Category Archives: - Aphorisms

A Significant Anniversary

Today is the 100th birthday of Nicolás Gómez Dávila. If you don’t know his work, probably the best place to start is this page. If you don’t think you have time to take on a new author, you’re wrong: he … Continue reading

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Quotation of the Day

Tim was so learned, that he could name a Horse in nine Languages; So ignorant, that he bought a Cow to ride on. (Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1750)

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Quotation of the Day

Proud Modern Learning despises the antient: School-men are now laught at by School-boys. (Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758)

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Aphorism of the Day

He sido para mí, discípulo y maestro. Y he sido un buen discípulo, pero un mal maestro. I have been my own disciple and my own master. And I have been a good disciple but a bad master. (Antonio Porchia, … Continue reading

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What About Copies of Copies?

Les seules bonnes copies sont celles qui nous font voir le ridicule des méchants originaux. The only good copies are those which show up the absurdity of bad originals. (La Rochefoucauld, Maximes 133, translated by Leonard Tancock)

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Most, Not All

La plupart des jeunes gens croient être naturels, lorsqu’ils ne sont que mal polis et grossiers. Most young people think they are being natural when really they are just ill-mannered and crude. (La Rochefoucauld, Maximes 372, translated by Leonard Tancock)

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Aphorism Of The Day

If people should ever start to do only what is necessary millions would die of hunger. (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms, translated by R. J. Hollingdale, C 54) Here is the German: Wenn mann nur einmal in der Welt anfangen wollte, … Continue reading

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Aphorism Of The Day

El cinismo es una filosofía de adolescente inteligente. Cynicism is a philosphy of the bright adolescent. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Notas, 393)

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Aphorism Of The Day

What snobbism — he wanted to be the Grand Eunuch. (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, tr. Jacek Galazka, New York, 1962, p. 153)

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Aphorism Of The Day

A sure sign of a good book is that the older we grow the more we like it. A youth of 18 who wanted and above all could say what he felt would say of Tacitus something like the following: … Continue reading

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Quotation of the Day

The book which most deserved to be banned would be a catalogue of banned books. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms (G 37 in R. J. Hollingdale’s translation and numeration)

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One Reason I Prefer the Classics

The theory taught in graduate schools of modern literature is like mortadella: it’s expensive, imported, beautifully packaged, made with loving care by experts who have devoted their lives to their work and do it very well . . . but … Continue reading

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Aphorism of the Day

El paganismo es el otro Antiguo Testamento de la Iglesia. Paganism is the other Old Testament of the Church. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 1.206)

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Aphorism of the Day

Las escuelas filosóficas fueron las órdenes monásticas de la antigüedad.El pitagorismo, por ejemplo, se parece más a la reforma cluniacense que al idealismo alemán. The philosophical schools were the monastic orders of antiquity.Pythagoreanism, for example, has more resemblance to the … Continue reading

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Aphorism of the Day

El léxico del verdadero escritor no está en ningún diccionario. The lexicon of the true writer is not in any dictionary. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 1.137)

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Aphorism of the Day

Hombre culto es aquel para quien nada carece de interés y casi todo de importancia. An educated man is the one for whom nothing lacks interest and nearly everything lacks importance. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 1.399)

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Aphorism of the Day

Existen normas del buen gusto, pero no podemos conocerlas.Sólo podemos aplicarlas. Standards of good taste exist, but we cannot know them.We can only apply them. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 2.330) As one of my teachers in … Continue reading

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Aphorism of the Day

La “instrucción” es toxina letal para el espíritu. “Education” is a lethal toxin for the soul. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 2.179)

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Aphorism of the Day

El pueblo fue rico espiritualmente hasta que los semieducados resolvieron educarlo. The People were spiritually rich until the half-educated decided to educate them. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto Implícito, 2.178)

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Aphorism of the Day

El hombre actual no vive en el espacio y en el tiempo. Sino en la geometria y los cronómetros. Modern man does not live in space and time. Rather in geometry and clocks. (Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Escolios a un Texto … Continue reading

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