[Ray Bradbury] attributed to two incidents his lifelong habit of writing every day. The first of these, occurring when he was three years old, was his mother’s taking him to see Lon Chaney’s performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The second incident occurred in 1932, when a carnival entertainer, one Mr. Electrico,touched the young man on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!” Bradbury remarked, “I felt that something strange and wonderful had happened to me because of my encounter with Mr. Electrico…[he] gave me a future…I began to write, full-time. I have written every single day of my life since that day 69 years ago.”


…no matter how far I might diverge or find freedom in this format, that it only is free insofar as it has reference to the strictness of the original form, and that’s what gives it its strength. In other words, there is no freedom without being in reference to something. If you take this form, and this strict form, and you find some way to get away from it, and that gives it a meaning…[W]hen I’m playing, I’m playing everything I play against the strict squareness of the original form.

—Bill Evans.

…oleaginosity of ancestralolosis sgocciolated down both the pendencies of his mutsohito liptails (Sencapetulo, a more modestuous conciliabulite never curled a torn pocketmouth)…

—James Joyce.

Oct. 21. The prospect is limited to Nobscot and Annursnack. The trees stand with boughs downcast like pilgrims beaten by a storm, and the whole landscape wears a sombre aspect. So when thick vapors cloud the soul, it strives in vain to escape from its humble working-day valley, and pierce the dense fog which shuts out from view the blue peaks in its horizon, but must be content to scan its near and homely hills.

—Henry David Thoreau.

In the growth of the embryo, Sir Everard Home, I think, noticed that the evolution was not from one central point, but co-active from three or more points. Life has no memory. That which proceeds in succession might be remembered, but that which is coexistent, or ejaculated from a deeper cause, as yet far from being conscious, knows not its own tendency. So is it with us, now skeptical, or without unity, because immersed in forms and effects all seeming to be of equal yet hostile value, and now religious, whilst in the reception of spiritual law. Bear with these distractions, with this coetaneous growth of the parts: they will one day be members, and obey one will.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Some conception of [evil] would be reached by thinking of measurelessness as opposed to measure, of the unbounded against bound, the unshaped against a principle of shape, the ever-needy against the self-sufficing; think of the ever-undefined, the never at rest, the all-accepting but never sated, utter dearth; and make all this character not mere accident in it but its equivalent for essential-being, so that, whatsoever fragment of it is taken, that part is all lawless void, while whatever participates in it and resembles it becomes evil…


    But let us return to the [turtle] eggs in which the formation of the yolk is just beginning. The instant the water is allowed to act upon a portion of the yolk, the hyaline masses swell slightly, and the internal portions lose their homogeneity; multitudes of faint granular particles appear suddenly; they dance about their confined sphere in a zigzag quiver, and finally their delicate boundary wall, which by this time has become unequivocally demonstrated, bursts suddenly on one side, and extrudes at a single contractive effort nearly the whole horde of its vivacious motes, assuming itself by this loss a wrinkled, unsymmetrical, much diminished shape, but still holding a few oscillating corpuscles.

—Louis Agassiz.