One Quote, Two Perspectives: Take Two

Posted by hanjeno.o
2016. 11. 18. 18:55 SERIALS/One Quote, Two Perspectives

"Words build bridges into unexplored regions."

For writers such as myself, quotes like these can be quite inspirational. They elevate our words beyond just letters on a page into a path to the unvisited, to a place physical beings are incapable of accessing. The motivation for writers that result from this quote in fact vindicates the very point that it makes; a small sentence such as this can draw thoughts and inspiration from us writers. This series itself is dedicated to drawing meaning from short phrases that are somehow packed with substance, enough to provide material for a whole article.

However, this raises an interesting question: How do quotes carry so much power? Obviously, the conciseness contributes to their effectiveness - for a lack of a better word - as they manage to deliver profound messages much quicker than longer texts, and can therefore be more appealing to people who want inspiration as easily as possible. As a result, the quotes alone are somehow more popular than the texts from which they are drawn, as drawn out explanations take away from the dramatic effects of terse quotes. Nonetheless, the shortness alone cannot completely explain the potency of quotes in inspiring thought and motivation; anybody can string a couple of words together into something seemingly meaningful and inspirational, but most of them are not awe-inducing like the many famous quotes we see on a daily basis.

Now, ignoring some other factors such as wording and grammatical structure, the author may be perhaps the most important component of a quote. The same exact words can take on different meaning depending on their users, and most people assign meaning to quotes with respect to the type of person that created them. Ironically, this fact undermines the very message the above quote tries to convey; the innate power of the words themselves are often superseded by the prestige of the person who has put them together.

This fact, though somewhat obvious, says a lot about how we assign value to anything in our lives. Just as we judge quotes by the people who said them, we similarly evaluate music, clothing, food, and just about anything more with the people who have made them than their actual quality. Of course, this is not the case for everyone and everything, but it is a noticeable trend nonetheless.

I admit, separating the identity of the creator with anything is usually impossible, as the creator’s character and personal details often shifts our perception drastically, especially for something like quotes. To what extent, however, should we allow the creator to influence how we feel about the quality of what they created? How much potential are we siphoning away from the fundamental value of something good because who created them were bad?

I’d like you to consider, especially any writers, what you felt when you read the quote in the beginning of this article. While not as stunning as some revered quotes we often encounter, it nonetheless inspires something in us, some positive thoughts about the power of words or perhaps appreciation for those who have mastered the art of language to venture into those “unexplored regions.” In any case you most likely derived at least some meaningful thought from it. Well, this quote somewhat appropriately originates from a highly successful leader who managed to control the masses with his rhetoric and flair of language: Adolf Hitler. I bet that changes your perspective. But should it? That’s a question I can’t answer.

Written by Jinwan Cho

"Words build bridges into unexplored regions."     -Adolf Hitler

Fantasy is like an unknown immiscible droplet of liquid seeping into the bottom of a cup full of oil – a cup of all these different cultures that surround us today. Whether set in our actual world more realistic or another mythical, legendary world of magical creatures, fantasies take the conscious mind, through mere words, to vast “unexplored regions”. In our modern world where politicians all too obviously prove themselves to be corrupt, fantasy provides an alternative. In exploring the human condition, it pulls us in – it has to be interesting when it revolves around us. And in throwing strange artifacts at us, it exercises our sense of wonder as we explore a wondrous world.


The Lord of the Ring’s creator J. R. R. Tolkien came up with the term Eucatastrophe to describe this specific feeling associated with the human interaction with a work of fiction like fantasy:

“[It] pierces you with a joy that brings tears… it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels a sudden relief as if a major limb out of joint had suddenly snapped back. It perceives – if the story has literary ‘truth’ on the second plane – that this is indeed how things really do work in the Great World for which our nature is made.”

Written by Jenny Han

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