quotations about nonsense
There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.
ROBERTSON DAVIES, attributed, The Dharma Manifesto
It is this participation in the essential glorious nonsense that is at the heart of the world, not necessarily going anywhere. It seems that only in moments of unusual insight and illumination that we get the point of this, and find that the true meaning of life is no meaning, that its purpose is no purpose, and that its sense is non-sense.
ALAN WATTS, Tao of Philosophy
Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.
ROBERT FROST, The Letters of Robert Frost, Volume 1
No one is exempt from talking nonsense. The great misfortune is to do it solemnly.
ANTHONY DE MELLO, introduction, One Minute Nonsense
How do you know that nonsense isn't a good thing? If human nonsense had been nurtured and developed for centuries, just as intelligence has, then perhaps something extraordinarily precious could have come from it.
YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, We
Though we speak nonsense, God will pick out the meaning of it.
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, American Note-Books, September 1836
By deafness one gains in one respect more than one loses; one misses more nonsense than sense.
HORACE WALPOLE, Horace Walpole's Miscellany
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
DR. SEUSS, attributed, Life Is Full of Sweet Spots
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
LEWIS CARROLL, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?
LEWIS CARROLL, attributed, Lewis Carroll: Biography of the Author of Alice in Wonderland
Nonsense is socially OK, but not stupidity.
MASON COOLEY, City Aphorisms
Is this significant nonsense? Is this a kind of nonsense that is not just chaos, that is not just blathering balderdash, but rather has in it rhythm, fascinating complexity, and a kind of artistry? It is in this kind of meaninglessness that we come to the profoundest meaning.
ALAN WATTS, Tao of Philosophy
For blocks are better cleft with wedges,
Than tools of sharp or subtle edges,
And dullest nonsense has been found
By some to be the most profound.
SAMUEL BUTLER, Pindaric Ode
Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.
CARL SAGAN, Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science
Nonsense is not an absence of sense, but rather a frustration of expectations about sense, and that is also why it allows for the expression of "total poetry". Like all verbal art, but perhaps more literally, nonsense is a world of words come to life, which does not so much antagonize the real world ... as ignore it.
WIM TIGGES, "An Anatomy of Nonsense", Explorations in the Field of Nonsense
Nonsense is that which does not fit into the prearranged patterns which we have superimposed on reality.... Nonsense is nonsense only when we have not yet found that point of view from which it makes sense.
GARY ZUKAV, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.
C. S. LEWIS, A Grief Observed
Colourless green ideas sleep furiously.
NOAM CHOMSKY, Syntactic Structure
It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled seas of thought.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH, The Affluent Society
There are two ways of dealing with nonsense in this world. One way is to put nonsense in the right place; as when people put nonsense into nursery rhymes. The other is to put nonsense in the wrong place; as when they put it into educational addresses, psychological criticisms, and complaints against nursery rhymes or other normal amusements of mankind.
G. K. CHESTERTON, Child Psychology and Nonsense