I think what I was after was a unifying story that could bring everything together, that could give me a sense of the whole of history.
I think that people like Bloomberg, they’re complete thugs. No question about it. But on the other hand, it must be said that they are politically savvy. They don’t get into those positions of power – in the case of Bloomberg, both economic and political power – by being anybody’s fool.
I think the idea of the social construction of beauty – this idea that beauty is simply whatever culture or society says it is – is on the run. Of course, beauty does arise in a cultural context. No one ever denies that. But there’s also a natural response people have to it.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink for fellows whom it hurts to think.
Alchemy is the art of far and near, and I think poetry is alchemy in that way. It’s delightful to distort size, to see something that’s tiny as though it were vast.
Maybe we could think of science as being like a nuclear chain reaction in which people and ideas bounce off each other, and if critical mass is reached, a new field is formed.
Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not – because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.
I have often said that just as the French revolution, for instance, understood itself through antiquity, I think our time can be understood through the French revolution. It is quite a natural process to use other times to understand your own time.
I had lived all of my youthful dreams, but I couldn’t think of many adult ones. I finally realized that we don’t have many dreams for adults because, historically, people have always died much younger than they do today.
That a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himself.