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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1093
AUTHOR: Henry Alfred Kissinger (1923–)
QUOTATION: Life involves suffering and transitoriness. No person can choose his age or the condition of his time. The past may rob the present of much joy and much mystery. The generation of Buchenwald and the Siberian labor camps cannot talk with the same optimism as its fathers. The bliss of Dante has been lost in our civilization.
ATTRIBUTION: HENRY A. KISSINGER, “The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant,” senior thesis at Harvard College, as quoted in The New York Times, April 5, 1976, p. 20.