„The arrogance of poets is only a defense; doubt gnaws the greatest among them; they need our testimony to escape despair.“

Edited by Eszter Kissová. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Francois Mauriac photo
Francois Mauriac38
French author 1885 - 1970

Related quotes

„The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.“

—  Edward Abbey American author and essayist 1927 - 1989

"Shadows from the Big Woods", p. 223
The Journey Home (1977)

Denise Levertov photo

„The poet
never must lose despair.“

—  Denise Levertov Poet 1923 - 1997

Conversation in Moscow

John Boyle O'Reilly photo

„Doubt is brother-devil to Despair.“

—  John Boyle O'Reilly Irish-born poet and novelist 1844 - 1890

Prometheus.

Samuel Butler photo
Gary L. Francione photo
John Scalzi photo
Christine O'Donnell photo
Sören Kierkegaard photo

„Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair.“

—  Sören Kierkegaard Danish philosopher and theologian, founder of Existentialism 1813 - 1855

Mao Zedong photo
Mary Cassatt photo

„.. we [the Impressionists ] are carrying on a despairing fight & need all our forces.“

—  Mary Cassatt American painter and printmaker 1844 - 1926

Quote c. 1879; as cited by Nancy Mowll Mathews, in Mary Cassatt: A Life, Villard Books, New York, 1994, p. 118 - ISBN 978-0-394-58497-3

Lawrence Lessig photo

„A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity; "what everyone knows" is the line between us and them.“

—  Lawrence Lessig, book The Future of Ideas

The Future of Ideas (2001)
Context: A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted. The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity; "what everyone knows" is the line between us and them.
This means that sometimes a society gets stuck. Sometimes these unquestioned ideas interfere, as the cost of questioning becomes too great. In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt.

Henry Kirke White photo
Jagadish Chandra Bose photo
John F. Kennedy photo

„We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.“

—  John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States of America 1917 - 1963

1961, Inaugural Address
Context: Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction. We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

Chester W. Nimitz photo

„Our armament must be adequate to the needs, but our faith is not primarily in these machines of defense but in ourselves.“

—  Chester W. Nimitz United States Navy fleet admiral 1885 - 1966

Speech at the University of California, Berkeley (22 March 1950)
Context: That is not to say that we can relax our readiness to defend ourselves. Our armament must be adequate to the needs, but our faith is not primarily in these machines of defense but in ourselves.

„Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.“

—  Edward Abbey American author and essayist 1927 - 1989

Context: The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an "equalizer." Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.

Abbey's Road (1979)

„A Poet is needed to fully interpret a poet“

—  Andrew Thomson British writer 1814 - 1901

Samuel Rutherford Unwin Bros, Gresham Press, London 1891

Tennessee Williams photo
Wendell Berry photo

Related topics