It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”
F.L. Lucas, Style
Only will I establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, above every keel little or large that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
We may agree on the premise that each work of art is at least in part perfect, while each critic is at least in part imperfect. We may then look to each work of art not for its faults and shortcomings, but for its moments of exhilaration, in an effort to bring our own imperfections into sympathetic vibration with these moments, and thus effect a creative change in ourselves.
Matthew Goulish, "Criticism"
For decades the governing cry of our cities has been 'Never speak to strangers.' I propose that in a democratic city it is imperative that we speak to strangers, live next to them, and learn how to relate to them on many levels, from to the political to the sexual. City venues must be designed to allow these multiple interactions to occur easily, with a minimum of danger, comfortably, and conveniently. This is what politics - the way of living in the polis, in the city - is about.
Samuel Delany,Times Square Red, Times Square Blue