Essay Village Life Quotations Inspirational Quotations

“Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade.

We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off.

And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.”
― Catherynne M. Valente

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Who goes to Rome a beast returns a beast.
-Italian Proverb
I've been in many of them and to some extent I would have to say this: If you've seen one city slum you've seen them all.
-Spiro T. Agnew
Washington is no place for a good actor. The competition from bad actors is too great.
-Fred A. Allen
The first thing that strikes a visitor to Paris is a taxi.
-Fred A. Allen
A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.
-Aristotle
And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June for beauty's heightening...
http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/109.html
-Matthew Arnold
Thyrsis: A Monody, to Commemorate the Author's Friend, Arthur Hugh Clough
I found Rome brick, I left it marble.
-Caesar Augustus
We do not look in our great cities for our best morality.
-Jane Austen
One has not great hopes from Birmingham. I always say there is something direful in the sound.
-Jane Austen
The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.
-Charles Baudelaire
The cities of the world are concentric, isomorphic, synchronic. Only one exists and you are always in the same one. It's the effect of their permanent revolution, their intense circulation, their instantaneous magnetism.
-Jean Baudrillard
Cities are ... distinguished by the catastrophic forms they presuppose and which are a vital part of their essential charm. New York is King Kong, or the blackout, or vertical bombardment: Towering Inferno. Los Angeles is the horizontal fault, California breaking off and sliding into the Pacific: Earthquake.
-Jean Baudrillard
Not to find one's way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance -- nothing more. But to lose oneself in a city -- as one loses oneself in a forest -- that calls for a quite different schooling. Then, signboard and street names, passers-by, roofs, kiosks, or bars must speak to the wanderer like a cracking twig under his feet in the forest.
-Walter Benjamin
Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and, in this, hasn't changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.
-John Berger
When in Rome, do as Rome does.
-Ambrose Bierce
In the small town each citizen had done something in his own way to build the community. The town booster had a vision of the future which he tried to fulfill. The suburb dweller by contrast started with the future
-Daniel J. Boorstin
The Democratic Experience, ch. 33, Random House (1973)
I have done almost every human activity inside a taxi which does not require main drainage.
-Alan Brien
What I like about cities is that everything is king size, the beauty and the ugliness.
-Joseph Brodsky
Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night.
-Rupert Brooke
The catalogue of forms is endless: until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue to be born. When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begins.
-Italo Calvino
As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.
-Albert Camus
New York is an exciting town where something is happening all the time, most unsolved.
-Johnny Carson
From up high where I was, you could shout anything you liked at them. I tried. They made me sick, the whole lot of them. I hadn't the nerve to tell them so in the daytime, to their face, but up there it was safe. Help! Help! I shouted, just to see if it would have any effect on them. None whatsoever. Those people were pushing life and night and day in front of them. Life hides everything from people. Their own noise prevents them from hearing anything else. They couldn't care less. The bigger and taller the city, the less they care. Take it from me. I've tried. It's a waste of time.
-Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Journey to the End of the Night, 1932
Paris, a city of gaieties and pleasures, where four-fifths of the inhabitants die of grief. About Paris
-Sebastian Roch Nicolas Chamfort
A neighborhood is a residential area that is changing for the worse.
-John Ciardi


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