“Contemporary art’s job is to wreck what came before.” — John Waters, from his commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design last weekend
The wreckage of stars ― I built a world from this wreckage.
―Friedrich Nietzsche, Dithyrambs of Dionysus
The world’s great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn:
Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.
―Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Helas”
Old age is a shipwreck.
―Charles De Gaulle
Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.
―Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
They didn’t think much to the Ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin’ and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.
―Marriott Edgar, The Lion and Albert
There’s just as much money to be made in the wreck of a civilization as in the upbuilding of one.
―Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life — and one is as good as the other.
―Ernest Hemingway, letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1929
I came to explore the wreck.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
I came to see the damage that was done
and the treasures that prevail.
I stroke the beam of my lamp
slowly along the flank
of something more permanent
than fish or weed
the thing I came for:
the wreck and not the story of the wreck
the thing itself and not the myth
the drowned face always staring
toward the sun.
―Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”
Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.
You win some, lose some, and wreck some.