Quotation of the Day: Truly a Word Edition

To be sure, the sculptor uses stone just as the mason uses it, in his own way. But he does not use it up. That happens in a certain way only where the work miscarries. To be sure, the painter also uses pigment, but in such a way that color is not used up but rather only now comes to shine forth. To be sure, the poet also uses the word—not, however, like ordinary speakers and writers who have to use them up, but rather in such a way that the word only now becomes and remains truly a word.

Und nochmal auf deutsch:

Zwar gebraucht der Bildhauer den Stein so, wie nach seiner Art auch der Maurer mit ihm umgeht. Aber er verbraucht den Stein nicht. Das gilt in gewisser Weise nur dort, wo das Werk mißlingt. Zwar gebraucht auch der Mahler den Farbstoff, jedoch so, daß die Farbe nicht verbraucht wird, sondern erst zum Leuchten kommt. Zwar gebraucht auch der Dichter das Wort, aber nicht so wie die gewöhnlich Redenden und Schreibenden die Worte verbrauchen müssen, sondern so, daß das Wort erst wahrhaft ein Wort wird und bleibt.

– Martin Heidegger, Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes, 1935.

Quotation of the Day: Audacious Faith Edition


Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time — the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts…. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

— Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1964