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Christa Wolf

  • The most beautiful thing under the sun is being under the sun.

  • What do I actually mean when I say 'delusion'? I mean the absurdity of the claim that the excessive atomic armament of both sides creates a 'balance of terror' that reduces the danger of war; that in the long run it even offers a minimum of security. ... Hence the cynical saying: He who strikes first will die second.

  • To prevent wars, people must criticize, in their own country, the abuses that occur in their own country. The role taboos play in the preparation for war. The number of shameful secrets keeps growing incessantly, boundlessly. How meaningless all censorship taboos become, and how meaningless the consequences for overstepping them, when your life is in danger.

  • Autonomous people, nations, and systems can promote each other's welfare; they do not have to fight each other like those whose inner insecurity and immaturity continually demand the demarcation of limits and postures of intimidation.

  • I claim that every woman in this century and in our culture sphere who has ventured into male-dominated institutions — 'literature' and 'aesthetics' are such institutions — must have experienced the desire for self-destruction.

Christa Wolf, German literary critic, novelist, essayist

(1929 - 2011)

Full name: Christa Ihlenfeld Wolf.