The woman and the genius do not work. Up to now, woman has been mankind's supreme luxury. In all those moments when we do our best, we do not work. Work is merely a means to these moments.
(Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 188, selection 5, number 11, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to November 1882February 1883.
Originally meant to be attributed to Zarathustra in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)
As for work, without it, without painstaking work, any writer or artist definitely remains a dilettante; there's no point in waiting for so-called blissful moments, for inspiration; if it comes, so much the betterbut you keep working anyway.
(Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian author. Letter, June 16, 1876, to V. L. King. Turgenev: Letters, ed. David Lowe (1983).)
... idleness is an evil. I don't think man can maintain his balance or sanity in idleness. Human beings must work to create some coherence. You do it only through work and through love. And you can only count on work.
(Barbara Terwilliger (b. c. 1940), U.S. unemployed woman. As quoted in Working, book 7, by Studs Terkel (1973).
A single woman with an independent income, she was not working. In her younger years, she had held various jobs.)
While grandma looks forward to special moments with her grandchild, she must now schedule those moments in between her other engagements, like working, working out, and being worked over (nails and hair).
(Paula Linden (20th century), U.S. author, and Susan Gross (20th century), U.S. author. Taking Care of Mommy (1983).)
The day is always his, who works in it with serenity and great aims.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Oration, August 31, 1837, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "The American Scholar," repr. In Emerson: Essays and Lectures, ed. Joel Porte (1983).)
I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "Civil Disobedience," originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 376, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)