Mozart once said, “Art lies in expressing everything, the sad as well as the gay, the horrible as well as the enchanting, in forms which remain beautiful.”
We love quotations like that—wise, witty, pithy, and stylish all at once. We love collecting great quotes, and as a library you could say we collect a great many of them. On our digital reference shelves, you can find hundreds of anthologies of quotations, aphorisms, proverbs, epigrams, bon mots, folk sayings, and old saws.
Quotations come in handy, whether you’re writing a paper, working on a presentation, struggling to craft a clever wedding toast—or a dignified obituary—or even just looking for inspiration.
Great quotations have the power to impose perspective and definition on lived experience—or, as the nineteenth-century novelist Samuel Butler put it even better, to “enclose a wilderness of idea within a wall of words.”
There are times when we stumble on a quotation that comes surprisingly close to home, like this verse from Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Mikado: “Though the night may come too soon, we have years and years of afternoon.”
It certainly feels that way to many of us right now, with so many monotonous days and weeks trapped at home, and goodness knows how many more stretching out ahead. But there’s something gratifying and almost consoling to see someone else put it so cleverly.
So this week, while our Duke students are busily working on final papers and filling them with illustrative quotations of their own (properly cited, we have no doubt), it seemed like a good time to offer some quotable words of our own.
We’ve put together a little zine anthology of quotations we’ve been thinking about during this difficult time. The title says it all: Print, Fold, Ponder: A Wee Zine of Wise Words We Need Now. It’s a little collection of quotes about optimism, hope, leisure—words that inspire us to look on the bright side of what we’re going through—but also about the seriousness of the situation we’re in. It’s like Mozart said—a little bit of the sad as well as the gay, the horrible as well as the enchanting.
Keep it for yourself, give it to a neighbor, or leave it for a delivery person as a little token to let them know someone’s thinking of them. Just as we’re thinking of you and looking forward to seeing you back in the library one day. You can quote us on that.
Instructions: How to Print, Fold, and Make This Zine
- You will need a printer. Or, you can hand-copy what you see on the screen on your own sheet of paper and make your own!
- Download and print the PDF.
- Follow the folding and cutting/tearing instructions in this video by writer and artist Austin Kleon.
If you’re interested in the book he mentions in the video (Watcha Mean, What’s a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Minicomics), we have a digital version you can check out through HathiTrust (Duke NetID required). Enjoy!