Quotes About Symbols

Quotes tagged as "symbols" (showing 1-30 of 75)
Lemony Snicket
“Instead of the word 'love' there was an enormous heart, a symbol sometimes used by people who have trouble figuring out the difference between words and shapes.”
Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival

Andrei Tarkovsky
“We can express our feelings regarding the world around us either by poetic or by descriptive means. I prefer to express myself metaphorically. Let me stress: metaphorically, not symbolically. A symbol contains within itself a definite meaning, certain intellectual formula, while metaphor is an image. An image possessing the same distinguishing features as the world it represents. An image — as opposed to a symbol — is indefinite in meaning. One cannot speak of the infinite world by applying tools that are definite and finite. We can analyse the formula that constitutes a symbol, while metaphor is a being-within-itself, it's a monomial. It falls apart at any attempt of touching it.”
Andrei Tarkovsky

C.G. Jung
“The girl dreams she is dangerously ill. Suddenly birds come out of her skin and cover her completely ... Swarms of gnats obscure the sun, the moon, and all the stars except one. That one start falls upon the dreamer.”
C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols

Kurt Vonnegut
“Symbols can be so beautiful, sometimes.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

E. Lockhart
“I see it for what is is, now. It is a house built on ashes. Ashes of the life Granddad shared with Gran, ashes of the maple from which the tire swing flew, ashes of the old Victorian house with the porch and the hammock. The new house is built on the grave of all the trophies and symbols of the family: the New Yorker cartoons, the taxidermy, the embroidered pillows, the family portraits.”
E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

Haruki Murakami
“There are symbolic dreams-- dreams that symbolize some reality. Then there are symbolic realities -- realities that symbolize a dream. Symbols are what you might call the honorary town councillors of the worm universe. In the worm universe, there is nothing unusual about a dairy cow seeking a pair of pliers. A cow is bound to get her pliers sometime. It has nothing to do with me.”
Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
“He said that people who loved [animals] to excess were capable of the worst cruelties toward human beings. He said that dogs were not loyal but servile, that cats were opportunists and traitors, that peacocks were heralds of death, that macaws were simply decorative annoyances, that rabbits fomented greed, that monkeys carried the fever of lust, and that roosters were damned because they had been complicit in the three denials of Christ.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Jodi Picoult
“I don't know whether you can look at your past and find, woven like the hidden symbols on a treasure map, the path that will point to your final destination.”
Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

Alan W. Watts
“The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it. For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds. These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but like all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth.”
Alan W. Watts

Lia Habel
“Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.”
Lia Habel, Dearly, Departed

Gene Wolfe
“We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges.”
Gene Wolfe, Shadow & Claw

Clifford Geertz
“A religion is a system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing those conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic.”
Clifford Geertz

Leslie Bratspis
“The crack in your heart allows light in. ~ GOOD FORTUNE page 238”
Leslie Bratspis

William H. Gass
“For me, the short story is not a character sketch, a mouse trap, an epiphany, a slice of suburban life. It is the flowering of a symbol center. It is a poem grafted onto sturdier stock.”
William H. Gass

Christopher Hitchens
“When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Umberto Eco
“A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis.”
Umberto Eco, The Screen Education Reader: Cinema, Television, Culture

John Green
“Reading with an eye towards metaphor allows us to become the person we’re reading about, while reading about them. That’s why there is symbols in books and why your English teacher deserves your attention. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the author intended the symbol to be there because the job of reading is not to understand the author’s intent. The job of reading is to use stories as a way into seeing other people as a we ourselves.”
John Green

Shannon L. Alder
“Gratitude was never meant to be an excuse for giving up on the obstacles God has put before you. Some of the most magical things he can bring us require faith and a lot of planning.”
Shannon L. Alder

Charles Baudelaire
“Nature is a temple in which living columns sometimes emit confused words. Man approaches it through forests of symbols, which observe him with familiar glances.”
Charles Baudelaire

Amelia Gray
“They were in love! Carla wore her hair up and Andrew saw everything as a sign. They spent an entire afternoon sitting side by side in a coffee shop, taking more meaning than necessary from the world around them. A man wearing boxing gloves walked down the sidewalk in front of them and they took that to mean they would be together forever.”
Amelia Gray, AM/PM

Claude Cahun
“Realities disguised as symbols are, for me, new realities that are immeasurably preferable. I make an effort to take them at their word. To grasp, to carry out the diktat of images to the letter.”
Claude Cahun

S. Kelley Harrell
“Symbols are miracles we have recorded into language.”
S. Kelley Harrell

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
“The number and richness of man’s signifiers always surpasses the set of defined objects that could be termed signifieds. The symbolic function must always precede its object and does not encounter reality except when it precedes it into the imaginary…”
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Joséphin Péladan
“Those very superficial sensualists and profligates who lead the dance of Latin decadence have not seen, among their dancing girls and their pennies, that the disappearance of symbols was a precursor to the ruin of a people; communities only have abstract reasons for existing...”
Joséphin Péladan

Pierre-Simon Laplace
“It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.”
Pierre-Simon Laplace

Samuel Beckett
“No symbols where none intended.”
Samuel Beckett, Watt

Shannon L. Alder
“Our Cross

Our little circle hides in the mind,
It's difficult to miss but hard to find,
It goes unspoken but yet it speaks,
From backward years to forward weeks,
We can't forget but why even try,
Two of a kind doesn't know goodbye,
It's a silent question that God won't share,
A breeze we feel but seems unfair,
Distant, rare but only madness can see,
It's something deeper than any infinity,
Because we walk this parallel path up and down,
There is no circle to hold us circus clowns,
So let's give it a symbol and label it a loss,
We will remember it always as we carry our cross.”
Shannon L. Alder

“Turning and climbing, the double helix evolved to an operation which had always existed as a possibility for mankind, the eating of light. The appetite for light was ancient. Light had been eaten metaphorically in ritual transubstantiations. Poets had declared that to be is to be a variable of light, that this peach, and even this persimmon, is light. But the peach which mediated between light and the appetite for light interfered with the taste of light, and obscured the appetite it aroused.

The appetite for actual light was at first appeased by symbols. But the simple instruction, promulgated during the Primordification, to taste the source of the food in the food, led to the ability to eat light. Out of the attempt to taste sources came the ability to detect unpleasant chemicals. These had to be omitted. Eaters learned to taste the animal in the meat, and the animal's food and drink, and to taste the waters and sugars in the melon. The discriminations grew finer - children learned to eat the qualities of the pear as they ate its flesh, and to taste its slow ripening in autumn sunlight. In the ripeness of the orange they recapitulated the history of the orange. Two results occurred. First, the children were quick to surpass the adults, and with their unspoiled tastes, and their desire for light, they learned the flavor of the soil in which the blueberry grew, and the salty sweetness of the plankton in the sea trout, but they also became attentive to the taste of sunlight. Soon there were attempts to keep fruit of certain vintages: the pears of a superbly comfortable autumn in Anjou, or the oranges of Seville from a year so seasonless that their modulations of bouquet were unsurpassed for decades. Fruit was eaten as a retrospective of light. Second, children of each new generation grew more clearly, until children were shaped as correctly as crystals. The laws governing the operations of growth shone through their perfect exemplification. Life became intellectually transparent. ("Desire")”
William S. Wilson, Why I Don't Write Like Franz Kafka

“Our approach to reality, our sense of reality, cannot assume that the text of nature, the book of life, is a cryptogram concealing just a single meaning. Rather, it is an expanding riddle of a multiplicity of resonating images.”
Peter Redgrove, The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real: Our Uncommon Senses and Their Common Sense

Julian Hawthorne
“Probably our lives are full of symbols which only an unacknowledged sense perceives. Spiritual events assume a material guise, in accordance with some creative principle, but do not insist on recognition. ("Absolute Evil")”
Julian Hawthorne, American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps

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