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Date: 1774, rev. 1787, 1779 in English

"What is the whole world to our hearts without love? It is the optic machine of the Savoyards without light." [More literal translation: "Wilhelm, what would the world mean to our hearts without love! What is a magic lantern without its lamp!"]

— Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (1749-1832)

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Date: 1774, rev. 1787, 1779 in English

"A darkness spreads over my eyes; heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb all its powers, like the idea of a beloved mistress."

— Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (1749-1832)

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Date: 1774, rev. 1787, 1779 in English

"At times when I am ready to shoot myself, she plays that air, and the darkness which hung over me is dispersed, and I breathe freely again."

— Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (1749-1832)

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Date: 1830

"But mind is not merely this abstractly simple being equivalent to light, which was how it was considered when the simplicity of the soul in contrast to the composite nature of the body was under discussion."

— Hegel, G. W. F. (1770-1831)

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Date: 1830

"To grasp intelligence as this night-like mine or pit in which is stored a world of infinitely many images and representations, yet without being in consciousness, is from the one point of view the universal postulate which bids us treat the notion as concrete, in the way we treat, for example, t...

— Hegel, G. W. F. (1770-1831)

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Date: 2001

"And the sweet fragrance wafting up from the walled garden, the waxing moon already in the sky above the rooftops, the sound of church bells ringing down in the city, and the yellow fa├žade of the tailor's house with its green balcony where Moravec, who as Vera told me had died long ago, frequentl...

— Sebald, W. G. (1944-2001)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.