Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Quotable: Madness

MAD, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane.

Source: Ambrose Bierce. The Devil's Dictionary (1911).

The Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson: I am afraid, sir, you have a rather weak grasp of reality.

Baron Munchausen (defiantly): Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.

Source: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Columbia Pictures, 1988.

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it might be.

Source: The character of Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha. From "Don Quixote as Theater" by Dale Wasserman in Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America 19.1 (1999): 125-30.

Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.

Source: Character of Brother William of Baskerville (Seventh Day, Night) in The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

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