If I ever conceive any original idea, it will be because I have been abnormally prone to confuse ideas … and I have thus found remote analogies and relations which others have not considered! Others rarely make these confusions, and proceed by precise analysis.
Mathematics is the study of analogies between analogies. All science is. Scientists want to show that things that don’t look alike are really the same. That is one of their innermost Freudian motivations. In fact, that is what we mean by understanding.
He acted like a libertine of Europe with a genteel Southern propriety—and had all the morals of an emotionless psychopath. The two former masked the latter, like leaves covering a snare. You didn’t notice the steel jaws until they were impaled in your flesh, and by then it was already far too late to run.
Life is like sex. It’s not always good, but its always worth trying.
Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building—as my dear friend and colleague Jeff Goldberg sat and said to my face over a table at La Tomate in Washington not two years ago—and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath...