Zitate von José Martí

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José Martí

Geburtstag: 28. Januar 1853
Todesdatum: 19. Mai 1895

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José Julián Martí y Pérez war ein kubanischer Poet und Schriftsteller und gilt als kubanischer Nationalheld sowie Symbol für den Unabhängigkeitskampf des Landes. Als Schriftsteller war er zusammen mit dem Nicaraguaner Rubén Darío Mitbegründer der ersten voll eigenständigen lateinamerikanischen Literaturbewegung, dem Modernismo.

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Zitate José Martí

„A grain of poetry suffices to season a century.“

— José Martí, Versos Sencillos: Simple Verses
Dedication of the Statue of Liberty (1887)

„Day and night I always dream with open eyes.“

— José Martí
"I dream awake" ["Ismaelillo"] As quoted in Great Hispanic-Americans (2005) by Nicolás Kanellos, Robert Rodriguez and Tamra Orr, p. 72

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„There must be a certain amount of decorum in the world, just as there must be a certain amount of light.“

— José Martí
Context: There are men who live contented though they live without decorum. Others suffer as if in agony when they see around them people living without decorum. There must be a certain amount of decorum in the world, just as there must be a certain amount of light. When there are many men without decorum, there are always others who themselves possess the decorum of many men. These are the ones who rebel with terrible strength against those who rob nations of their liberty, which is to rob men of their decorum. Embodied in those men are thousands of men, a whole people, human dignity.

„A nation that neglects either of these forces perishes. They must be steered together, like a pair of carriage horses.“

— José Martí
Context: Fortunately, there is a sane equilibrium in the character of nations, as there is in that of men. The force of passion is balanced by the force of interest. An insatiable appetite for glory leads to sacrifice and death, but innate instinct leads to self-preservation and life. A nation that neglects either of these forces perishes. They must be steered together, like a pair of carriage horses.

„Love is the bond between men, the way to teach and the center of the world.“

— José Martí
Context: There is happiness in duty, although it may not seem so. To fulfill one's duty elevates the soul to a state of constant sweetness. Love is the bond between men, the way to teach and the center of the world.

„It is a sin not to do what one is capable of doing.“

— José Martí
Context: To busy oneself with what is futile when one can do something useful, to attend to what is simple when one has the mettle to attempt what is difficult, is to strip talent of its dignity. It is a sin not to do what one is capable of doing.

„Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever.“

— José Martí
Context: Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever. Other famous men, those of much talk and few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness.

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„Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity.“

— José Martí
Context: Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity. He who seeks it elsewhere will not find it for, having drunk from all the glasses of life, he will find satisfaction only in those.

„Action is the dignity of greatness.“

— José Martí
Context: Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever. Other famous men, those of much talk and few deeds, soon evaporate. Action is the dignity of greatness.

„In night's darkness I've seen
raining down on my head
pure flames, flashing rays
of beauty divine.“

— José Martí
Context: I come from all places and to all places I go: I am art among the arts and mountain among mountains. I know the strange names of flowers and herbs and of fatal deceptions and magnificent griefs. In night's darkness I've seen raining down on my head pure flames, flashing rays of beauty divine. I (Yo soy un hombre sincero) as translated by Esther Allen in José Martí : Selected Writings (2002), p. 273

„One must have faith in the best in men and distrust the worst. One must allow the best to be shown so that it reveals and prevails over the worst.“

— José Martí
Context: One must have faith in the best in men and distrust the worst. One must allow the best to be shown so that it reveals and prevails over the worst. Nations should have a pillory for whoever stirs up useless hate, and another for whoever fails to tell them the truth in time.

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„In truth, men speak too much of danger.“

— José Martí
Context: In truth, men speak too much of danger. Let others be terrified by the natural and healthy risks of life! We shall not be frightened! Poison sumac grows in a hard-working man's field, the serpent hisses from its hidden den, and the owl's eye shines in the belfry, but the sun goes on lighting the sky, and truth continues marching across the earth unscathed.

„Barricades of ideas are worth more than barricades of stones.“

— José Martí
Context: Barricades of ideas are worth more than barricades of stones. There is no prow that can cut through a cloudbank of ideas. A powerful idea, waved before the world at the proper time, can stop a squadron of iron-clad ships, like the mystical flag of the Last judgement.

„The conceited villager believes the entire world to be his village.“

— José Martí
Context: The conceited villager believes the entire world to be his village. Provided that he can be mayor, humiliate the rival who stole his sweetheart, or add to the savings in his strongbox, he considers the universal order good, unaware of those giants with seven-league boots who can crush him underfoot, or of the strife in the heavens between comets that go through the air asleep, gulping down worlds.

„Men have no special rights simply because they belong to one race or another. When you say "men," you have already imbued them with all their rights.“

— José Martí
Context: "Racist" is a confusing word, and it should be clarified. Men have no special rights simply because they belong to one race or another. When you say "men," you have already imbued them with all their rights. Variant translation: Men have no special right because they belong to one race or another: the word man defines all rights.

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