… the unfolding of the unforeseen was everything. Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as “History,” harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.

-Philip Roth, The Plot against America


We must be aware of the dangers which lie in our most generous wishes. Some paradox of our nature leads us , when once we have made our fellow men the objects of our enlightened interest, to go on to make them the objects of our pity, then of our wisdom, ultimately of our coercion.

-Lionel Trilling quoted in Joan Didion, On Morality (Slouching towards Bethlehem)

Schwör mir keine Treue, leist mir keinen Eid, denn es reizt das Neue jeden mit der Zeit. Heiße Herzen geben niemals Ruh, suchen frischen Antrieb immerzu. Schwör mir keine Treue, weil ich mich zerstreue – gerade so wie du.

-Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz