Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1909-1966, was a Polish writer famous for two collections of aphorisms: Unkempt Thoughts and More Unkempt Thoughts. He is original and witty, with a taste for the surreal, and a penchant for paradox. Here are just a few of his gems:
On denial - "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
On the agenda of politicians - "Politics: a Trojan horse race."
On the value of secrets - "An empty envelope that is sealed contains a secret."
On the dynamics of faith and understanding - "Some like to understand what they believe in. Others like to believe in what they understand."
On the danger of success - "On every summit, you are on the brink of an abyss."
On unfathomable ignorance - "Every now and then you meet a man whose ignorance is encyclopedic."
On the joy of relativity - "Hay smells different to lovers and horses."
On the contradictions of superstition - "If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?"
On progress and its shortcomings - "Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?"
On the eloquence of silence - "Sometimes you have to be silent to be heard."
On the freedom of the press - "The window on the world can be covered by a newspaper."
On being bias - "There were grammatical errors even in his silence."
On the transmission of ideas -"Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man. But they don't bite everybody."
On the vagaries of history - "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."
On aging gracefully - "Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art."