Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How Ironic!

Don Quixote
by Picasso

~ Kafka ~ The Truth about Sancho Panza: Without making any boast of it Sancho Panza succeeded in the course of years, by feeding him a great number of romances of chivalry and adventure in the evening and night hours, in so diverting from himself his demon, whom he later called Don Quixote, that this demon thereupon set out, uninhibited, on the maddest exploits, which, however, for the lack of a preordained object, which should have been Sancho Panza himself, harmed nobody. A free man, Sancho Panza philosophically followed Don Quixote on his crusades, perhaps out of a sense of responsibility, and had of them a great and edifying entertainment to the end of his days.

~ Thomas de Quincey ~ If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination. Once begun upon this downward path, you never know where you are to stop. Many a man has dated his ruin from some murder or other that perhaps he thought little of at the time.

~ Kierkegaard ~ Oh, the sadness of having understood something true—and then of only seeing oneself misunderstood. Oh, sadness—for what is irony in the mystery of the heart but sadness. Sadness means to be alone in having understood something true and as soon as one is in the company with others, with those who misunderstand, that sadness becomes irony.

How many ever experience the maturity of discovering that there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood. . . . That is Socratic ignorance, and that is whet the philosophy of our times requires as a corrective . . . As Johannes Climacus truly observes, the majority of men turn aside precisely where the higher life should begin for them, turn aside and become practical.

~ Beverly Coyle ~ Why waste our time like this when we'd drawn the best teacher in the school? This was talk that excited us. We loved all instances of irony because it both made us think we were cuter than we were and hinted of bigger things in the world to come. . . . And so my classmates and I sat there for a while with just enough extra time for out private intuitions, full of foreboding and full of dread, that there was going to be a kind of lambent dullness in the world to come. And more wars. ("O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing," 94 - 95, 105).

Don Quixote & Sancho Panza
Click to read more on the study of Irony:
when appearance differs from reality in words or actions.


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