Cool Quotes

An Utne round up of quotable quotes

| May/June 2002

"I’M INTERESTED IN bottom-up history. The stories of the people you don’t hear about in other books. There’s a poem by Bertolt Brecht that says, 'Who built Thebes of the seven gates?' In it he asks, Who hauled those rocks up there? When they were building the pyramids, what did the workers eat for lunch? In 1588, when the Spanish Armada sank and the Queen of Spain cried, who cried the other tears? That’s what I’m interested in, the other tears."
Studs Terkel, oral historian, Sojourners
(March/April 2002)

"TO BE SENSUAL, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread. It will be a great day for America, incidentally, when we begin to eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it."
James Baldwin
, author, The Fire Next Time (Dial, 1963)

"A WORLD WHERE one-tenth of the population gets to be extremely wealthy and six-tenths very poor is not, in the long run, a stable place."
Bill McKibben
, environmental advocate and author,
Mother Jones (Jan./Feb. 2002)

"JOHN BERGER ONCE DEFINED music by saying that it began as a howl, became a prayer, then a lament, and still contains the elements of all three. I think that’s pretty wise. That’s about the only way I know how to explain what music is."
John K. Samson
, rock musician, Punk Planet (#44)



"IT’S NOT ENOUGH to hate your enemy. You have to understand how the two of you bring each other to a deep completion."
Don DeLillo
, from his 1997 novel, Underworld, as quoted in Adbusters (Jan./Feb. 2002)

"THE VERY ACT of storytelling, of arranging memory and invention according to the structure of the narrative, is by definition holy. We tell stories because we love to entertain and hope to edify. We tell stories because they fill the silence death imposes. We tell stories because they save us."
James Carroll
, author, quoted by Kerry Temple in Notre Dame Magazine (Autumn 2001)