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Raymond Williams

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To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.

Raymond Williams

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And the other Don Quixote remained here among us, fighting with desperation. And does he not fight out of despair? ...But "despair is the master of possibilities," as we learn from Salazar y Torres (Elegir al enemigo, Act I.), and it is despair and despair alone that begets heroic hope, absurd hope, mad hope. Spero quia absurdum [I hope because it is absurd], it ought to have been said, rather than credo [Credo quia absurdam I believe because it is absurd].

Miguel de Unamuno

Hopelessness is despair. Yet life without hope is worth living. As Sartre's Orestes says: "Life begins on the other side of despair." But is hope perhaps resumed on the other side? It need not be. In honesty, what is there to hope for? Small hopes remain but do not truly matter. I may hope that the sunset will be clear, that the night will be cool and still, that my work will turn out well, and yet know that nine hopes out often are not even remembered a year later. How many are recalled a century hence? A billion years hence?

Walter (philosopher) Kaufmann

Existentialism is nothing else but an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position. Its intention is not in the least that of plunging men into despair. And if by despair one means as the Christians do any attitude of unbelief, the despair of the existentialists is something different. Existentialism is not atheist in the sense that it would exhaust itself in demonstrations of the non-existence of God. It declares, rather, that even if God existed that would make no difference from its point of view. Not that we believe God does exist, but we think that the real problem is not that of His existence; what man needs is to find himself again and to understand that nothing can save him from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God. In this sense existentialism is optimistic. It is a doctrine of action, and it is only by self-deception, by confining their own despair with ours that Christians can describe us as without hope.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Hope not without despair, despair not without hope. (translated by Zachariah Rush).

Seneca the Younger

Her dances were hymns to freedom of sensibility, of passion, of the transcendentally convinced and convincing Emersonian soul Today it is hard to picture convincing interpretations of Joy, Hope, Immortality, the Soul. But at the turn of the century an American girl, incarnating these and more, coincided with historical promise.

Isadora Duncan
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