For more than eight decades, Washington has been my hometown.... It is a city that offers me more people — more different kinds of people — than I could otherwise possibly have come to know in a lifetime: the native Washingtonian, the local merchant, the foreign diplomat, the ever-present tourist, the public servant, the journalist, the president, the friend.
No substance in nature, as far as yet known, has, when it reaches the brain, such power to induce mental and moral changes of a disastrous character as alcohol. Its transforming power is marvelous, and often appalling. It seems to open a way of entrance into the soul for all classes of foolish, insane or malignant spirits, who, so long as it remains in contact with the brain, are able to hold possession.
The qualities that made for success in a fighter-pilot seemed to be just those sturdy qualities that made for success in other professions; observation, initiative, determination, courage, including the courage to run away. In course of time it appeared that men who had a private axe to grind beyond the public axe of the King's enemies were especially successful.
This modernizing experiment seems to have something diabolic about it. Everything that was becomes rejected in the name of a modernity that assumes the nature of a fiction, an illusion, a devilish apparition. To a greater or lesser extent this applies to all the postcommunist countries.
MARVEL IS A CORNUCOPIA OF FANTASY, A WILD IDEA, A SWASHBUCKLING ATTITUDE, AN ESCAPE FROM THE HUMDRUM AND PROSAIC. IT'S A SERENDIPITOUS FEAST FOR THE MIND, THE EYE, AND THE IMAGINATION, A LITERATE CELEBRATION OF UNBRIDLED CREATIVITY, COUPLED WITH A TOUCH OF REBELLION AND AN INSOLENT DESIRE TO SPIT IN THE EYE OF THE DRAGON.
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.