If Ideas Had Shapes

A quoteblog ranging from philosophers in bathrobes to galaxy-rises

Tag: humor

Gene Wolfe – intro to The Sandman, vol. 6 (1993)

The People—werewolves—are entirely legendary. All evidence to the contrary results from superstition, mass hysteria, or outright falsehood. Pay no attention to Neil Gaiman on this, we weren’t within miles of the place and he can’t prove a thing. “The Hunt” is pure fiction from beginning to end.


Christopher Hitchens – Mortality (2012)

I sympathize afresh with the mighty Voltaire, who, when badgered on his deathbed and urged to renounce the devil, murmured that this was no time to be making enemies.

Veronique Vienne – The Art of Doing Nothing (1998)

The English describe a gentleman as someone who can play the bagpipes—but doesn’t.

Veronique Vienne – The Art of Doing Nothing (1998)

Usually, we can figure out what people are trying to say long before they stop rambling. Far from being passive, listening to someone talk is an active, inspired, and often compassionate act of creation.

Harry Frankfurt – On Bullshit (1986)

The notion of carefully wrought bullshit involves, then, a certain inner strain.

Neil Gaiman – Sandman, vol. 4 (1992)

I have the honor to be the personal slave of Lord Kilderkin, a manifestation of order, here incarnated for us in the form of this cardboard box.

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

Women went about with oranges and ginger beer, and there was a terrible consumption of nuts going on.

(of the cheap theater where Sybil played)

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

She was a curious woman, whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage and put on in a tempest.

John Dewey – How We Think (1910)

…adults and children alike are capable of using even precise verbal formulae with only the vaguest and most confused sense of what they mean.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Sign of Four (1890)

“Here you are, doggy! Good old Toby! Smell it, Toby, smell it!” He pushed the creosote handkerchief under the dog’s nose, while the creature stood with its fluffy legs separated, and with a most comical cock to its head, like a connoisseur sniffing the bouquet of a famous vintage.