Jul 092014
 

Robert GalRóbert Gál photo by Karel Cudlín

Herewith a selection of aphorisms from the Slovak writer Róbert Gál. Provocative, terse and paradoxical. They are thought crystallized in balanced contrasts, one of our favourite forms on Numéro Cinq (see earlier examples from Steven Heighton and Yahia Lababidi). Naked thought.  Gál writes: “The obvious blinds.” and “To give life meaning means to make something of it deliberately — and thereby go against it.” Think about them; they unfold and refold like intricate origami birds.

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Awareness held back by experience baulks at discovery. ‘Expect nothing’ is the watchword of the condition in which to endure means to weather the onslaught of evolution. What else — unless we are contemplating suicide — can ‘die young’ mean?

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The obvious blinds.

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To give life meaning means to make something of it deliberately — and thereby go against it.

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Unhancing.

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Bear life like offspring.

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Memory — not the attribute, but the disposition — is the basic difference between one who thinks and one who is ‘having fun’.

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Affinity confines.

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Tragic facts do not exist.

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The ideal is what is ideal about something that is not itself ideal.

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The creativity of the Devil, or God’s loyalty to what He has created?

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Aptitude for an action depends on the aptness of the act.

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We neither enter the past nor exit the future.

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Love with experimental elements is not love. An experiment with amorous elements is not an experiment.

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Having no content, they seek form, and that makes them insatiable.

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Borne down by the weight of wings.

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When can we assert that this or that boomerang will still come back, and when do boomerangs merely come back?

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Playing with fire is dangerous for the fire.

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Going round in circles induces the sense of a circle even where there isn’t one.

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Which comes first? The fall or the abyss?

 

Róbert Gál , Translated from the Slovak by David Short

 

Róbert Gál was born in 1968 in Bratislava, Slovakia. He now lives in Prague, after having resided in numerous cities around the world, including New York and Jerusalem. He is the author of several books of aphorisms and philosophical fragments, one of which, Signs & Symptoms, is available in English translation.

 

  One Response to “Naked Thought | Aphorisms — Róbert Gál Translated by David Short”

  1. “An aphorism? Fire without flames. Understandable that no one tries to warm himself at it.” –Emil Cioran

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