Archibald MacLeish

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Oh, love is real enough; you will find it someday, but it has one archenemy—and that is life.
Jean Anouilh Ardele
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What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.

Archibald MacLeish (May 7, 1892April 20, 1982) was an American poet, writer and the Librarian of Congress. He is associated with the modernist school of poetry. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times.

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  • It is not in the world of ideas that life is lived. Life is lived for better or worse in life, and to a man in life, his life can be no more absurd than it can be the opposite of absurd, whatever that opposite may be.
    • Return from the Excursion, Riders on Earth (1978).
  • What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.
    • The Premise Of Meaning, American Scholar (Washington, DC, June 5, 1972).
  • We are as great as our belief in human liberty — no greater. And our belief in human liberty is only ours when it is larger than ourselves.
    • Now Let Us Address the Main Question: Bicentennial of What?, New York Times (July 3, 1976).
  • Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, there is no reason either in football or in poetry why the two should not meet in a man's life if he has the weight and cares about the words.
    • Moonlighting on Yale Field, Riders on Earth (1978).
  • The business of the law is to make sense of the confusion of what we call human life—to reduce it to order but at the same time to give it possibility, scope, even dignity.
    • Art and Law, Riders on Earth (1978).

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