As she drove the familiar route to the school, she considered her magnificent new age. Forty. She could still feel "forty" the way it felt when she was fifteen. Such a colorless age. Marooned in the middle of your life. Nothing would matter all that much when you were forty. You wouldn't have real feelings when you were forty, because you'd be safely cushioned by your frumpy forty-ness. Forty-year-old woman found dead. Oh dear. Twenty-year-old woman found dead. Tragedy! Sadness! Find that murderer!
People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can't know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do -after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world's anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty.
I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly. I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows. I tell all old men that to their face, all these venerable old men, all these silver-haired and reverend seniors! I tell the whole world that to its face! I have a right to say so, for I shall go on living to sixty myself. To seventy! To eighty!
And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolations that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything; that only a fool can become something. Yes, sir, an intelligent nineteenth-century man must be, is morally bound to be, an essentially characterless creature; and a man of character, a man of action - an essentially limited creature. This is my conviction at the age of forty. I am forty now, and forty years - why, it is all of a lifetime, it is the deepest of old age. Living past forty is indecent, vulgar, immoral!
It was really sad Bobby Neuwirth's and my affair. The only true, passionate, and lasting love scene, and I practically ended up in the psychopathic ward. I had really learned about sex from him, making love, loving, giving. It just completely blew my mind it drove me insane. I was like a sex slave to this man. I could make love for forty-eight hours, forty-eight hours, forty-eight hours, without getting tired. But the minute he left me alone, I felt so empty and lost that I would start popping pills.
The heavens were the grandstands and only the gods were spectators. The stake was the world, the forfeit was the player's place at the table, and the game had no recess. It was the most dangerous of all sports and the most fascinating. It got in the blood like wine. It aged men forty years in forty days. It ruined nervous systems in an hour.
Elliott White Springs
While still sixteen I am put in charge of a class of forty children who are two, three or four years younger than I. I fall in love with them. They are my possession, my mob whose forty minds, under my flashy and domineering control, are to become one, a mind unsullied by errors, unmarked by blots, contaminated by misplaced originalities outside the curriculum, and as full of facts as a pomegranate seed.
Just about everything significant in my life happened after I passed forty. I was a housewife and mother, but yearned to be a writer. I worked at my writing whenever I could snatch a moment, and I assembled several manuscripts. I was just about forty when my first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published. Then a few months later came The Good Earth. My career was launched at last, and it has given me the richest possible satisfaction
Pearl S. Buck
Take the sum of human achievement in action, in science, in art, in literature subtract the work of the men above forty, and while we should miss great treasures, even priceless treasures, we would practically be where we are today ... The effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of twenty-five and forty.
All this to say: I am forty-three years old. I may yet live another forty. What do I do with those years? How do I fill them without Lexy? When I come to tell the story of my life, there will be a line, creased and blurred and soft with age, where she stops. If I win the lottery, if I father a child, if I lose the use of my legs, it will be after she has finished knowing me. "When I get to Heaven", my grandmother used to say, widowed at thirty-nine, "your grandfather won't even recognize me.
A man of forty today has nothing to worry him but falling hair, inability to button the top button, failing vision, shortness of breath, a tendency of the collar to shut off all breathing, trembling of the kidneys to whatever tune the orchestra is playing, and a general sense of giddiness when the matter of rent is brought up. Forty is Life's Golden Age.
Pre-forty, you can wash your face with Tide and use Vaseline for moisturizer, toss on a little mascara and lip gloss, and you're a friggin' cover girl. Those of us on the slippery slope that is the Other Side of Forty can testify- those days are so over. You pore over labels promising everything short of actual rebirth- you will buy most of them for an average of $450 per quarter once- and none of them will work. You will still be getting older and poorer with every passing purchase.
Jill Conner Browne
What are the years from twenty to forty? Fettered and bound by personal and emotional relationships. That's bound to be. That's living. But later there's a new stage. You can think, observe life, discover something about other people and the truth about yourself. Life becomes real-significant. You see it as a whole. Not just one scene-the scene you, as an actor, are playing. No man or woman is actually himself (or herself) till after forty-five. That's when individuality has a chance.
It is very true that I have said that I considered Napoleon's presence in the field equal to forty thousand men in the balance. This is a very loose way of talking; but the idea is a very different one from that of his presence at a battle being equal to a reinforcement of forty thousand men.
Duke of Wellington
Looking around today, I see a lot of young people who act as if they have all the time in the world, and older persons who think this attitude is alright. It is unfortunate that there are young citizens who still believe life begins at forty and that life before forty is non-scoring, and older citizens who still insist that unless you are old, you have nothing to offer, equating age with wisdom.
Nana Awere Damoah
One simple answer is that there has been a massive rise in the incidence of sanctimony and smugness among the successful that has nothing to do with any change in the underlying reality. Rather, it has been stimulated by politicians who have realized that it is possible to win power by recruiting the most economically successful forty per cent or so of the population in a crusade to roll back the gains made by their fellow citizens in the previous forty years. And how better to rationalize this than to tell people that they deserve the incomes that the market generates?
Brian M. Barry
Nearly forty years ago, a distinguished Prime Minister of this country ... said, 'They may not be angels but they are at least our friends.'* I must say that I do not think that we probably demonstrated in that forty years that we are angels yet, but I hope we have demonstrated that we are at least friends.
John F. Kennedy
A child's reading is guided by pleasure, but his pleasure is undifferentiated; he cannot distinguish, for example, between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasures of learning or daydreaming. In adolescence we realize that there are different kinds of pleasure, some of which cannot be enjoyed simultaneously, but we need help from others in defining them. Whether it be a matter of taste in food or taste in literature, the adolescent looks for a mentor in whose authority he can believe. He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a little; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does. Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity. Few of us can learn this without making mistakes, without trying to become a little more of a universal man than we are permitted to be. It is during this period that a writer can most easily be led astray by another writer or by some ideology. When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like, 'he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu', because, between twenty and forty, the surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it. After forty, if we have not lost our authentic selves altogether, pleasure can again become what it was when we were children, the proper guide to what we should read.
About forty percent of the people vote Democrat. About forty percent vote Republican. Of those eighty percent, most wouldn't change their votes if Adolf Hitler was running against Abe Lincoln - or against FDR. . . . That leaves twenty percent of the people who swing back one way or another . . . the true independents. . . . That twenty percent controls the destiny of the country.
In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. Therefore, in the Old Silurian Period the Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesome returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
The last thing I ever wanted was to be alive when the three most powerful people on the whole planet would be named Bush, Dick and Colon. Our government's got a war on drugs... But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal. One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed, or tiddley-poo, or four sheets to the wind a good deal of time from when he was sixteen until he was forty. When he was forty-one, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint. Other drunks have seen pink elephants.
The story of how He created the world aroused their interests immediately, even though they received no answer to the question of why He had to do it; but they found it difficult to understand sin, or the manner of its entry into the world, for it was a complete mystery to them why the woman should have had such a passionate desire for an apple when they had no idea of the seductive properties of apples and thought they were some sort of potatoes. But less intelligible still was the flood that was caused by forty days' rain, and forty nights'. For here on the moors there were some years when it rained for two hundred days and two hundred nights, almost without fairing; but there was never any Flood.
Over the long term, it's hard for a stock to earn a much better return that the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns six percent on capital over forty years and you hold it for that forty years, you're not going to make much different than a six percent return - even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns eighteen percent on capital over twenty or thirty years, even if you pay an expensive looking price, you'll end up with one hell of a result.
The Poet With His Face In His Hands You want to cry aloud for your mistakes. But to tell the truth the world doesn't need anymore of that sound. So if you're going to do it and can't stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can't hold it in, at least go by yourself across the forty fields and the forty dark inclines of rocks and water to the place where the falls are flinging out their white sheets like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that jubilation and water fun and you can stand there, under it, and roar all you want and nothing will be disturbed; you can drip with despair all afternoon and still, on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched by the passing foil of the water, the thrush, puffing out its spotted breast, will sing of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
Yakov spent the whole day playing his fiddle; when it got completely dark, he took the notebook in which he recorded his losses daily, and out of boredom began adding up the yearly total. It came to over a thousand roubles. This astounded him so much that he flung the abacus to the floor and stamped his feet. Then he picked up the abacus, again clicked away for a long time, and sighed deeply and tensely. His face was purple and wet with sweat. He thought that if he could have put that lost thousand roubles in the bank, he would have earned at least forty roubles a year in interest. And therefore those forty roubles were a loss. In short, wherever you turned, there was nothing but losses everywhere. - Rothchild's Fiddle
Then to give the kids a historical perspective, Chacko told them about the earth woman. He made them imagine that the earth - 4600 million years old - was a 46 year old woman- as old as Aleyamma teaacher, who gave them Malayalam lessons. It had taken the whole of earth woman's life for the earth to become what it was. For the oceans to part. For the mountains to rise. The earth woman was 11 yrs old when the first single celled organisms appeared. The first animals, creatures like worms and jellyfish, appeared only when she was forty. She was over forty five - just 8 months ago - when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The whole of human civilization as we know it, began only 2 hrs ago in the earth woman's life...
I have been studying for forty years, which is to say forty wasted years; I teach others yet am ignorant of everything; this state of affairs fills my soul with so much humiliation and disgust that my life is intolerable. I was born in Time, I live in Time, and do not know what Time is. I find myself at a point between two eternities, as our wise men say, yet I have no conception of eternity. I am composed of matter, I think, but have never been able to discover what produces thought. I do not know whether or not I think with my head the same way that I hold things with my hands. Not only is the origin of my thought unknown to me, but the origin of my movements is equally hidden: I do not know why I exist. Yet every day people ask me questions on all these issues. I must give answers, yet have nothing worth saying, so I talk a great deal, and am confused and ashamed of myself afterwards for having spoken.
[Letter to his wife, Natalia Sedova] In addition to the happiness of being a fighter for the cause of socialism, fate gave me the happiness of being her husband. During the almost forty years of our life together she remained an inexhaustible source of love, magnanimity, and tenderness. She underwent great sufferings, especially in the last period of our lives. But I find some comfort in the fact that she also knew days of happiness. For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try to avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth. Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.