Canto

Curiosity reflects a willingness to be disappointed in a search for knowledge.

Wonderbook, Chapter 1: Inspiration and the Creative Life,
Jeff VanderMeer

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There are ideas that call us and leave, like the beating of wings on a window during the night.

Nicolás Gómez Dávila (Don Colacho)
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The artist does not compete with his fellow artists; he does battle with his angel.

—Nicolás Gómez Dávila (Don Colacho)
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We are the music-makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

—"Ode",
Arthur O'Shaughnessy, 1844–1881

The truth is, when the period at which

a man of talent is condemned to live is dull and stupid, the artist is, unconsciously to himself, haunted by a sensation of morbid yearning for another century… In some cases, it is a return to past ages, to vanished civilizations, to dead centuries; in others, it is an impulse towards the fantastic, the land of dreams, it is a vision more or less vivid of a time to come whose images reproduce, without his being aware, as a result of atavism, that of by-gone epochs.

(...or, in these days, yearning for a future history that never will be, save in dreaming...)

— J. K. Huysmans, “Against the Grain” (1926)

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God’s word at first created the world, and His word, from the lips of His servants, is to re-create it.

— Henry Fish, Power in the Pulpit

Thought fights with thought;
out springs a spark of truth
From the collision of the sword and shield.

— W.S. Landor
(via North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell)

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