Last modified on 22 October 2014, at 10:52

Fausto Cercignani

Every human relationship implies compromises, but the limit to any compromise is one’s own dignity.

Fausto Cercignani (born 21 March 1941) is an Italian scholar, essayist and poet, noted for his philological investigations of the English and German languages.

QuotesEdit

Examples of self-translation (c. 2004)Edit

If you talk to the shadows,
at least you know them well
and the words, all of them,
unfold themselves with ease
on muddled walls and streets,
when dusk comes on.
"Examples of self-translation" by Cercignani, posted at The University of Milan
  • If you talk to the shadows,
    at least you know them well
    and the words, all of them,
    unfold themselves with ease
    on muddled walls and streets,
    when dusk comes on.
    • Adagio (2004)
  • They do not speak of boundless skies,
    of passing loves like silver clouds.
    They speak of cheerless towns, unwound:
    on hazy moors of muffled music.
    • Adagio (2004)

Quotes - Zitate - Citations - CitazioniEdit

When one must fight, one had better do it without hesitation, according to his own nature.
Perfection is the dream of imperfection that refuses to wake up.
Tomorrow is another day” is something you can say only to yourself, not to the person you want to comfort.
If we disregard potentialities, then humankind can be divided into two main categories: human beings and human beasts.
Order is a necessity for everyone, but not everyone understands it in the same way.
Unity of intent is on the lips of many, but in the hearts of few.
If you have no aim, you need not worry about the means.
If I lost the privilege of being despised by certain individuals, I would certainly suspect that my actions and words are wrong in some way.
  • Never forget what you would rather forget!
  • We learn a lot from the mistakes of others, but even more from our own.
  • When one must fight, one had better do it without hesitation, according to his own nature.
  • Every human relationship implies compromises, but the limit to any compromise is one’s own dignity.
  • Inner freedom demands the rejection of any imposition that injures our dignity.
  • Perfection is the dream of imperfection that refuses to wake up.
  • If you have never had a dream, perhaps you have only dreamt to be alive.
  • Perhaps it is true that the trials of life always teach us something, but it is undeniable that we are not always so eager to learn.
  • They say there is a difference between actual temperature and perceived temperature, but in the “bearable heaviness of being” the actual measure is no doubt the weight we perceive.
  • Tomorrow is another day” is something you can say only to yourself, not to the person you want to comfort.
  • Sometimes true tolerance requires an extraordinary strength, which we are often too weak to exercise.
  • Once I believed that sooner or later I would come across a really wise person; today I couldn’t even say what wisdom is.
  • As long as his strength permits, the poor mortal must always climb new mountains.
  • If use becomes abuse, we should intervene at once, for if abuse becomes habit, then there is no remedy.
  • If you despise habits so much, it is because you do not realize that nobody can do without them.
  • The origin of certain superstitions is often connected to the intention of attributing adverse events to specific causes.
  • Unlike money, hope is all: for the rich as well as for the poor.
  • Calumny can injure you only if you reflect yourself in others and not in your conscience.
  • If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
  • Your will cannot always choose the path; very often the route is determined by chance or by the will of others.
  • Perhaps it is not true that “a man becomes what he dreams”; but if he does not dream, what kind of a man is he?
    • This quote is itself quoting Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman in the film Grey Owl (1999)
  • Wishing to dare serves no purpose at all, if it remains a wish.
  • A secret remains a secret until you make someone promise never to reveal it.
  • Secret thoughts are only half free: they fly undisturbed in the skies of the inner freedom, but they can never leave them.
  • It is certainly a good thing always to forgive with generosity, but it is no doubt just never to forget the wrongs received: they belong to the route that leads to inner maturity.
  • Do not confuse fantasy with imagination: the former consumes itself in daydreaming, the latter stimulates creativity in the arts and in the sciences.
  • An exception is nothing else than a rule that applies exceptionally.
  • The thesis that the human being seeks God because of the disorder he perceives in himself does not take into account that the human being seems to prefer disorder.
  • When you would suffocate or ignore dissent, remember how many times you dissented.
  • Your identity is like your shadow: not always visible and yet always present.
  • If some speak ill of me, I will try to understand their reasons, but after my death I will certainly come to terms with it.
  • No form and no degree of alleged liberty can justify calumny or the publication of calumnious material.
  • Perhaps it is true that every human being is a potential monster, but if we disregard potentialities, then humankind can be divided into two main categories: human beings and human beasts.
  • Sometimes one would almost like to say: what really matters is only the mind. But where can you find a mind without a body?
  • Unity of intent is on the lips of many, but in the hearts of few.
  • Stellar wars are a sort of parallel reality in the filmic imagination, terrestrial wars are still today a harsh daily reality.
  • The best therapy for the imaginary invalid is very simple, but rarely applied. The subject should be taken to a place where people must bear atrocious sufferings and the loss of all human dignity.
  • If you have no aim, you need not worry about the means.
  • If you look incessantly for variety, sooner or later you will discover that you need more wisdom.
  • Genuine living and mere vegetating have only breathing in common (and a few other things).
  • If sudden, the visit of the Grim Reaper cannot be unwelcome.
  • If you refuse to take account of theory, then you have forgotten that practice is often an offspring of theory.
  • You should only boast about having nothing to boast about!
  • If you persevere in your rancor, you do nothing but keep feeding yourself on poison.
  • If I lost the privilege of being despised by certain individuals, I would certainly suspect that my actions and words are wrong in some way.
  • If on the web you search only for frivolous or sensational news (which are often false and slanderous), you will bring grist to the mill of those who maintain that the era of the web is by no means the “era of knowledge”.

External linksEdit

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