"Verses are not, as people think, feelings (those one has early enough) — they are experiences. For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men, and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the little flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents whom one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and did not grasp it (it was a joy for someone else); to childhood illnesses that so strangely begin with such a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars—and it is not yet enough if one may think of all this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again.
For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not till they have turned to blood within us, to glance, and gesture, nameless, and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves — not till then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them."
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Bridge
"So long as necessity remains a social dream, dreaming will remain a social necessity. The spectacle is the bad dream of a modern society in chains, expressing nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep."
— Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, thesis 21.
"Like the ghost of the Revolution which never happened over here, like the ghost of the Revolution which was never completed over there, modernity is in permanent crisis. It is riven with contradictions, and in the absence of the radically revolutionary negativity which — according to the initial Marxist project — would have transformed life, these contradictions are wreaking havoc. Moreover, the crises are more numerous, more frequent, more generalized. They are becoming normalized. Every sector and every area is about to have its crisis, or is in the middle of it. Increasingly numerous despite claims to the contrary, these multifarious crises would appear to be one of the constituents of modernity. They are becoming an integral part of its consciousness, its image, its self-promotion and self-projection."
— Henri Lefebvre, “What is Modernity?” (1962)
"… poetry, yes, but in life. No return possible to surrealist or preceding poetical writing."
— Guy Debord, letter to Patrick Straram, November 12, 1958