The ideal of self-advancement which the civilizing west offers to backward populations brings with it the plague of individual frustration. All the advantages brought by the West are ineffectual substitutes for the sheltering and soothing anonymity of communal existence.
Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders. Instead, its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles.
Our reliance in this country is on the inquiring, individual human mind. Our strength is founded there; our resilience, our ability to face an ever-changing future and to master it. We are not frozen into the backward-facing impotence of those societies, fixed in the rigidness of an official dogma, to which the future is the mirror of the past. We are free to make the future for ourselves.
Like all of Latin America, Mexico after independence in 1821 turned its back on a triple heritage: on the Spanish heritage, because we were newly liberated colonies, and on our Indian and black heritages, because we considered them backward and barbaric. We looked towards France, England and the U.S., to become progressive democratic republics.
There’s a writer for you,” he said. “Knows everything and at the same time he knows nothing.” [narrator]It was my first inkling that he was a writer. And while I like writers—because if you ask a writer anything you usually get an answer—still it belittled him in my eyes. Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It’s like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean backward trying—only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers.
Painting, by its nature, cannot provide an object of simultaneous collective reception... as film is able to do today... And while efforts have been made to present paintings to the masses in galleries and salons, this mode of reception gives the masses no means of organizing and regulating their response. Thus, the same public which reacts progressively to a slapstick comedy inevitably displays a backward attitude toward Surrealism.
I start with an image, then I go from the image toward exploring the situation. Then I write a scene, and from the scene I find the character, from the character I find the larger plot. It's like deductive reasoning - I start with the smaller stuff and work backward.
Souls, I said. I mean, you always wonder if they're real. Even if you believe in them, you still have to wonder: Is my existence just this body? Is there really something more? Do I really have a soul?Uriel's smile blossomed again. You've got it backward, Harry, he said. You are a soul. You have a body.