Kurt Vonnegut : AV Club :: Victor Hugo : Animus Empire
A while ago, the AV Club posted a list of Kurt Vonnegut quotations that supposedly represent the pinnacle of literature. This is to be expected since the AV Club is painfully hip, and Vonnegut is the father of the painfully hip. But I’d rather hear from Victor Hugo, the father of the painfully good.
1. “When it comes to hatred, one woman is worth ten men.
When in a relationship with a girl, it’s easy to get too cocky and walk all over her. It’s fun, too. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it—just remember that if you screw up her life, she will effortlessly screw up your life tenfold.
2. “The expectoration of a sentence is a relief. The wolf is comforted by its howl, the sheep by its wool, the forest by its finch, woman by her love, and the philosopher by his epiphonema.”
Intelligence feels so good Hugo is surprised it doesn’t give you chlamydia.
3. “Sobriety is a good quality only when one possesses other virtues.”
Nobody cares if you don’t do something. Abstinence, from anything, is one of the easiest things in the world. It only seems difficult if you’re a Christian and so cannot do anything else. Hugo isn’t saying you should do heroin, but when you don’t, remember it’s no accomplishment.
4. “Concision in style, precision in thought, decision in life.”
Thought and action are one. The nerd is the jock. If you make decisions like an action hero, then you necessarily think—and if you think like a nerd, then you necessarily take action. In fact, the clearer and more decisive your thought, the clearer and more decisive your action.
5. “A woman naked is a woman armed.”
Chicks don’t realize the glass ceiling was shattered 3,000 years ago.
6. “Sunday being the symbol of servitude, we know nations whose week contains seven Sundays.”
Since slavery has been all but abolished in the Western world, the new slavery is feeling guilty about work and making money.
7. “To be comic without and tragic within, what suffering can be more humiliating? What pain deeper?”
Hugo thinks comedy is good, but only in tempered doses. He would find it abhorrent if he were alive today and saw that it was somebody’s job to do nothing but tell jokes on stage. Hugo would assume the modern comic an indentured servant, or someone trying to avoid debtors prison.
8. “Will intoxicates. One can become intoxicated with one’s own soul. This intoxication is called heroism.”
Be an expert at pumping yourself up and learning to enjoy it.
9. “Fortresses, like women, boast of their besiegers when they are distinguished.”
Only chicks seek status through sex. So if you’re the kind of guy who brags to others that you “totally banged a 9 last night,” then you’re a chick.
10. “Reality in strong doses frightens.”
In the same sentence, Hugo explains both the need for religion and why it’s becoming less important.
11. “Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.”
Nothing interests a girl more than a secret, which is why the man keeps at least one secret in a relationship if he wants to keep it healthy.
12. “The irreproachable does not reproach.”
Gossip is lame.
13. “Undertakings demonstrate their obstacles and perils when grappled with close at hand. There is nothing like commencing a thing, for seeing how difficult it will be to finish. All beginnings offer resistance. The first step which one takes is an inexorable revealer. The difficulty one touches pricks like at thorn.”
Girls are supposed to say no, and so is life.
14. “Solitude creates men of talent or idiots.”
If you’re not planning on doing much with your life, then have as many friends as possible.
15. “We draw new life from the heroic example. The hero has drunk more deeply than anyone from the cup of bitterness. But his countenance is so unshaken and he speaks such mighty words of cheer that his will becomes our will, and our life is kindled at his own.”
Only say good things about yourself.