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Interesting Passages V…

January 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

More Robert A. Heinlein goodness. I can’t seem to get enough of him lately. Most of these quotes are from his character Jubal Harshaw, who many believe is truly the main character (rather than Valentine Michael Smith) in Heinlein’s book Stranger In A Strange Land. I haven’t read all of Heinlein’s work, but his Jubal Harshaw character is, to me, very similar in disposition to Lazarus Long (primarily from the book Time Enough For Love). Were it not for several accounts of Heinlein’s work where Harshaw and Long appear in the same book, I might have believed they were one and the same. Both characters appear to act as stand-ins for Heinlein himself, giving him a means to insert his personal philosophy into his stories.

On Government: “[He] conceded that man, a social animal, could not avoid government any more than an individual could escape bondage to his bowels. But simply because an evil was inescapable was no reason to term it ‘good.’ “

On the compulsive reading/following of news: “…most neuroses can be traced to the unhealthy habit of wallowing in the troubles of five billion strangers.”

On the “Big Bang” theory: “Random chance was not a sufficient explanation of the Universe – random chance was not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot could not hold itself.”

“A desire not to butt into other people’s business is eighty percent of all human wisdom.”

“There is no safety this side of the grave.”

On self-sacrifice: “…of all the nonsense that twists the world, the concept of ‘altruism’ is the worst. People do what they want to, every time. If it pains them to make a choice – if the choice looks like a ‘sacrifice’ – you can be sure that it is no nobler than the discomfort caused by greediness…the necessity of deciding between two things you want when you can’t have both.” In my opinion, rare exceptions to the above do exist.

“Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence.”

On real love: ” ‘Love’ is that condition on which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Tags: Literature

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aviatrix // Feb 2, 2009 at 6:29 am

    I just came by to say hi, and see if you had any comments on the Super Bowl yet. :-)

  • 2 Yerma // Feb 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    ‘Love’ is that condition on which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Why is it that so few people realize that this is life itself.

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