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Vilhelm Ekelund (October 14, 1880 – September 3, 1949) was a Swedish poet and aphorist.
The Second Light (1986)
A collection of aphorisms selected and translated by Lennart Bruce (1986)
- Everything great has already been said. But the person who knows how to stimulate his soul with the magnificence of it is always something new.
- p. 14
- The egotism of wisdom: to burn all that is pettily, painfully, stupidly selfish in the fire of love of spiritual vision and freedom.
- p. 14
- The noble Nazarene ... who raged against "the world," against the philistinism, the halfheartedness, the lack of ideals—if he had guessed that he was forging a weapon for the hands of exactly "this world"—he who sensed the misfortune of humanity so deeply that he didn't find any other solution to its enigma than to entirely reject and turn his back on all that is earthly, would see his name dragged into the service of an intense philistine optimism.
- p. 21
- The Jesuit principle: withdrawal from the world—in order to act on the world—was frequently also the principle of genius.
- p. 22
- The artist and the poet have the facility for mistaking pure languor for meditative peace and strength. True meditation "rests" in swiftness.
- p. 23
- Sometimes it is hard to avoid a certain feeling of sadness: when realizing that everything sensible has already, many times over, been excellently expressed—and expressed in vain. And note how well-hidden, pushed into obscurity, drowned by triviality's overwhelming mass—therefore, how important it is that the sensible be repeated again and again, experienced in new individuals over and over with new variations, with a new emphasis, in a new voice—continuously kept alive.
- p. 71
- Whose is the world? Whose is thought? His who loves them.
- p. 71
- What has been postponed by reason of road and effort is well postponed.
- p. 132
- Truth and beauty ... yield themselves only to whoever surrenders to them—as to a rescuer.
- p. 133