"It is a fundamental characteristic of civilization that man most profoundly mistrusts those living outside his own milieu, so that not only does the Teuton regard the Jew as an incomprehensible and inferior being, but the football player likewise so regards the piano player."
"What characterizes and defines our intellectual situation is precisely the wealth of contents that can no longer be mastered, the swollen facticity of knowledge (including moral facts), the spilling out of experience over the surfaces of nature, the impossibility of achieving an overview, the chaos of things that cannot be denied. We will perish from this, or overcome it by becoming a spiritually stronger type of human being."
"Strong emotional experiences are for the most part impersonal. Anyone who has hated another person so much that only chance standsbetween that person and death knows this, as does whoever has fallen into the catastrophe of a deep depression, anyone who has loved a woman to the dregs, anyone who has beaten others bloody or ever come up behind another person with muscles trembling. "Losing one's head," language calls it. Emotional experience is, in itself, poor in qualities; qualities are brought to it by the person who has the experience."
"The probability of learning something unusual from a newspaper is far greater than that of experiencing it; in other words, it isin the realm of the abstract that the more important things happen in these times, and it is the unimportant that happens in real life."
"I also believe that few people remain completely untouched by the thought that instead of the life they lead there might also be another, where all actions proceed from a very personal state of excitement. Where actions have meanings, not just causes. And where a person, to use a trivial word, is happy, and not just nervously tormenting himself."
"To the degree that respect for professors ... has risen in our society, respect for writers has fallen. Today the professorial intellect has achieved its highest public standing since the world began, while writers have come to be called "men of letters," by which is meant people who are prevented by some obscure infirmity from becoming competent journalists."
"What is done for science must also be done for art: accepting undesirable side effects for the sake of the main goal, and moreoverdiminishing their importance by making this main goal more magnificent. For one should reform forward, not backward: social illnesses, revolutions, are evolutions inhibited by a conserving stupidity."
"To love something as an artist ... means to be shaken not by its ultimate value or lack of value, but by a side of it that suddenly opens up. Where art has value it shows things that few have seen. It's conquering, not pacifying."