Czeslaw Milosz : I approached Einstein with enormous reverence

INTERVIEWER

You once wrote a poem dedicated to Einstein.

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MILOSZ : I knew Einstein. In fact, I worshipped him. My cousin Oscar Milosz believed that his theory of relativity had opened a new era of mankind—an era of harmony, reconciliation between science, religion, and art. The positive consequence of Einstein’s discoveries was the elimination of Newtonian time and space as infinite and the introduction of the relativity of time and space that underlies our cosmology and its concept of the big bang. I approached Einstein with enormous reverence. So I wrote a poem about him. At the time he was convinced that the world was moving toward destruction because of atomic weapons, and that the only solution was to create a world government to control the weapons. In 1948, he wrote a paper in that spirit and sent it to the World Congress for Intellectuals in Wroclaw, Poland. The congress was just a front for Stalin’s armaments policy, and the Russians opposed reading that memo. Around that time I asked Einstein whether I should go back to Poland or stay abroad. He thought I should return and was very frank about it.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1721/czeslaw-milosz-the-art-of-poetry-no-70-czeslaw-milosz

 

Ingmar Bergman : “We’re emotional illiterates”

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“I’ll tell you something banal.We’re emotional illiterates.And not only you and I-practically everybody,that’s the depressing thing.We’re taught everything about the body and about agriculture in Madagascar and about the square root of pi, or whatever the hell it’s called,but not a word about the soul.We’re abysmally ignorant,about both ourselves and others.There’s a lot of loose talk nowadays to the effect that children should be brought up to know all about brotherhood and understanding and coexistence and equality and everything else that’s all the rage just now.But it doesn’t dawn on anyone that we must first learn something about ourselves and our own feelings.Our own fear and loneliness and anger.We’re left without a chance,ignorant and remorseful among the ruins of our ambitions.To make a child aware of it’s soul is something almost indecent.You’re regarded as a dirty old man.How can you understand other people if you don’t know anything about yourself?Now you’re yawning,so that’s the end of the lecture.”
― Ingmar Bergman

Naguib Mahfouz : History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas”

INTERVIEWER

What do you think about the Salman Rushdie case? Do you think a writer should have absolute freedom?

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MAHFOUZ

I’ll tell you exactly what I think: Every society has its traditions, laws and religious beliefs, which it tries to preserve. From time to time individuals appear who demand changes. I believe that society has the right to defend itself, just as the individual has the right to attack that with which he disagrees. If a writer comes to the conclusion that his society’s laws or beliefs are no longer valid or even harmful, it is his duty to speak up. But he must be ready to pay the price for his outspokenness. If he is not ready to pay that price, he can choose to remain silent. History is full of people who went to prison or were burned at the stake for proclaiming their ideas. Society has always defended itself. Nowadays it does so with its police and its courts. I defend both the freedom of expression and society’s right to counter it. I must pay the price for differing. It is the natural way of things.

Source : https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2062/naguib-mahfouz-the-art-of-fiction-no-129-naguib-mahfouz

Jeff Mangum: Even our concepts about romantic love are destructive.

Pitchfork: You said you went through a time when you weren’t writing, or felt like you couldn’t sing anymore.

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Jeff: I went through a period, after Aeroplane , when a lot of the basic assumptions I held about reality started crumbling. I think that before then, I had an intuitive innocence that guided me and that was a very good thing to a certain point. But then I realized that, to a large degree, I had kept my rational mind at bay my whole life. I just acted on intuition in terms of how I related to life. At some point, my rational mind started creeping in, and it would not shut up. I finally had to address it and confront it. I think most intelligent people, at a younger age than I have, begin to question some of the fundamental assumptions our society promotes. But me, I just rejected it without even considering it.
I feel like we’re so limited by the context at which we look at life. The way we look at who we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to love… everything. I feel like that, in and of itself, is a project of a lifetime: the problem of how to break out of the limiting context that is imposed upon us by the educational system, by the church, by our parents… As a kid I rejected it without even thinking about it. Now that I’m a little older, I see how deeply destructive it really is.  treating people as property is destructive; being jealous of other people is destructive. You know, being jealous is a perfectly natural thing to feel, so it’s not about suppressing jealousy, but learning to come to terms with it and to recognize its destructiveness and then to transform it. I’m not saying that I’ve overcome anything, but I’ve definitely seen the blinding truth of how imperative it is that we have to overcome these problems.

 

Pele : I had to change my life a little bit and lose some privacy

Q : You came from a humble background and gained fame at a young age. How did you handle that transition?

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Pele : I have a very good family that supports me when I need it. I’ve always been in football, which I love, and then with the public, which I love too. Of course, I had to change my life a little bit and lose some privacy. But my personality grew into it through the years.

Source : https://hbr.org/2014/07/pele

Ayn Rand : “highest moral purpose of a man is the achievement of his own happiness

Q: Ayn, to begin with, I wonder if I can ask you to capsulize… I know this is difficult… Can I ask you to capsulize your philosophy? What is Randism?

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Ayn Rand: First of all, I do not call it Randism, and I don’t like that name. I call it Objectivism, meaning a philosophy based on objective reality. Now let me explain it as briefly as I can.

First, my philosophy is based on the concept that reality exists as an objective absolute. That man’s mind, reason, is his means of perceiving it. And that men need a rational morality. I am primarily the creator of a new code of morality which has so far been believed impossible. Namely, a morality not based on faith, not on arbitrary whim, not on emotion, not on arbitrary edict, mystical or social, but on reason. A morality which can be proved by means of logic. Which can be demonstrated to be true and necessary. Now may I define what my morality is, because this is merely an introduction?

My morality is based on man’s life as a standard of value. And since man’s mind is his basic means of survival, I hold that if man wants to live on earth, and to live as a human being, he has to hold reason as an absolute. By which I mean that he has to hold reason as his only guide to action. And that he must live by the independent judgment of his own mind. That his highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness. And that he must not force other people nor accept their right to force him. That each man must live as an end in himself and follow his own, rational, self-interest.

 

Source : http://glamour-and-discourse.blogspot.in/p/mike-wallace-interviews-ayn-rand.html