Put a man in the wrong atmosphere and nothing will function as it should. He will seem unhealthy in every part. Put him back into his proper element and everything will blossom and look healthy. But if he is not in his right element, what then? Well, then he just has to make the best of appearing before the world as a cripple.

(Wittgenstein, journal entry from 1942, tr. P Winch)

– Look here, Cranly, he said. You have asked me what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use – silence, exile, and cunning.

[…]

You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake, and perhaps as long as eternity too.

(James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)

And for ages men had gazed upward as he was gazing at birds in flight. The colonnade above him made him think vaguely of an ancient temple and the ashplant on which he leaned wearily of the curved stick of an augur. A sense of fear of the unknown moved in the heart of his weariness, a fear of symbols and portents, of the hawk-like man whose name he bore soaring out of his captivity on osier-woven wings, of Thoth, the god of writers, writing with a reed upon a table and bearing on his narrow ibis head the cusped moon.

(James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)

Before aeroplanes existed people dreamed of aeroplanes and of what a world with them would look like. But just as the reality was not at all like what they dreamed, so we have no reason to think that the future will really develop in the way we dream now. For our dreams are covered in tinsel like paper hats and fancy dress costumes.

Wittgenstein, journal entry from 1941, tr. P Winch)

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