Mehmet Murat İldan

From Quotes
Life at its noblest leaves mere happiness far behind; and indeed cannot endure it. Happiness is not the object of life: life has no object: it is an end in itself; and courage consists in the readiness to sacrifice happiness for an intenser quality of life.
George Bernard Shaw
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Mehmet Murat İldan (born 16 May 1965) is a contemporary Turkish novelist and playwright.


Eyes of Magic (2000)

  • They say “Wine is Satan’s falcon,”; apparently he uses it in hunting men!
  • Women are like the fish in the sea, they are the ones who give life to the sea, that make the sea joyful.
  • My dear Tartini, one’s life is so sweet and precious that even honey tastes like salt in comparison!
  • A body without wine is like a dessert without sugar. A pale woman can only be coloured with lipstick and rouge, and a pale man can only be coloured with wine!
  • Don’t forget that the boat and the water are in love with each other; you should never let them on their own; lo and behold, they have made an agreement with the wind and gone off on their honeymoon!
  • Insult is a monstrous scorpion, and compliment is a likeable nightingale; one stings mercilessly, and the other sings sweetly.
  • Like a broken vase does not fear of breaking once more, my broken heart is not affected by your hurting words anymore!
  • A stomach without bread and a purse without gold have led to so many revolutions in history.
  • What a hungry fox constantly dreams of is a chicken!
  • Oleanders have attractive flowers, they decorate nature beautifully, but they are poisonous; and a woman is an oleander; it’s all right to watch her once in a while, but then you must walk away without touching her; if you ever try to taste her even once, you’ll head for hell!
  • You see only the cat’s paw, Signor Tartini, whereas I see the sharp claws hidden in that paw!.. Women are like fire; they warm you from afar, and when you enter into them they burn you to ashes!
  • Mankind has invented the mirror in vain, for there’s nobody in this world who looks into the mirror and sees himself as he truly is; each person has his own mirror hidden in his own mind and he can’t see more than what that mirror in his mind reflects!
  • A worthless servant is more popular than his master! This means that the apocalypse mentioned in the Bible is near at hand!
  • A female ship should slowly go to dock when she sees a male harbour, for this is the most natural thing to do!
  • Is it possible to take river water back after it has mixed into the sea? The river and the sea are united and one now.
  • What binds a wife to her husband is neither magic, nor a priest, nor love! What makes this possible is only silver coins! A woman’s heart is like a candle, my friend. As long as the money wick keeps burning, her heart stays warm. But when the wick burns down, her love is extinguished!
  • Your wife has deserted you, but you’ll find a new one; whereas, soon my wits will desert me, and for this there is no remedy.
  • Anyway, two men hugging each other is against nature. A ram should not hug another ram, and a he-goat should not hug another he-goat! Let a he-dog embrace a she-dog, and let a female cattle hug a bull, but a stallion should not embrace another stallion, and a cock should not reach for another cock!
  • A woman and a man are like the sheet and the quilt. Since we happen to be the quilts, we need to have clean sheets.
  • This is a world of the hunters and the hunted, signorina. Tonight you are the prey and I am the hunter!
  • Don’t forget that birds with broken wings walking on the ground were once flying high up in the sky.

Beggar's Prophecy (2001)

  • For an apple you can’t reach up and pick, you have to climb that tree; the tree won’t bend down for you!
  • That wretched alchemist called money can turn a man’s heart into a stone!
  • My kingdom not for a horse, but for a good piece of advice!
  • Walking does good to the fat and giving alms does good to the sinners; these both make one feel lighter!
  • There are only two kinds of people who do not commit any sins: Unborn human beings and dead human beings!
  • Being a playwright, a film producer, a minister, a general; these are all masks one wears over one’s face in the society; masks don’t mean anything, for a man is what he is!
  • Think of people like bottles full of a liquid inside but without labels; smell the bottle, pour out what is inside and study it carefully. Never mind the labels; pretend that they don’t exist! Labels are misleading!
  • A cock should always know his limits and never have his eyes on the big heights like an eagle!
  • The only way to survive among the evil and corrupt people is to be even more wicked and more corrupt than they are!
  • I only want to remind you what weak creatures human beings are. Even people who seem to have wills of steel have serious weaknesses! At those moments of weakness, will power breaks into a thousand pieces.
  • For God must have more important universal matters to attend to than keeping himself busy with us, people! God is not interested in local matters!
  • No writer has an imaginative power richer than what the streets offer.
  • The writer is a kind of hawk; he goes round in the skies, constantly looking with his sharp eyes for the character that he can pick up with his claws. Sometimes he goes round hungry for a week, he cannot catch any characters; and sometimes characters rain on him like heavy rain.
  • A writer should show the silver in his hands neither as bronze nor as gold; the gist of the matter is to show silver as silver.
  • Once one seizes happiness, one should hang onto it like an octopus.
  • To delete our memory to zero! A completely new life! . . This is a fantastic idea!
  • Typewriter keys can’t be blamed because of what has been typed on the typewriter; the one who committed the crime is the one who used the typewriter; the one who typed on the keyboard!
  • To life! There can never be anything more important than life! To life, my friends!
  • May God bequeath everyone the gift of listening to the voice of their conscience!

Galileo Galilei (2001)

  • It is better to go near the truth and be imprisoned than to stay with the wrong and roam about freely, master Galilei. In fact, getting attached to falsity is terrible slavery, and real freedom is only next to the right.
  • Oh my son, so poor in doing the right things, so rich in doing the wrong things! What great poverty it is to be so rich!
  • If the world is turning, even the church can’t stop it; if it isn’t turning, nobody can go out and make it turn.
  • It’s very dangerous to invent something in our times; ostentatious men of the other world, who are hostile to innovations, roam about angrily. To live in peace, one has to stay away from innovations and new ideas. Innovations, like trees, attract the most destructive lightnings to themselves.
  • To go to the wine house and not to get drunk is as difficult as to dive into a pool and not get wet!
  • We are surrounded by the dry thorns of the Inquisition on all four sides; throwing around words burning like fire is the shortest way to one’s grave!
  • I never worry about how many legs my chicken has, about whether it can fly or not, about which cock was her husband; that my hen gives me eggs is enough for me!
  • For a child, parents’ warning is like a rose blooming in the brain; it opens with difficulty and fades quickly.
  • Man is a “jar of mistakes”, dear Giulia; as we have made a mistake, we are human; this proves it!
  • When the number of children goes over one, God becomes miserly in granting intelligence; he takes it from the living child and gives it to the child to be born.
  • It helps nothing to cry and complain, to pluck our hair. There’s no difference between getting mad at our fate and getting mad at rocks and stones. The ears of Fate are completely deaf; anyway, it doesn’t matter whether she hears our voices or not; when the moment comes, she only speaks of the things she has already designed and rains the orders she has already planned.
  • If absurdities could be eaten like pigs, you could immediately set up an absurdity farm and get much richer than a king!.
  • Minds with fixed ideas are like granite: they can never be penetrated with soft words and gentle persuasions.
  • I’m saying that the leaders of the church have locked the sacred cow called science in the stable and they won’t let anybody enter; they should open it immediately so that we can milk that cow in the name of humanity and thus find the truth.
  • A men whose every word is nothing but the truth is not a human being but a god! Gods do not die, whereas Aristotle is lying in a grave now.
  • Innovations, free thinking is blowing like a storm; those that stand in front of it, ignorant scholars like you, false scientists, perverse conservatives, obstinate goats, resisting mules are being crushed under the weight of these innovations. You are nothing but ants standing in front of the giants; nothing but chicks trying to challenge roaring volcanoes!
  • The mind God is looking for in man is a doubting, questioning mind, not a dogmatic mind; dogmatic reasoning is wrong reasoning. Dogmatic reason ties a huge rock to a man’s foot and stops him forever from advancing.
  • There must be a marsh in the brains of these men or there would not be so many frogs of wrong ideas gathered in their heads.
  • A fortune-teller means a braggart anyway. Don’t you know that a donkey can’t do but braying, a wolf can’t do but howling, a horse can’t do but neighing, and a fortune-teller can’t do but telling lies?
  • The “stream” we call science always flows forward; sometimes reactionary beavers block its flow, but the stream is never defeated by this; it accumulates, gathers strength; its waters get over the barrage and continue on their course. The advancement of science is the advancement of God, for science is nothing but human intelligence, and human intelligence is the most valuable treasure God has bequeathed us.
  • History of science is a relay race, my painter friend. Copernicus took over his flag from Aristarchus, from Cicero, from Plutarch; and Galileo took that flag over from Copernicus.
  • Truths are immortal, my dear friend; they are immortal like God! What we call a falsity is like a fruit; it has a certain number of days; it is bound to decay. Whereas, what we call truth is like gold; days, months, even centuries can hide gold, can overlook it but they can never make it decay.
  • My dear friend, to be both powerful and fair has always been difficult for mankind. Power and justice have always been seen like day and night; this being the case, when one of them is there the other disappears.
  • Religion now has degenerated and it has turned into a wolf; it has opened its mouth to show his ugly teeth; its spreading fear instead of love; and science has hidden in a corner like a lamb, trembling with fear!
  • A stone thrown up into the air is bound to fall down one day, and absolute power is like a huge stone thrown up into the air.
  • I know it too well, my friend. Fresh water does not come out of a bitter spring; you don’t expect to get rose perfume coming out of a rubbish heap, neither scorpions to kiss people!
  • New ideas seem like frightening ghosts to people at the beginning; they run away from them for a long time, but they get tired of it in the end!

Master William Shakespeare (2002)

  • Oh, William, what pitiable creatures we men are! When we go to church we make the devil angry, when we enjoy ourselves in the inns, we make God angry; we are the unlucky lot stuck between two fires!
  • How can you get giants out of a dwarf, my good chap? Can a thrush lay eagle’s egg? Can a dolphin give birth to a whale?
  • What we call debt is a hump on our backs; it is an awkward load that crushes one; and loads are carried only by stupid animals, by camels, mules, and donkeys; the back of an intelligent person is flat !
  • London has now become almost like a gigantic frog! With its long tongue it draws curious insects from all over the world inside itself!
  • If a moneyed man had a “corny mind”, a flatterer would immediately start chasing him like a hungry hen!
  • A big city is a big ocean; the one who doesn’t know how to swim finds himself at its bottom!
  • Like a butcher without a knife, a knight without a sword, and a farrier without a hammer, you cannot have a town without rules; if there were a town like that, a great big anarchy would reign there, just as in the realm of animals!
  • I think this man is a bit crazy, but aren’t we all a little crazy anyway?
  • A man without money is like a windmill left without the wind, don’t you ever forget this!
  • We should extinguish not candles, but torches, my good neighbour; we should fell not shrubs but trees: we should kill one giant instead of ten dwarfs!.. When there is an ostentatious cock crowing all over the place, what is the use of killing one insignificant chick? In a war you have to kill the king first; thus you can put an end to the battle more quickly!
  • Between birth and death, neighbour, there is no business that is not risky; drinking water in a sitting position included! . . The gist of the matter is to do everything with fine tuning as an acrobat does when walking a tight rope, like a carpenter measuring everything meticulously!
  • A bird without wings and a man without art are both condemned to wander in low places; they can never soar up to those unrivaled heights.
  • We live in a crowded and stifling world, my dear sir; just to be able to walk, we have to push and shove others willy nilly!
  • If the quality of the people got better as they aged, how good that would be, don’t you think so? Then we would put all the swindlers, crooks, usurers, robbers, hucksters, and gamblers we could find into a barrel and wait for some years, until their characters could leave an exquisite taste on all palates.
  • Life and death; there is no bridge between the two; they are stuck to each other! Death is only a step away from us, no more, only one step!
  • An actor should have not one face but a thousand faces; like the phoenix which carries a print of each animal, an actor should carry a print of each human being!
  • The theatre is a machine of transformations: everything is transformed into another thing; a bald man has thick hair on his head; a man with strong legs gains a limp and a sharp-eyed person becomes blind; an actor who is an atheist immediately turns into the most pious priest on earth!
  • When chasing a hare, you must have more than one greyhounds about you; when one of them has failed, my dear neighbour, you call to the next “Get it!”!

Emmanuel Arago's Diary (2004)

  • Elephants don’t know anything about the world of ants; the peaks of mountains are oblivious of what is happening on the plains!
  • But just one gram of suspicion weighs heavier than a kilo of truth!
  • A very long year spent without writing anything by a writer is no different from a moment wasted away from the water by a fish!
  • No fiction can be superior to and more attractive than the truths themselves!
  • When God is writing our fate, he uses our blood as ink, if you ask me; and we act out whatever is written in our blood! We are God’s puppets!
  • Even if the invisible wind stepped into mud, it would leave traces behind; even the fog, which has no body, has its own footmarks: While walking like a white-shrouded ghost in the silence of the night or in the dusk of the morning, it leaves crystal dews on the flowers and grass!
  • The best thing about hell is that there are no priests there!
  • A wealthy man can only be swindled with a high price!
  • I owe all my knowledge to the German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg!
  • When you look into a well from above, you can’t see anything; you have to go down into the well itself.
  • A deer that knows all the hunting techniques of a lion will never fall prey to a lion!
  • Even the most horrible nightmares come to an end one day!.. Just like the good days, bad days are also transitory, Catherine!
  • A person cannot choose love, love chooses a person.
  • Our hearts are not like those docile horses we can hold the reins of and drive in any direction we wish; they are like wild horses, without bridles on and free; we have no way of knowing what they will be doing or where they will be running!
  • Nobody is “superior” to anybody else, only “different”, that is all!
  • Stupidity is contagious, isn’t that so? Loneliness is a kind of quarantine against stupidity; it’s an effective antidote!
  • Each person chooses a certain way to forget his or her sufferings, Gregory, and I’ve chosen to make myself suffer, to torture myself!
  • When I come back from the rough seas, I look for calm lakes I can walk on quietly; a knight who has got tired of riding a wild horse takes great pleasure from sitting on a scabby mule!
  • The night definitely makes one free!.. The night does not have thousands of curious eyes as the day has! One is under much less control during the nights.
  • A human being can live without water for a week as a camel does in the desert; but he can never live without lies for one week! What is the greatest invention of mankind, Malaparte? Fire? The black iron plough? Or is it the wheel? No, no! None of these things: Our most magnificent invention, our best servant is the “lie”!
  • A man drowns in the sea and fish die on land; it is really stupid to go beyond some limits without having certain characteristics!
  • Big secrets are like contagious diseases; they spread very rapidly. What two men know should never be known by a third person; or a fourth, and after him a fifth will follow!
  • You must make yourself prepared to eating a desert by putting salt on it and to rowing your boat in the black storm that comes after a sunny journey!
  • The student is an empty glass, Malaparte; the teacher fills him up carefully, and when it is full he starts looking for a new glass, a teacher has nothing to do with a full glass!
  • I may be a dwarf in terms of my size, but I have a giant-size intelligence! One has to waste others so as not to waste himself!
  • I think of happiness as water, my lady! As something clear, clean and beautiful. But it is something ever moving, very fluid; it can slip away from our hands any moment! It has great powers of transforming itself: it can turn into vapour and disappear in front of our very eyes, just like water does! No chains can be put on human happiness; can you put chains on water?
  • There are so many stars shining in the sky, so many beautiful things winking at you, but when Venus comes out, all the others are waned, they are pushed to the background.
  • Each woman can grow her nails when she wants to fight!
  • You can’t have a decent society before you have picked out the stones from among the rice!
  • Dreams! Fantasies!.. These are nothing but broken pieces of glass; glass gets crashed with the first stone that hits it!
  • Changeability! That cursed changeability of things! I can’t stand this crazy changeability of life any more. Why isn’t that dazzling light called happiness be as constant as the North Star?
  • I feel dizzy; just now I am standing at the edge of a deep cliff. One should either be very far from the cliff or at the bottom of it; it is real torture to be standing on its edge like I am doing now!

It All Began with Marianne

  • Life is a mirror, I think; when we look at it smiling, it will smile back at us; when we sulk at it, it will also frown at us!
  • How many people can recognize a linden tree, anyway, including those who drink linden tea every day?
  • I love and I am being loved, therefore I am!
  • I say, “A famina salus!” If I am to translate it, “Salvation comes from the woman!”
  • It is the natural right of every human being to commit enjoyable sins; you are building sacred dams in front of our hormones in vain, for you have no idea about the power of hormones; blood boiling with lust has more burning power than molten iron, than the lava from Etna; it will burn and turn into ashes any obstacles put before it!
  • Our people have turned into fruit, hard outside but rotten inside!
  • People are drawn together by their common denominators; their common troubles act like the glue!
  • God has given you beauty, so that you will find a husband easily and that you won’t come to the church to disturb him unnecessarily!
  • A bad seed is sure to create a bad forest; and the children sucking bad milk will definitely come out as ignoble creatures!
  • I am not the first husband to be betrayed in this world, nor the last; the length of this “chain of betrayals” can only be measured in light-years.
  • If we feed our body constantly with garlic and our mind with positive thoughts, we’ll always be able to keep our feet on the ground firmly!
  • Oh, those young people! They never hesitate when it comes to setting out for adventures, to entering unknown waters!
  • Nothing is a play, even a play on the stage! Each moment in life is real!
  • One can sometimes become a puppeteer in life without being aware of it; we pull the strings of the events and persons we can never guess without being aware of what we are doing!

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