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    paul bowles Quotes

    We've never managed, either one of us, to get all the way into life. We're hanging on to the outside for all we're worth, convinced we're going to fall off at the next bump.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: worth 
     
    It's unnecessary and destructive to think of oneself at all. People ask me, 'What do you think of yourself as?' My answer is, 'Nothing.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: people  oneself 
     
    No one can ever heap enough insults upon me to suit my taste. I think we all really thrive on hostility, because it's the most intense kind of massage the ego can undergo. Other people's indifference is the only horror.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: horror  ego  insult 
     
    How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: time  moon 
     
    [A]nother important difference between tourist and traveler is that the former accepts his own civilization without question; not so the traveler, who compares it with the others, and rejects those elements he finds not to his liking.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: civilization 
     
    Illness reduces man to his basic state: a cloaca in which the chemical processes continue. The meaningless hegemony of the involuntary.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: men  illness  process 
     
    It's very hard to write about that which is always beautiful and pleasant and good. You don't get anywhere with it. There's no friction in it. There's no trouble. You have to have trouble. Somebody's got to get in trouble, or no one wants to read it.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: beautiful  write  read 
     
    The only effort worth making is the one it takes to learn the geography of one's own nature.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: nature  learn  geography  worth 
     
    Since the world began has any man ever been able to know what would happen tomorrow? The world of men is today. I'm asking you to open your heart today. Tomorrow belongs to Allah.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: men  heart  world  tomorrow 
     
    Each time I go to a place I have not seen before I hope it will be as different as possible from the places I already know. I assume it is natural for a traveler to seek diversity, and that it is the human element that makes him most aware of difference. If people and their manner of living were alike everywhere, there would not be much point in moving from one place to another.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: time  people  living  human  hope 
     
    Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: sacrifice  lost  god 
     
    A black star appears, a point of darkness in the night sky's clarity. Point of darkness and gateway to repose. Reach out, pierce the fine fabric of the sheltering sky, take repose.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: darkness  star  night  clarity  sky  black 
     
    Everyone is isolated from everyone else. The concept of society is like a cushion to protect us from the knowledge of that isolation. A fiction that serves as an anesthetic.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: society  fiction 
     
    Life is lived only once. And the less seriously the better.
    — Paul Bowles
    The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: people  horror  lies  night  sky 
     
    How fragile we are under the sheltering sky. Behind the sheltering sky is a vast dark universe, and we're just so small.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: dark  sky  universe 
     
    Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: earth  year 
     
    The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment. And perhaps even more than that, it's having the ability to recall such moments in their totality, to contemplate them like jewels.
    — Paul Bowles
    I've always wanted to get as far as possible from the place where I was born. Far both geographically and spiritually. To leave it behind ... I feel that life is very short and the world is there to see and one should know as much about it as possible. One belongs to the whole world, not just one part of it.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: world 
     
    Fiction should always steer clear of political considerations.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: political  fiction 
     
    The Hindus are busy letting themselves be seen riding in Cadillacs instead of smearing themselves with sandalwood paste and bowing in front of Ganpati. The Moslems would rather miss evening prayer than the new Disney movie. The Buddhists think it's more important to take over in the name of Stalin and Progress than to meditate on the four basic sorrows. And we don't even have to mention Christianity or Judaism.
    — Paul Bowles
    There is a way to master silence Control its curves, inhabit its dark corners And listen to the hiss of time outside
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: time  silence  master  dark  control 
     
    It was one of the charms of the International Zone that you could get anything you wanted if you paid for it. Do anything, too, for that matter; - there were no incorruptibles. It was only a question of price.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: questions  charm 
     
    Every second, ten stars set behind the black water in the west.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: star  water  black 
     
    I wanted to meet other artists. I suppose I simply felt that I was taking pot shots at clay pipes. Pop! Down goes Gertrude, down goes Jean Cocteau, down goes André Gide.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: artist 
     
    Because neither she nor Port had ever lived a life of any kind of regularity, they had both made the fatal error of coming hazily to regard time as non-existent. One year was like another year. Eventually everything would happen.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: time  year 
     
    One never took the time to savour the details; one said: another day, but always with the hidden knowledge that each day was unique and fatal, that there never would be a return, another time.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: time 
     
    The soul is the weariest part of the body.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: soul  body 
     
    The act of living had been enjoyable; at some point when I was not paying attention, it had turned into a different sort of experience, to whose grimness I had grown so accustomed that I now took it for granted.
    — Paul Bowles
    Not all the ravages caused by our merciless age are tangible ones. The subtler forms of destruction, those involving only the human spirit, are the most to be dreaded.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: human  age  destruction  spirit 
     
    If you don't know why you like a thing, it is usually worth your while to attempt to find out.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: worth 
     
    That was what he wanted, to be baked dry and hard, to feel the vaporous worries evaporating one by one, to know finally that all the damp little doubts and hesitations that covered the floor of his being were curling up and expiring in the great furnace-blast of the sun.
    — Paul Bowles
    tags: doubt  worries 
     
    Publishers are thieves, they are on the other side of the barricade.
    — Paul Bowles
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