Biographies Quotes

Quotes tagged as "biographies" Showing 1-30 of 54
Thomas Carlyle
“History is the essence of innumerable biographies.”
Thomas Carlyle

Alan Bennett
“...to her all books were the same and, as with her subjects, she felt a duty to approach them without prejudice...Lauren Bacall, Winifred Holtby, Sylvia Plath - who were they? Only be reading could she find out.”
Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

Neil deGrasse Tyson
“Not enough books focus on how a culture responds to radically new ideas or discovery. Especially in the biography genre, they tend to focus on all the sordid details in the life of the person who made the discovery. I find this path to be voyeuristic but not enlightening. Instead, I ask, After evolution was discovered, how did religion and society respond? After cities were electrified, how did daily life change? After the airplane could fly from one country to another, how did commerce or warfare change? After we walked on the Moon, how differently did we view Earth? My larger understanding of people, places and things derives primarily from stories surrounding questions such as those.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Sylvia Nasar
“Other mathematical geniuses, Einstein and Bertrand Russell among them, recount similarly revelatory experiences in early adolescence.”
Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind

Sylvia Nasar
“Many great scientists and philosophers, among them René Descartes, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Immanuel Kant, Thorstein Veblen, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein, have had similarly strange and solitary personalities.”
Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind

Sylvia Nasar
“The Nashes pushed Johnny as hard socially as they did academically. At first, it was Boy Scout camp and Sunday Bible classes; later on, lessons at the Floyd Ward dancing school and membership in the John Aldens Society, a youth organization devoted to improving the manners of its members.”
Sylvia Nasar, A Beautiful Mind

Robert K. Massie
“I don’t want the books [...] to be too far away; they, also, have become friends. I even feel this way about books I don’t own. In libraries, I find myself visiting the books I used before. I regard those rows of memoirs and letters as voices from the past, bound into books, and I like to make sure they are all there, alive and well. If they have collected dust, I take out the small towel I carry in my briefcase and wipe them off.
-from 2012 NYT Book Review Essay”
Robert K. Massie

“Biographies showed me various paths to walk,
but fiction provides me shoes to create my own path...”
Hanish Kodali

Miljenko Jergović
“That house was never put in order or cleaned out. Every instance of cleaning, or dusting, or purging of old things is an act of violence on a person's being and life. Every instance of cleaning is an accounting with one's own biography and the biographies of those close to us. A moment of our death and a reminder that nothing is lasting and everything moves towards oblivion. Dusting requires either sheer courage or the complete absence of a soul.”
Miljenko Jergović

Stephen H. Donnelly
“It’s an inconvenient truth that celibacy is a heavy burden. The Church perpetuated the notion that the vow of celibacy was the greatest act of self-sacrifice and commitment to God. However, few stop to seriously consider the loneliness and disconnectedness of celibacy and the constant struggle between being virtuous and sinful.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“Priests are viewed by many as stoic, even heroic, to voluntarily choose to never marry or engage in sexual activity for the rest of their lives. Others think, “What man in his right mind would make such a promise?”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“Some Catholics put priests on pedestals, viewing them as deserving of reverence for their sacred calling and sacrifice. The religious landscape is littered with priests who could not live up to the ideal of celibacy. Like a reluctant soldier sent off to war, to kill or be killed, priests who cannot maintain a celibate lifestyle were not fit for duty.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“I returned to my seat, and immediately, the voices in my head pounced. “Tell me, Stephen. Is Camilla a lie or a secret? Isn’t a secret the same as a lie? Or is she simply a lie of omission? Which is it, Stephen, clandestine love or a cheap soap- opera affair?”
Lying is a strange concept because it always relies on someone’s perspective.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“The lying was killing me! But I have high pain tolerance, especially self- inflicted pain. As I nearly emptied the bottle, I swore I saw Satan in the shadows of the darkened room. His voice dripped with sarcasm as he taunted me. “Congratulations on your diaconal ordination, Stephen.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“I’d taken my vow of celibacy six months ago, and, strangely enough, today, I wouldn’t be asked to lie out loud again. But deep down in my conscience, that place where I hadn’t spent enough quality time, I knew I was an imposter.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“As a young child, I realized that if I presented myself as perfect—caring, generous, understanding, and compliant— then I could control how people felt about me. At all costs, I wanted to be loved!
I’d created a fantasy persona, but even now, I couldn’t recognize how far I had strayed from my self-imposed standard of perfection. I guess that’s what happens to a person when they receive too much praise. Was I as wonderful as everyone painted me? Or was I a skilled con artist? I had been riding the superiority- inferiority seesaw all weekend.
As I grappled with a carousel of gnawing thoughts, I drank my third shot of scotch and snorted some blow, all to crush any self-doubt.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“With a shooting pain to my head, I closed my eyes tight and envisioned the disgusted look on my mother’s face. The blueprint of the perfect child that Mom had so carefully crafted was incompatible with the lying, cheating, stealing man I had become; I felt worthless.
But I had a new master, one that controlled my body, mind, and soul.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“I thought, just tell this guy whatever he wants to hear. You only have fifteen days left of this twenty-eight-day sentence.
“I guess you’re going to get me clean and sober,” I said flippantly.
Exasperated, he said, “What would you do if you were me?” I cocked my head and said, “But I’m not you.”
He sat back in his leather chair, folded his hands on the desk, and leaned toward me. “You do know, Stephen, that the foundation of your life is built on addiction quicksand, and the more you struggle, the faster you’ll sink?”
I had to admit it; I had no witty comeback.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“Sam and I sat across from each other in silence for what seemed like forever until he finally spoke. “Deceit is an art form for most addicts. Lies close enough to the truth that they remain undetected—and lies so grandiose you’d never imagine a person could make them up—are the foundation of a house of cards. Pull out just one half-truth, and the whole thing collapses.
“You have become an expert at lying, Stephen.” I winced as my guilt hung around my neck like an albatross. Finally, in a voice that sounded small, weak, and strange even to me, I said, “I had a dream, you know. I’m in the middle of a monster-sized whirlwind, and I can see myself, hear myself screaming for help with one hand barely above the fray and—”
“Stephen,” Sam interrupted, “Only a fool stays put during a hurricane.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“It was like peeking behind the curtain only to discover the great and powerful Oz was an imposter. Child molesters, dressed in respectable Roman collars, had preyed on children for decades, leaving a wasteland of irreparably damaged souls.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“I, for one, was outraged at the accused who trampled the trust of a child. I would never watch a priest take a minor upstairs to his bedroom, not for any reason! Nor would I ever cover for him. My anger was directed at the bishops, too, for their abysmal response.
It was like we were living in a house that had rotted up to the rafters. Where would we begin to make repairs? Should we just knock it down and start again? Or should we simply move far, far away?”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“On September tenth, after a busy day at the parish, and without any forethought, I stopped at a liquor store before I headed upstate to the Villa. I wouldn’t allow myself to recognize the insanity of drinking a bottle of wine as I drove to a rehab facility.
I flashbacked to my father’s beer cans, in paper bags, between his legs as he drove. I was sure God was tapping on my shoulder, but I wasn’t responding. I coasted comfortably on autopilot, one of the most dangerous modes a human being can find themselves.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“Remorse hit me like a sledgehammer. I felt sick inside as I counted all the people I had let down. My brain quickly ran through several scenarios. Had I irreparably damaged my relationship with Charlie? Would Camilla finally abandon me? Would the Church blacklist me? In the court of public opinion, would I be considered a persona non grata?”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“There’s a certain mystique about a priest’s uniform; black slacks, black shirt, and Roman collar that evokes different responses from different people—sometimes reverence, other times disdain.
Being perceived as a pillar of the community can be a heady experience for a new priest, and one’s ego needs to be checked continually. The collar can also be an aphrodisiac for certain women, single or married, who are attracted to and flirt with the “unattainable” priest.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“When he returned from St. John Vianney, Charlie felt fully vindicated. “They couldn’t find one thing wrong with me, Stephen.”
All I could think was, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” I knew in my heart; I could not even cast a pebble.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“Suddenly, there was no anger, no tears, or ultimatums. All that remained was the realization that the dream had withered and died. I guess that’s what happens to love when the expectations are too high, there are a plethora of insurmountable obstacles, and too much at stake. Even fairy tales have unexpected endings; not everyone lives happily ever after.
For years, I had been swimming in a sea of other people’s expectations.
Perhaps this breakup was the only way I could genuinely rediscover myself.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“For the faithful, death is not the end; it’s the bridge to the eternity promised to all believers; an eternal life with God in Heaven and the joy of being reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“The old cliché, “There are no words,” is regarded by many as an empty platitude, but I beg to differ. Well-meaning people use the expression over and over because it’s true. We don’t have the language to describe the grief that comes in waves, swallows us up, and keeps us on our knees. There is no road map through grief: it takes time, patience, and love for the soul to heal and reemerge. A deep faith in God and the belief that, as promised, we will indeed see our loved ones again in heaven has kept many people anchored until such time as they can right the ship and find the joy in living again.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“It took me two relapses,” I shared one evening at an AA meeting, “but I had my last drink in 2002 after I stared down my fears. Some of you may have been dealt a bad hand in life in one way or another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reshuffle the cards.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

Stephen H. Donnelly
“I took a deep breath and willed myself to focus on the questions. “I don’t know. I like to rescue people, especially those in the throes of addiction. It’s like a derailed train; I swoop in like Superman and put the train back on the tracks. Is the train going to get to the next station? I don’t know, but at least it’s out of the ditch and upright before I walk away.”
Stephen H. Donnelly, A Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest

« previous 1