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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018


I recently read Isaac Asimov's autobiography, "I.Asimov" and it's one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Granted I haven't read that many biographies but I imagine I would still think highly of this book even if I had read many others. The reader gets such a sense of genuineness, humility, and immense introspectiveness that it's easy to forget that the subject of the book was an extremely successful and prolific writer who is known all over the world even to this day, years after his death. Asimov lead a very interesting life and the book is full of experiences that will make you feel the whole gamut of emotions. I highly recommend it even if you're not particularly a fan of Asimov and his work.

With that said, I want to share my favorite quotes from the book:

  • The truly important parts of life develop slowly with experience.

  • The whole world seems to live under the banner: "Freedom is wonderful--but only for me."

  • I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, the details, the true architecture, I got out of the public library. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.

  • The excitement was all I wrote for in those early years. In my wildest dreams it never occurred to me that anything I wrote would ever be published. I didn't write out of ambition.

  • I would certainly not change my own views just for the sake of peace in the household, and I would not want a woman so feeble in her opinions that she would do so.

  • I may have many sins, but I have never practiced the sin of ingratitude... I have made a fetish of gratitude and loyalty all my life and I've never regretted the possible loss of money because of it. I would rather lose money than feel like an ingrate.

  • The writer's life is inherently an insecure one. Each project is a new start and may be a failure. The fact that a previous item has been successful is no guard against failure this time.

  • I refuse to consider myself to be anything more sharply defined than "human being," and I feel that aside from overpopulation the most intractable problem we face in trying to avoid the destruction of civilization and humanity is the diabolical habit of people dividing themselves into tiny groups, with each group extolling itself and denouncing its neighbors.

  • I feel that no human group deserves a "homeland" in the usual sense of the word. The earth should not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own "national security" to be paramount above all other considerations.

  • There are no nations. There is only humanity. And if we don't come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.

  • I have noticed that there is a certain air of incredulity or amusement in anyone to whom I talk about the importance of loyalty.

  • There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell or eternal boredom in Heaven.

  • Even sex takes second place to writing as far as I am concerned.

  • I admit that every time the circumstances of my life changed radically, I would worry about whether I'd be able to continue my writing as before, but the worry has always been groundless. The writing always continued. 

  • Why didn't I take it easier? I didn't want to. I dreaded slowing down... I was in a hurry, for despite everything I couldn't rid myself of the feeling that I was mortal.

  • I don't expect to live forever, nor do I repine over that, but I am weak enough to want to be remembered forever.

As a bonus, here's a drawing I did of the man himself:

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