An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





An identity is questioned only when it is menaced, as when the mighty begin to fall, or when the wretched begin to rise, or when the stranger enters the gates, never, thereafter, to be a stranger. Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self: in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which one's nakedness can always be felt, and, sometimes, discerned. This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes.'


James Baldwin (1924-1987, American author)


An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.'


James Baldwin (1924-1987, American author)


It is always the same: once you are liberated, you are forced to ask who you are.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not.


Chevy Chase (1943-, American actor)


I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


Man may be defined as the animal that can say "I," that can be aware of himself as a separate entity.


Erich Fromm (1900-1980, American psychologist)


The Beatles exist apart from my Self. I am not really Beatle George. Beatle George is like a suit or shirt that I once wore on occasion and until the end of my life people may see that shirt and mistake it for me.


George Harrison (1943-, British-born American musician, guitarist, singer, actor, film and record)


A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


There comes a point in many people's lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play.


Brian Moore (1921-, Irish novelist)


I believe that man is in the last resort so free a being that his right to be what he believes himself to be cannot be contested.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


Ask a heckler to identify himself and his company. They usually prefer to be anonymous.


Judy Moreo


The real meditation is... the meditation on one's identity. Ah, voila une chose!! You try it. You try finding out why you're you and not somebody else. And who in the blazes are you anyhow? Ah, voila une chose!


Ezra Pound (1885-1972, American poet, critic)


I know you are, but what am I? [As Pee-Wee Herman]


Paul Reubens (1952-, American actor, comedian, writer)


I is another.


Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891, French poet)


Identity is a bag and a gag. Yet it exists for me with all the force of a fatal disease. Obviously I am here, a mind and a body. To say there's no proof my body exists would be arty and specious and if my mind is more ephemeral, less provable, the solution of being a writer with solid (touchable, tearable, burnable) books is as close as anyone has come to a perfect answer.


Judith Rossner (1935-, American author)


The minute you or anybody else knows what you are you are not it, you are what you or anybody else knows you are and as everything in living is made up of finding out what you are it is extraordinarily difficult really not to know what you are and yet to be that thing.


Gertrude Stein (1874-1946, American author)


I'm not Jack Nicholson. I'm not Brando. But I do mumble.


Benicio Del Toro (1967-, Puerto Rican actor, director, writer)


Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.


Alan W. Watts (1915-1973, British-born American philosopher, author)


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