Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON PROGRESS


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists

All this business of a labour to accomplish, before I can end, of words to say, a truth to recover, in order to say it, before I can end, of an imposed task, once known, long neglected, finally forgotten, to perform, before I can be done with speaking, done with listening, I invented it all, in the hope it would console me, help me to go on, allow me to think of myself as somewhere on a road, moving, between a beginning and an end, gaining ground, losing ground, getting lost, but somehow in the long run making headway.

SAMUEL BECKETT, The Unnamable

What you fellows call progress moves by two springs, men and events. But sad to say, from time to time the exceptional is necessary. For events as well as for men, the stock company is not enough; geniuses are needed among men, and revolutions among events. Great accidents are the law; the order of things cannot get along without them; and, to see the apparitions of comets, one would be tempted to believe that Heaven itself is in need of star actors. At the moment you least expect it, God placards a meteor on the wall of the firmament. Some strange star comes along, underlined by an enormous tail. And that makes Caesar die. Brutus strikes him with a knife, and God with a comet.

VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

Progress can do nothing but make the most of us all as we are.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Dedicatory, Man and Superman

Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

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