Joan Didion // "We were not having any fun, he had recently begun pointing out. I would take exception (didn't we do this, didn't we do that) but I had also known what he meant. He meant doing things not because we were expected to do them or had always done them or should do them but because we wanted to do them. He meant wanting. He meant living."
Krzysztof Kieslowski // "At a meeting just outside Paris, a fifteen-year-old girl came up to me and said that she'd been to see my movie. She'd gone once, twice, three times and only wanted to say one thing really...that she realized that there is such a thing as a soul. She hadn't known before, but now she knew that the soul does exist. There's something very beautiful in that. It was worth making Véronique for that girl. It was worth working for a year, sacrificing all that money, energy, time, patience, torturing yourself, killing yourself, making thousands of decisions, so that one young girl in Paris should realize that there is such a thing as a soul. It's worth it."
Bertolt Brecht // "The worst illiterate is the political illiterate. He hears nothing, sees nothing, takes no part in political life. He doesn't seem to know that the cost of living, the price of beans, of flour, of rent, of medicines all depend on political decisions. He even prides himself on his political ignorance, sticks out his chest and says he hates politics. He doesn't know, the imbecile, that from his political non-participation comes the prostitute, the abandoned child, the robber and, worst of all, corrupt officials."
James Baldwin // "Most people live in almost total darkness…people, millions of people whom you will never see, who don’t know you, never will know you, people who may try to kill you in the morning, live in a darkness which...if you have that funny terrible thing which every artist can recognize and no artist can define...you are responsible to those people to lighten, and it does not matter what happens to you. You are being used in the way a crab is useful, the way sand certainly has some function. It is impersonal. This force which you didn’t ask for, and this destiny which you must accept, is also your responsibility. And if you survive it, if you don’t cheat, if you don’t lie, it is not only, you know, your glory, your achievement, it is almost our only hope... Because only an artist can tell, and only artists have told since we have heard of man, what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it. What it is like to die, or to have somebody die; what it is like to be glad... The trouble is that although the artist can do it, the price that he has to pay himself and that you, the audience, must also pay, is a willingness to give up everything, to realize that although you spent twenty-seven years acquiring this house, this furniture, this position, although you spent forty years raising this child, these children, nothing, none of it belongs to you. You can only have it by letting it go. You can only take if you are prepared to give... It is a total risk of everything, of you and who you think you are, who you think you’d like to be, where you think you’d like to go...everything, and this forever, forever."
Kobe Bryant // "I never felt outside pressure. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and I knew how much work it took to achieve... The expectations I placed on myself were higher than what anyone expected from me."
Philippe Petit // "You must not fall. When you lose your balance...you must not force yourself to stay steady. You must move forward."
Tracey Emin // "Last year I worked a lot on the idea of whether love really exists, whether it’s not just a fantasy but more like an apparition, a ghost. Like, if you think you’ve seen a ghost, then you believe in ghosts; if you haven’t, chances are you don’t believe in ghosts. Love is like that: if you’ve really been in love, then you know love exists, but if you’ve been so crushed by love and then have decided to destroy it and not be hurt by it anymore, it’s very hard to bring it back to life. You’re guarded all the time. Then you start to think: does love really exist or do we just make it up and imagine that it does?"
Virginia Woolf // "The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark."
David Lynch // "People might bring up Vincent van Gogh as an example of a painter who did great work in spite of, or because of, his suffering. I like to think that van Gogh would have been even more prolific and even greater if he wasn’t so restricted by the things tormenting him. I don’t think it was pain that made him so great, I think painting brought him whatever happiness he had."