Exile Quotes

Quotes tagged as "exile" Showing 1-30 of 129
Mike  Norton
“Never say that you can't do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can't be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.

Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental virii prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it's conqueror.”
Mike Norton

V.S. Naipaul
“The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.”
V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

Ovid
“Give me the waters of Lethe that numb the heart, if they exist, I will still not have the power to forget you.”
Publius Ovidius Naso, The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters

Mahmoud Darwish
“I am from there. I am from here.
I am not there and I am not here.
I have two names, which meet and part,
and I have two languages.
I forget which of them I dream in.”
Mahmoud Darwish

Ovid
“It's a kindness that the mind can go where it wishes.”
Publius Ovidius Naso, The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters

Martin Buber
“Everyone must come out of his Exile in his own way.”
Martin Buber

G.K. Chesterton
“Happiness is not only a hope, but also in some strange manner a memory ... we are all kings in exile.”
G.K. Chesterton, The Thing: Why I am a Catholic

R.A. Salvatore
“These were the companions who justified my principles, who gave me the strength to continue against any foe, real or imagined. These were the companions who fought the helplessness, the rage, and frustration.
These were the friends who gave me my life.”
R. A. Salvatore

Edwidge Danticat
“It's not easy to start over in a new place,' he said. 'Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back.”
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying

Mike  Norton
“Outcasts, callused from being in exile for too long, learn to thrive on being the hated; the attention and infamy of our actions fuel us to become antiheroes. Too often do we forget: we risk self-destruction if we fail to follow what we know is right; our talents too often become misplaced, misdirected, misguided from what could have been something wonderful.”
Mike Norton, Fighting For Redemption

Christopher Hitchens
“Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Salman Rushdie
“Exile is a dream of a glorious return. Exile is a vision of revolution: Elba, not St Helena. It is an endless paradox: looking forward by always looking back. The exile is a ball hurled high into the air. ”
Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Ovid
“Our native soil draws all of us, by I know not what sweetness, and never allows us to forget.”
Publius Ovidius Naso, The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters

Roberto Bolaño
“Probably all of us, writers and readers alike, set out into exile, or at least into a certain kind of exile, when we leave childhood behind...The immigrant, the nomad, the traveler, the sleepwalker all exist, but not the exile, since every writer becomes an exile simply by venturing into literature, and every reader becomes an exile simply by opening a book.”
Roberto Bolaño, Between Parentheses: Essays, Articles, and Speeches, 1998-2003

Janet Frame
“All writers--all beings--are exiles as a matter of course. The certainty about living is that it is a succession of expulsions of whatever carries the life force...All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey towards the lost land..”
Janet Frame, Janet Frame: An Autobiography

Hugh of Saint-Victor
“It is, therefore, a great source of virtue for the practiced mind to learn, bit by bit, first to change about in visible and transitory things, so that afterwards it may be possible to leave them behind altogether. The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land. The tender soul has fixed his love on one spot in the world; the strong man has extended his love to all places; the perfect man has extinguished his. From boyhood I have dwelt on foreign soil and I know with what grief sometimes the mind takes leave of the narrow hearth of a peasant's hut, and I know too how frankly it afterwards disdains marble firesides and panelled halls.”
Hugh of Saint Victor, The Didascalicon of Hugh of Saint Victor: A Medieval Guide to the Arts

Daniel Alarcón
“The city was lovely. There could be no place in the world to which he belonged so completely.
That was why he'd always dreamed of leaving, and why he'd always been so afraid to go.”
Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles

Colm Tóibín
“For the first time in years, he felt the deep sadness of exile, knowing that he was alone here, an outsider, and too alert to the ironies, the niceties, the manners, and indeed, the morals to be able to participate.”
Colm Tóibín, The Master

Primo Levi
“This is the most immediate fruit of exile, of uprooting: the prevalence of the unreal over the real. Everyone dreamed past and future dreams, of slavery and redemption, of improbable paradises, of equally mythical and improbable enemies; cosmic enemies, perverse and subtle, who pervade everything like the air.”
Primo Levi, If This Is a Man • The Truce

Sarah  Miller
“My sisters and I sit together on a pair of suitcases. If we've forgotten anything, it's already too late -- our rooms have all been sealed and photographed. Anyway, Tatiana would say it's bad luck to return for something you've forgotten.”
Sarah Miller, The Lost Crown

Jeffrey McDaniel
“Mathematicians still don’t understand
the ball our hands made, or how

your electrocuted grandparents made it possible
for you to light my cigarettes with your eyes.

It isn’t as simple as me climbing into the window
to leave six ounces of orange juice

and a doughnut by the bed, or me becoming
the sand you dug your toes in,

on the beach, when you wished
to hide them from the sun and the fixed eyes

of strangers, and your breath broke in waves
over my earlobe, splashing through my head, spilling out

over the opposite lobe, and my first poems
under your door in the unshaven light of dawn:

Your eyes remind me of a brick wall
about to be hammered by a drunk
driver. I’m that driver. All night
I’ve swallowed you in the bar.

Once I kissed the scar, stretching its sealed
eyelid along your inner arm, dried

raining strands of hair, full of pheromones, discovered
all your idiosyncratic passageways, so I’d know

where to run when the cops came.
Your body is the country I’ll never return to.

The man in charge of what crosses my mind
will lose fingernails, for not turning you

away at the border. But at this moment
when sweat tingles from me, and

blame is as meaningless as shooting up a cow with milk,
I realise my kisses filled the halls of your body

with smoke, and the lies came
like a season. Most drunks don’t die in accidents

they orchestrate, and I swallowed
a hand grenade that never stops exploding.”
Jeffrey McDaniel

Euripides
“ORESTES: Never shall I see you again.

ELECTRA: Nor I see myself in your eyes.

ORESTES: This, the last time I'll talk with you ever.

ELECTRA: O my homeland, goodbye. Goodbye to you, women of home.

ORESTES: Most loyal of sisters, do you leave now?

ELECTRA: I leave with tears blurring all that I see.”
Euripides, Electra

Dejan Stojanovic
“Is it possible to write a poem or are these words just screams of outlaws exiled to the desert?”
Dejan Stojanovic, The Sun Watches the Sun

“Most people are principally aware of one culture, one setting, one home;exiles are are aware of at least two, and this plurality gives rise to an awareness of simultaneous dimensions...”
Kobena Mercer

Christopher Hitchens
“There's a certain amount of ambiguity in my background, what with intermarriages and conversions, but under various readings of three codes which I don’t much respect (Mosaic Law, the Nuremberg Laws, and the Israeli Law of Return) I do qualify as a member of the tribe, and any denial of that in my family has ceased with me. But I would not remove myself to Israel if it meant the continuing expropriation of another people, and if anti-Jewish fascism comes again to the Christian world—or more probably comes at us via the Muslim world—I already consider it an obligation to resist it wherever I live. I would detest myself if I fled from it in any direction. Leo Strauss was right. The Jews will not be 'saved' or 'redeemed.' (Cheer up: neither will anyone else.) They/we will always be in exile whether they are in the greater Jerusalem area or not, and this in some ways is as it should be. They are, or we are, as a friend of Victor Klemperer's once put it to him in a very dark time, condemned and privileged to be 'a seismic people.' A critical register of the general health of civilization is the status of 'the Jewish question.' No insurance policy has ever been devised that can or will cover this risk.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Franco Santoro
“Life is a relentless expulsion from where we come from and an ongoing deportation to alien realms. We are in exile and our greatest dream is to return to the lost land. It is the greatest dream because no matter how long our exile is going to last, the dream will remain. It is the greatest dream because when we finally care only for this dream, then our exile will be over.”
Franco Santoro

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
“Let us put it generally: if a regime is immoral, its subjects are free from all obligations to it.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books V-VII

Vladimir Nabokov
“He enjoyed dancing with a fair stranger, enjoyed the vacuous, chaste talk, through which you listen closely to that bewitching, vague something going on inside you and inside her, which will last a couple of bars more and then, finding no resolution, will vanish forever and be utterly forgotten. But while the bond of bodies is still unbroken, the outlines of a potential love affair begin to form, and the rough draft already comprises everything: the sudden silence between two people in some dimly lit room; the man carefully placing with trembling fingers on the edge of an ashtray the just-lit bit impedient cigarette; the woman’s eyes slowly closing in as in a film scene..”
Vladimir Nabokov

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