As for September 11, let us not too easily grant the Americans possession of that date on the calendar. Like May 1 or July 14 or December 25, September 11 may seem full of significance to some people, while to other people it is just another day.
That has always seemed to me one of the stranger aspects of literary fame: you prove your competence as a writer and an inventor of stories, and then people clamour for you to make speeches and tell them what you think about the world.
In its conception the literature prize belongs to days when a writer could still be thought of as, by virtue of his or her occupation, a sage, someone with no institutional affiliations who could offer an authoritative word on our times as well as on our moral life.
The most important of all rights is the right to life, and I cannot foresee a day when domesticated animals will be granted that right in law.
The writers who have the deepest influence on one are those one reads in ones more impressionable, early life, and often it is the more youthful works of those writers that leave the deepest imprint.
Why does love, even such love as he claims to practise, need the spectacle of beauty to bring it to life? What, in the abstract, do shapely legs have to do with love, or for that matter with desire? Or is that just the nature of nature, about which one does not ask questions?
It is not, then, in the content or substance of folly that its difference from truth lies, but in where it comes from. It comes not from 'the wise man's mouth' but from the mouth of the subject assumed not to know and speak the truth.
But truth is not spoken in anger. Truth is spoken, if it ever comes to be spoken, in love.
Our lies reveal as much about us as our truths.
A dictum quotes from his favourite philosopher, the second-generation Cartesian Arnold Geulincx (1624-1669) suggests his overall stance toward the political: ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis, which may be glossed: Don't invest hope or longing in an arena where you have no power.
We are not by nature cruel.
She no longer believes very strongly in belief... Belief may be no more, in the end, than a source of energy, like a battery which one clips into an idea to make it run. As happens when one writes: believing whatever has to be believed in order to get the job done.
Strictly speaking, my interest is not in legal rights for animals but in a change of heart towards animals.
My response, a dubious and hesitant one, is that it has been and may continue to be, in the time that is left to me, more productive to live out the question than to try to answer it in abstract terms.
The modern state appeals to morality, to religion, and to natural law as the ideological foundation of its existence. At the same time it is prepared to infringe any or all of these in the interest of self-preservation.