Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark,
in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite,
the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish,
in lonely frustration for the life you deserved,
but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won.
It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
We cannot fight against anything,
unless we fight for something —
and what we must fight for is the supremacy of reason,
and a view of man as a rational being.
Envy is the only name she could find for the monstrous thing she faced, but it was much worse than envy: it was the profound hatred of life, of success and of all human values, felt by a certain kind of mediocrity…the kind who feels pleasure on hearing about a stranger’s misfortune. It was hatred of the good for being the good…hatred of ability, of beauty, of honesty, of earnestness, of achievement and, above all, of human joy.
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.
Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.
The desire not to be anything is the desire not to be.
Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.
Every man builds his world in his own image; he has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. If he abdicates his power, he abdicates the status of man, and the grinding chaos of the irrational is what he achieves as his sphere of existence by his own choice.
Guilt is a rope that wears thin.
I’m working to improve my methods,|and every hour I save is an hour added to my life.
Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason.
Man has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.
Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.
It is the metaphysically given that must be accepted: it cannot be changed.It is the man-made that must never be accepted uncritically: it must be judged, then accepted or rejected and changed when necessary.
You’ll come back, because yours is an error of knowledge, not a moral failure, not an act of surrender to evil, but only the last act of being victim to your own virtue. We’ll wait for you and when you come back, you will have discovered that there need never be any conflict among your desires, nor so tragic a clash of values as the one you’ve borne so well.
- Isaac Asimov Russian-born American Children’s Books Writer
- Vladimir Nabokov Russian-born American Novelist
- Gore Vidal American Novelist
- Igor Stravinsky Russian-born American Composer
- Vladimir Horowitz Russian-born American Musician
- Leo Rosten Russian-born American Humorist
- Joyce Carol Oates American Novelist
- Bernard Berenson Russian-born American Art Historian
- Anita Loos American Actor, Novelist
- Philip Roth American Novelist