Quotes! F


"At the root of all anti-Americanism...is both the understanding that the entire world is being Americanized and a fear of the process." - Henry Fairlie (1975)


"S p e a k"
By Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1914-1978)
Pakistani poet

Speak, your lips are free.
Speak, it is your own tongue.
Speak, it is your own body.
Speak, your life is still yours.

See how in the blacksmith's shop
The flame burns wild, the iron glows red;
The locks open their jaws,
And every chain begins to break.

Speak, this brief hour is long enough
Before the death of body and tongue:
Speak, 'cause the truth is not dead yet,
Speak, speak, whatever you must speak.


"America is God equals America equals Business equals America equals God." - Oriana Fallaci (b. 1930), Penelope at War (1966); Italian writer, journalist

Giuseppe Fanelli


"The disaster of the man of color lies in the fact that he was enslaved. The disaster and the inhumanity of the white man lie in the fact that somewhere he has killed man." - Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), Black Skin, White Masks; Martinique-born Algerian philosopher, psychiatrist, activist

"The wolves must no longer find isolated lambs to prey upon. Imperialism must be blocked in all its attempts to strengthen itself. The peoples demand this; the historical process requires it." - Frantz Fanon, Toward the African Revolution

"Colonization is the organization of the domination of a nation after military conquest." - Frantz Fanon, Toward the African Revolution

"The war of liberation is not seeking for reforms but the grandiose effort of the people, which had been mummified, to rediscover its own genius, to reassume its history and assert its sovereignty." - Frantz Fanon, Toward the African Revolution

"Decolonization is a national liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people." - Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

On the middle class: "A sort of little greedy caste, avid and voracious, with the mind of a huckster, only too glad to accept the dividends that the former colonial power hands out to it. This get-rich-quick middle class shows itself incapable of great ideas or of inventiveness." - Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth


" 'The Star Spangled Banner' was composed on Sept. 14, 1814, by Francis Scott Key, who was on board a British warship that was bombarding Fort McHenry outside Baltimore. Key was on a diplomatic mission, which deprived him of liquor - he usually was said to have been drunk 24 hours a day - and in his hour of sobriety he paraphrased a British drinking song, called 'Anacreon in Heaven.' (Anacreon was the Greek god of wine.) He was said to have admitted that nobody could actually carry the melody while sober. Not only is the melody an awful burden to foist on a nation, but the words are meaningless today..." - Howard Fast, "Our Unsingable Anthem" (Courier-Journal, December 1992); American novelist, playwright, poet, essayist


"Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up?" - William Faulkner (1897-1962), "Nobel Prize Speech" (December 10, 1950); U.S. novelist, Nobel laureate

"...No battle is ever won...they are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and Victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools." - William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury


Sebastien Faure (1858-1942); French anarchist

Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882-1961); African-American Harlem Renaissance poet

"I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn't poor, I was needy. Then they told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy. I was deprived. (Oh, not deprived but rather underprivileged.) Then they told me that underprivileged was overused. I was disadvantaged. I still don't have a dime. But, I have a great vocabulary." - Jules Feiffer, political and social cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, satirist, children's writer


"Wind" (1983)
by James Fenton
(b. 1949; England)

This is the wind, the wind in a field of corn.
Great crowds are fleeing from a major disaster
Down the long valleys, the green swaying wadis,
Down through the beautiful catastrophe of wind.

Families, tribes, nations and their livestock
Have heard something, seen something. An expectation
Or a gigantic misunderstanding has swept over the hilltop
Bending the ear of the hedgerow with stories of fire and sword.

I saw a thousand years pass in two seconds.
Land was lost, languages rose and divided.
This lord went east and found safety.
His brother sought Africa and a dish of aloes.

Centuries, minutes later, one might ask
How the hilt of a sword wandered so far from the smithy.
And somewhere they will sing: "Like chaff we were borne
In the wind." This is the wind in a field of corn.


"A German Requiem"
by James Fenton

It is not what they built. It is what they knocked down.
It is not the houses. It is the spaces between the houses.
It is not the streets that exist. It is the streets that no longer exist.
It is not your memories which haunt you.
It is not what you have written down.
It is what you have forgotten, what you must forget.
What you must go on forgetting all your life.
And with any luck oblivion should discover a ritual.
You will find out that you are not alone in the enterprise.
Yesterday the very furniture seemed to reproach you.
Today you take your place in the Widow's Shuttle.

*

The bus is waiting at the southern gate
To take you to the city of your ancestors
Which stands on the hill opposite, with gleaming pediments,
As vivid as this charming square, your home.
Are you shy? You should be. It is almost like a wedding,
The way you clasp your flowers and give a little tug at your veil. Oh,
The hideous bridesmaids, it is natural that you should resent them
Just a little, on this first day.
But that will pass, and the cemetery is not far.
Here comes the driver, flicking a toothpick into the gutter,
His tongue still searching between his teeth.
See, he has not noticed you. No one has noticed you.
It will pass, young lady, it will pass.
*

How comforting it is, once or twice a year,
To get together and forget the old times.
As on those special days, ladies and gentlemen,
When the boiled shirts gather at the graveside
And a leering waistcoat approaches the rostrum.
It is like a solemn pact between the survivors.
The mayor has signed it on behalf of the freemasonry.
The priest has sealed it on behalf of all the rest.
Nothing more need be said, and it is better that way--
*

The better for the widow, that she should not live in fear of surprise,
The better for the young man, that he should move at liberty between the armchairs,
The better that these bent figures who flutter among the graves
Tending the nightlights and replacing the chrysanthemums
Are not ghosts,
That they shall go home.
The bus is waiting, and on the upper terraces
The workmen are dismantling the houses of the dead.
*

But when so many had died, so many and at such speed,
There were no cities waiting for the victims.
They unscrewed the name-plates from the shattered doorways
And carried them away with the coffins.
So the squares and parks were filled with the eloquence of young cemeteries:
The smell of fresh earth, the improvised crosses
And all the impossible directions in brass and enamel.
*

"Doctor Gliedschirm, skin specialist, surgeries 14-16 hours or by appointment."
Professor Sargnagel was buried with four degrees, two associate memberships
And instructions to tradesmen to use the back entrance.
Your uncle's grave informed you that he lived on the third floor, left.
You were asked please to ring, and he would come down in the lift
To which one needed a key. . .
*

Would come down, would ever come down
With a smile like thin gruel, and never too much to say.
How he shrank through the years.
How you towered over him in the narrow cage.
How he shrinks now. . .
*

But come. Grief must have its term? Guilt too, then.
And it seems there is no limit to the resourcefulness of recollection.
So that a man might say and think:
When the world was at its darkest,
When the black wings passed over the rooftops
(And who can divine His purposes?) even then
There was always, always a fire in this hearth.
You see this cupboard? A priest-hole!
And in that lumber-room whole generations have been housed and fed.
Oh, if I were to begin, if I were to begin to tell you
The half, the quarter, a mere smattering of what we went through!
*

His wife nods, and a secret smile,
Like a breeze with enough strength to carry one dry leaf
Over two pavingstones, passes from chair to chair.
Even the enquirer is charmed.
He forgets to pursue the point.
It is not what he wants to know.
It is what he wants not to know.
It is not what they say.
It is what they do not say.


Rev. L.R. Ferebee (1849-?), A Brief History of the Slave Life of Rev. L.R. Ferebee, and the Battles of Life, and Four Years of His Ministerial Life (1882)


"I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail."

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919), "I Am Waiting," U.S. Beat poet


"...further from home
on freeways fifty lanes wide
on a concrete continent
spaced with bland billboards
illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness

...more maimed citizens
in painted cars
and they have strange licence plates
and engines
that devour America"

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, "A Coney Island of the Mind"


"The dog trots freely on the street
past puddles and babies
cats and cigars
poolrooms and policemen
He doesn't hate cops
He merely has no use for them"

- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, "Dog"


"The United States has wound up with the largest gap of any country in the world between what historians know and what the rest of us are taught." - Marc Ferro, French historian

"I know there are places on earth where it is impossible to be homeless. There one's home could be no more separated from a person than his leg. Here we have been able to bring into being a situation where it is possible to estrange - to make one a stranger to - one's own home. This also does not make sense, but it nonetheless is." - Joe Ferry, "Wanted: Good Samaritan" (Bethesda Project)

"America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again." - U.S. film Field of Dreams (1989), directed by Phil Alden Robinson (b. 1950)

Fires on the Plain (Japanese film, 1959), directed by Kon Ichikawa

Shulamith Firestone, "The Women's Rights Movement in the U.S.: A New View" (Notes from the First Year (New York: The New York Radical Women, 1968)

David Fisher, "Anarchism and National Liberation"

"Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero." - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940); U.S. writer


"We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promise of American advertising. I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail and that mud will give you a perfect complexion." - Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948), Save Me the Waltz (1932); U.S. writer

"It's terrible to allow conventional habits to gain a hold on a whole household; to eat, sleep and live by clock ticks." - Zelda Fitzgerald, in Nancy Milford, Zelda (1970)


See: Flag-Burning Editorial Cartoons


"The stench of human wreckage in which the Nazi regime finally sank down to defeat has been the most shocking fact of modern times." - Janet Flanner ("GenÍt," 1892-1978), Paris Journal 1944-1965 (1965); U.S. journalist, novelist, war correspondent

"The war [World War II], which destroyed so much of everything, was also constructive, in a way. It established clearly the cold, and finally unhypocritical fact that the most important thing on earth to men today is money." - Janet Flanner ("GenÍt," 1892-1978), Paris Journal 1944-1965 (1965)


"Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them." - Marquis de Flers Robert and Arman de Caillavet

"Nations have recently been led to borrow billions for war; no nation has ever borrowed largely for education. Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization. We must make our choice; we cannot have both." - Abraham Flexner (1866-1959), American educational reformer.

Francisca Flores

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilize savage and senile and paranoidal people while blundering accidentally into their oil wells or metal mines." - John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching (Doubleday, 1944)


"In the shadow of the Temple of Literature I saw Vietnamese actors and actresses perform the second act of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons, and this was very moving to me - the fact that artists here are translating and performing American plays while U.S. imperialists are bombing their country." - Jane Fonda, "Radio Broadcast from Hanoi, Vietnam" (August 22, 1972); U.S. actress, war protester

"I cherish the way a farmer, evacuated from Hanoi, without hesitation offered me - an American - their best individual bomb shelter while U.S. bombs fell near by. The daughter and I, in fact, shared the shelter wrapped in each others arms, cheek against cheek. It was on the road back from Nam Dinh where I had witnessed the systematic destruction of civilian targets - schools, hospitals, pegodas, the factories, houses, and the dike system." - Jane Fonda, "Radio Broadcast from Hanoi, Vietnam" (August 22, 1972)


Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier

"If it's fifty-five hundred years we shall get rid of you," the Indian doctor Aziz tells his English friend. - E.M. Forster (1879-1970), A Passage to India

"Do not ask me who I am and do not ask me to remain the same. Leave it to the bureaucrats to see that our papers are in order." - Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (NY: Pantheon, '72)

"My father always told me, 'Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.'" - Jim Fox

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France (1844-1924), French novelist, Nobel Prize Laureate

"I don't believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of the war. Oh, no, the little man is just as keen, otherwise the people of the world would have risen in revolt long ago! There is an urge and rage in people to destroy, to kill, to murder, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated and grown, will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again." - Anne Frank


"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), "Historical Review of Pennsylvania" (1759)

"Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs." - Benjamin Franklin, "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America" (1784)


"Almost from the beginning our Constitution was a flawed document, protecting the institution of slavery as it did in so many different ways, and yet expecting the blessings of independence to be spread over everyone - including slaves...It was clearly, unequivocally hypocritical." - John Hope Franklin (b. 1915), Los Angeles Times (July 2, 1995); African-American social activist, academic scholar

Michelle Fraser, "Multiple Connections: Anarchisms and Feminisms"

"In uncritically calling for 'free speech' in our current climate just whose speech are we protecting, and just how 'free' is it? Or are we merely playing an Orwellian game of Animal Farm where we are all free to speak, only some of us have loudspeakers and others have gags?" - Suzanne Fraser and Jake Rance, "'Free Speech': Whose Speech, Whose Freedom?"

"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." - Paulo Freire (1921-1997), Brazilian educator


"If there exists a hell - the case is clear - Sir Toby's slaves enjoy that portion here..." [read more] - Philip Freneau (1752-1832), "To Sir Toby" (1791); U.S. poet

Philip Freneau, Poems Relating to the American Revolution (1865; edited by Evert A. Duyckinck)


"America is a mistake, a giant mistake." - Sigmund Freud (1865-1939), Swiss psychoanalyst

Read: "Thoughts for the Times of War and Death" (1915), by Sigmund Freud


"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations." - David Friedman (I'm not sure if THIS is the same "David Friedman")

PRE- AND POST-U.S.S.R.: "Before we had friendships, now we have business relationships." - Ukrainian film A Friend of the Deceased (Ukraine, 1997), directed by Vyacheslav Krishtofovich

"The lack of objectivity, as far as foreign nations are concerned, is notorious. From one day to another, another nation is made out to be utterly depraved and fiendish, while one's own nation stands for everything that is good and noble. Every action of the enemy is judged by one standard - every action of oneself by another. Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals, which they serve. Indeed, if one examines the relationship between nations, as well as between individuals, one comes to the conclusion that objectivity is the exception, and a greater or lesser degree of narcissistic distortion is the rule." - Eric Fromm


"The Investment" (1928)
by Robert Frost
(1874-1963; U.S.)

Over back where they speak of life as staying
("You couldn't call it living, for it ain't"),
There was an old, old house renewed with paint,
And in it a piano loudly playing.

Out in the plowed ground in the cold a digger,
Among unearthed potatoes standing still,
Was counting winter dinners, one a hill,
With half an ear to the piano's vigor.

All that piano and new paint back there,
Was it some money sudenly come into?
Or some extraveagance young love had been to?
Or old love on an impulse not to care -

Not to sink under being man and wife,
But get some color and music out of life?


"If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears." - Stephen Fry; actor, comedian, novelist, journalist, screenwriter


In an essay in the forthcoming March 18 [1969] issue of The New York Review of Books, Mr. Fuentes criticizes the Mexican government as an "autocracy" and warns against "the sinister world order that is taking shape with the formidable trappings of nuclear terror, peace by blackmail, spheres of influence, and the promise of a planetary fascism that denies both individuals rights and socialist experience." - Carlos Fuentes (b. 1928), quoted in "Leftist Novelist Is Barred By U.S.," by Henry Raymont, New York Times, February 28, 1969; Panamian-born Mexican novelist, playwright, poet, social critic

"It is possible that without the ugly gravity of the real our dreams would lack weight, would be gratuitous, and thus of little worth and small conviction. Let us be grateful for this battle between imagination and reality that tends to weight to fantasy and wings to facts, for the bird will not fly that does not encounter resistance from the air." - Carlos Fuentes, Terra Nostra

"A writer hates silence. A writer wrests words from silence all the time. It is difficult enough to find a marvelous lyric line, and wrest that from silence. 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' It is a marvelous line, and had the artist not lifted that line from silence, it would have been unsaid. It is even more evident when what you have to say is that people are unjustly treated, which is so evident, and it is unsaid. It has its own lyricism. A man like [Pablo] Neruda who was a true political and social poet, a popular poet, wrote what he did because otherwise there would have been only silence. That is poetic." - Carlos Fuentes, "Carlos Fuentes: Life and Language," interviewed by Nicholas Shrady, The New York Times, August 19, 1984

"Everybody here in Mexico would place me in the left, except the left. In the United States, everybody, starting with the Justice Department and the State Department, definitely places me in the left. But in Mexico, the left thinks that I'm too amicable to the United States, that I see too many virtues in the United States, that I am not a Marxist, that I don't have a rigid set of dogmas and principles, or that I won't adhere fully to Marxism, athough I am very respectful of Marx...I've alway proclaimed myself a reader of Marx and a student of Marx...What do you call these things in which one studies in university libraries? Carrels! I'm a carrel Marxist! (Laughs.) But I'm also a carrel Spinozist, and a carrel Nietzschean, and a carrel Kantian and a carrel Platonist. Because I have read them, and I think they are part of the baggage of any cultivated man in the 20th century." - Carlos Fuentes, ibid.


"Those in control have spent billions of dollars and trillions of conniving hours destroying grass roots movements, leaders and peoples. For they are aware that the development of a real sense of community, of history, and of solidarity is a profound threat to their exploitative system of rule." - Leonora B. Fulani (b. 1951), Poor Women of Color Do Great Therapy (1988); African-American social activist, author


Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), "Critical Path" (1982); Canadian engineer, achitect

"Either man is obsolete or war is." - R. Buckminster Fuller


Colonel: "You write 'Born to Kill' on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?! Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over." - film Full Metal Jacket (U.S., 1987), directed by Stanley Kubrick (b. 1928, U.S.)

Joker: "I wanted to meet stimulating and interesting people of an ancient culture, and kill them. I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get a confirmed kill." - Full Metal Jacket



Quotations: G
i fratelli de Socio