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Date: 1919

"In default of others, I am myself my own spectator and self-appreciator--critical, discerning, vigilant, fond!--my own stupid Boswell, shrewd if silly. This spectator of mine, it seems to me, must be a very moral gentleman and eminently superior. His incessant attentions, while I go on my way mi...

— Cummings, Bruce Frederick [pseud. W. N. P. Barbellion] (1889-1919)

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Date: 1922

"(he taps his brow) But in here it is I must kill the priest and the king."

— Joyce, James (1882-1941)

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Date: 1922

"All night, through the eternity of night, / Pain was my portion though I could not feel. / Deep in my humbled heart you ground your heel, / Till I was reft of even my inner light, / Till reason from my mind had taken flight, / And all my world went whirling in a reel."

— McKay, Claude (1889-1948)

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Date: 1949

"The mind is its own place and in his inner life each of us lives the life of a ghostly Robinson Crusoe."

— Ryle, Gilbert (1900-1976)

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Date: 1949-1952, 1953

"Hard, hard work, excavating and digging, mining, moling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable t...

— Bellow, Saul (1915-2005)

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Date: December, 1954

"My mind, a vagrant, dreams on the shining Alps."

— Scott, Peter Dale (b. January 11, 1929)

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Date: July, 1962; November 22, 1962; 1973

"Some of my characters are, no doubt, pretty beastly, but I really don't care, they are outside my inner self like the mournful monsters of a cathedral façade--demons placed there merely to show that they have been booted out."

— Nabokov, Vladimir (1899-1977)

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Date: 1963

"Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and piroutted there, absently."

— Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963)

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Date: 1968

"There is a little man who lives in one's head. The little man keeps a library."

— Fodor, Jerry (b. 1935)

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Date: 1968

"We might thus consider expanding the population in one's head to include subordinate little men who superintend the execution of the 'elementary' behaviors involved in complex sequences like grasping a shoelace."

— Fodor, Jerry (b. 1935)

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