“Nobody knows what should be done, in spite of all the talk. The young ones get mad because they’ve no money to spend. Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they’ve got none to spend. That’s our civilisation and our education: bring up the masses to depend entirely on spending money, and then the money gives out.” – D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

“It is the way our sympathy flows and recoils that really determines our lives. And here lies the vast importance of the novel, properly handled. It can inform and lead into new places the flow of our sympathetic consciousness, and it can lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead. Therefore, the novel, properly handled, can reveal the most secret places of life: for it is in the passional secret places of life, above all, that the tide of sensitive awareness needs to ebb and flow, cleansing and freshening.” – D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (emphasis in original)

“In one’s dealings with the young it behoves one to display the scientific spirit, to exhibit the principles of enlightenment—not only for purposes of mental discipline, but on the human and individual side, in order not to wound them or indirectly offend their political sensibilities; particularly in these days, when there is so much tinder in the air, opinions are so frightfully split up and chaotic, and you may so easily incur attacks from one party or the other, or even give rise to scandal, by taking sides on a point of history.” – Thomas Mann, Disorder and Early Sorrow (trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter)

“The capacity for self-surrender . . . for becoming a tool, for the most unconditional and utter self-abnegation, was but the reverse side of that other power to will and to command. Commanding and obeying formed together one single principle, one indissoluble unity; he who knew how to obey knew also how to command, and conversely; the one idea was comprehended in the other, as people and leader were comprehended in one another.” – Thomas Mann, Mario and the Magician (trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter)

“For an intellectual product of any value to exert an immediate influence which shall also be deep and lasting, it must rest on an inner harmony, yes, an affinity, between the personal destiny of its author and that of his contemporaries in general. Men do not know why they award fame to one work of art rather than another. Without being in the faintest connoisseurs, they think to justify the warmth of their commendations by discovering in it a hundred virtues, whereas the real ground of their applause is inexplicable—it is sympathy.” – Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter)

“I thought about the sad, outcropped, lavatorial world of men. . . . Men wanted my toes in their mouth or my torso roped against a chair or my mouth lipsticked and wordless or my brain ligatured to whatever unknottable neural twist that in their own brains winched their rawing, blunted dicks into place. It was always just one thing they wanted, or could handle, at a time. . . . But I had a hard time finding anything even marginally fetishizable about a man’s life.” – Gary Lutz, “Contractions”

“Freud’s vision of the world had no Buchenwalds in it. Buchenwald, according to Freud, once the light was let in, would become a soccer field, fat children would learn flower-arranging and solfeggio in the strangling rooms. At Auschwitz the ovens would be converted over to petit fours and wedding cakes, and the V-2 missiles to public housing for the elves.” – Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

“Cammed each night out of that safe furrow the bulk of this city’s waking each sunrise again set virtuously to plowing, what rich soils had he turned, what concentric planets uncovered? What voices overheard, flinders of luminescent gods glimpsed among the wallpaper’s stained foliage, candlestubs lit to rotate in the air over him, prefiguring the cigarette he or a friend must fall asleep someday smoking, thus to end among the flaming, secret salts held all those years by the insatiable stuffing of a mattress that could keep vestiges of every nightmare sweat, helplessly overflowing bladder, viciously, tearfully consummated wet dream, like the memory bank to a computer of the lost?” – Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

“Having been since age 7 rigidly instructed in an eschatology that pointed nowhere but to a presidency and death, trained to do absolutely nothing but sign his name to specialized memoranda he could not begin to understand and to take blame for the running-amok of specialized programs that failed for specialized reasons he had to have explained to him, the executive’s first thoughts were naturally of suicide. But previous training got the better of him: he could not make the decision without first hearing the ideas of a committee.” – Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

“Fear of the truth may conceal itself from itself and others behind the pretext that precisely burning zeal for the very truth makes it so difficult, nay impossible, to find any other truth except that of which alone vanity is capable—that of being ever so much cleverer than any ideas, which one gets from oneself or others, could make possible. This sort of conceit which understands how to belittle every truth and turn away from it back into itself, and gloats over this its own private understanding, which always knows how to dissipate every possible thought, and to find, instead of all the content, merely the barren Ego—this is a satisfaction which must be left to itself; for it flees the universal and seeks only an isolated existence on its own account.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (trans. J. B. Baillie)

“To follow one’s own conviction is certainly more than to hand oneself over to authority; but by the conversion of opinion held on authority into opinion held out of personal conviction, the content of what is held is not necessarily altered, and truth has not thereby taken the place of error. If we stick to a system of opinion and prejudice resting on the authority of others, or upon personal conviction, the one differs from the other merely in the conceit which animates the latter.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (trans. J. B. Baillie)