-08]

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„We shall not busy ourselves with what men ought to have admired, what they ought to have written, what they ought to have thought, but with what they did think, write, admire.“

—  George Saintsbury British literary critic 1845 - 1933

Vol. 1, pp. 4–5
A History of Criticism and Literary Taste in Europe from the Earliest Texts to the Present Day

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„What art needs is greater men, and what politics needs is better men.“

—  William Saroyan American writer 1908 - 1981

Something About a Soldier (1940)
Context: Wars, for us, are either inevitable, or created. Whatever they are, they should not wholly vitiate art. What art needs is greater men, and what politics needs is better men.

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„The Study of philosophy is not that we may know what men have thought, but what the truth of things is.“

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„For human beings, being children, have the childish wilfulness and the childish secrecy. And they never have from the beginning of the world done what the wise men have seen to be inevitable.“

—  G. K. Chesterton, book The Napoleon of Notting Hill

Opening lines
The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904)
Context: The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called “Keep to-morrow dark,” and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) “Cheat the Prophet.” The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.
For human beings, being children, have the childish wilfulness and the childish secrecy. And they never have from the beginning of the world done what the wise men have seen to be inevitable.

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„Always with Beckett there is a technical reduction to the extreme. … But this reduction is really what the world makes out of us …that is the world has made out of us these stumps of men … these men who have actually lost their I, who are really the products of the world in which we live.“

—  Theodor W. Adorno German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for his critical theory of society 1903 - 1969

Immer von Beckett ist eine technische Reduktion bis zum äußersten. … Aber diese Reduktion ist ja wirklich das was die Welt aus uns macht … das heißt die Welt aus uns gemacht diese Stümpfe von Menschen also diese Menschen die eigentlich ihr ich ihr verloren haben die sind wirklich die Produkte der Welt in der wir leben.
"Beckett and the Deformed Subject" (Lecture)

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