1. “Once you are dancing with the devil, the prettiest capers won’t help you.”
— E. T. A. Hoffmann
2. “Mozart’s music is the mysterious language of a distant spiritual kingdom, whose marvelous accents echo in our inner being and arouse a higher, intensive life.”
3. “The human spirit is itself the most wonderful fairy tale that can possibly be. What a magnificent world lies enclosed within our bosoms! No solar orbit hems it in, the inexhaustible wealth of the total visible creation is outweighed by its riches!”
4. “It is true that writers often owe their most inspired thoughts, their most extraordinary phrases, to their generous typesetters, who assist their flights of fancy with so-called typographical errors.”
5. “It is only in the morning that one should marry, read unfavourable reviews, make one’s will, beat one’s servants, and so forth.”
6. “It is nearly always the most improbable things that really come to pass.”
7. “As the priest is characterized by his cassock, so the smoker by his pipe. The way in which he holds it, raises it to his lips, and knocks out the ashes, reveals his personality, habits, passions, and even his thoughts.”
8. “Human beings ought not to draw in their antennae at every ungentle touch, like supersensitive insects.”
9. “There is nothing more marvelous or madder than real life.”
10. “I may be permitted, kind reader, to doubt whether you have ever been enclosed in a glass bottle, unless some vivid dream has teased you with such magical mishaps.”
11. “There are men from whom nature or some peculiar destiny has removed the cover beneath which we hide our own madness. They are likethin-skinned insects whose visible play of muscles seem to make them deformed, though in fact, everything soon turns to its normal shape again.”
12. “Is it not in the most absolute simplicity that real genius plies its pinions the most wonderfully?”
13. “Not a single man on earth knows from his own experience the how and where of his birth, only from tradition, which is often very uncertain.”
14. “Think of the wonderful circles in which our whole being moves and from which we cannot escape no matter how we try. The circler circles in these circles.”
15. “Let me ask you outright, gentle reader, if there have not been hours, indeed whole days and weeks of your life, during which all your usual activities were painfully repugnant, and everything you believed in and valued seemed foolish and worthless?”
16. “How prone poor Humanity is to dam up the minutest remnants of its freedom, and build an artificial roof to prevent it looking up to the clear blue sky.”
17. “Boys should not play with weapons more dangerous than they understand.”
18. “It is useless to contend with the irresistible power of Time, which goes on continually creating by a process of constant destruction.”
19. “Every year lays more earth upon us, which weighs us down from aerial regions, till we go under the earth at last.”
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