Maps of Inspiration: Atlas Quotes for Travelers

Atlas Quotes

Atlas is a figure from Greek mythology who is often depicted as a Titan holding up the celestial heavens or the Earth itself on his shoulders. He was punished by Zeus for his role in the Titanomachy, the war between the Titans and the Olympian gods. As punishment, Atlas was condemned to forever hold up the sky or the Earth, depending on the version of the myth. The image of Atlas holding up the world has been a common motif in art and literature, symbolizing endurance, strength, and the burden of responsibility. The name “Atlas” has also been used in various contexts to denote strength, support, or a collection of maps or charts.

Atlas Quotes

1. “He ain’t in your world you can take em off your atlas.”
— Drake

2. “I’m looking like Atlas, not Professor Klump.”
— Martellus Bennett

3. “You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder.”
— Vandana Shiva

4. “A large, flat atlas can be used to cover a window with a broken pane.”
— Mark Twain

5. “I would read the atlas for pleasure. I knew it was weird. It was weird.”
— Ken Jennings

6. “Buy an atlas and keep it by the bed – remember you can go anywhere.”
— Joanna Lumley

7. “I [had] added another small piece to the pages of the atlas that were real to me.”
— Evelyn Waugh

8. “I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it.”
— Paul Ryan

9. “Cloud Atlas’ is for everybody. The main character in the movie is humanity.”
— Lilly Wachowski

10. “Few things are more enjoyable than lingering over the atlas and plotting a trip.”
— J. Maarten Troost

11. “One of the very first serious books I read, when I was growing up, was Atlas Shrugged.”
— Mike Pompeo

12. “There are two novels that can transform a bookish 14-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.”
— Raj Patel

13. “What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.”
— David Mitchell

14. “The atlas is a manifold. This is a typical mathematician’s use of the word “is”, and should not be confused with the normal use.”
— Timothy Gowers

15. “Atlas, we read in an ancient song, Was so exceeding tall and strong, He bore the skies upon his back, Just as the pedler does his pack.”
— Jonathan Swift

16. “Blest leisure is our curse; like that of Cain, it makes us wander, wander earth around, To fly that tyrant Thought. As Atlas groan’d The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.”
— Edward Young

17. “Sometimes it seems to me that things hold together only thanks to the borders, that the true identity of these lands and peoples is the shape of their territories in an atlas. It’s a stupid thought, but I can’t shake it.”
— Andrzej Stasiuk

18. “What swells inside me is love so boundless, I am the sunrise and sunset. I am Liberty Bell in the Cascades. I am Beihai Lake. I am very beautiful, truly beautiful, thing I’ve ever seen, captured in my personal Geographia, the atlas of myself.”
— Justina Chen

19. “I loved Morocco. It’s very exotic and different from anywhere I’ve ever been. I had an amazing day there in the high Atlas Mountains near Mount Tamadot when I rode by donkey into a Berber village and drank some mint tea with a Berber family. It was exceptional.”
— Isla Fisher

20. “I suspect losing paper maps but gaining GPS and online maps is a similar step function: maps still exist, but they’re vastly more useful, not to say permanently up to date, in their new form. Again, I won’t be shedding any tears, but I’ll keep a paper road atlas in the back of my car for another few years, I think, Just In Case.”
— Charles Stross

21. “It’s one thing to buy a copy of ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ You actually have to read it to get anything out of it.”
— Henry Rollins

22. “I always like to have an atlas just so that I can find things out. It’s always good to have an almanac; those sorts of things.”
— Dave Matthews

23. “The fact is that most ‘Irish-Americans’, in spite of dropping the word ‘Irish’ into half of all sentences, couldn’t find Europe on an atlas, let alone Ireland.”
— Ian Watson

24. “When you stir your rice pudding, Septimus, the spoonful of jam spreads itself round making red trails like the picture of a meteor in my astronomical atlas.”
— Tom Stoppard

25. “They [granddaughters] went to Disneyland and Alice proudly told Snow White: ‘My grandmother is a famous atlas!’ So that’s nice – they’re happy that I’m an atlas!”
— Joanna Lumley

26. “My sister and I had a tough childhood, but my mom always said that traveling is the most beautiful thing you can do in your life. She always showed us the globe and gifted me an atlas.”
— Nargis Fakhri

27. “The Atlas belongs to the Lenbachhaus in Munich – it’s long since ceased to belong to me. Occasionally I run across it somewhere, and I think it’s interesting because it looks different each time.”
— Gerhard Richter

28. “You lapse into bad taste, thinking of yourself as Heine’s Atlas, whose shoulders support all the world’s puzzles and agonies, as if thousands, lost in the same maze, did not endure the same agonies.”
— Hermann Hesse

29. “For you who came so far; for you who held out, wearing a black scarf to signify grief; for you who believe true love can find you amidst this atlas of tears linking one town to its own memory of mortar.”
— Naomi Shihab Nye

30. “The weight of the sky dropped onto Atlas’s back, almost smashing him flat until he managed to get to his knees, struggling to get out from under the crushing weight of the sky. But it was too late. “Noooooo!” He bellowed so hard it shook the mountain. “Not again!” Atlas was trapped under his old burden.”
— Rick Riordan

31. “As for me, I did the stupidest thing in my life, which is saying a lot. I attacked the Titan Lord Atlas.”
— Rick Riordan

32. “I’ve loved you since the day I stole the atlas for you,” Gabriel says because he thinks I’m asleep.”
— Lauren DeStefano

33. “Can someone explain the vitriol whenever Ayn Rand comes up? ‘Atlas’ is the greatest motivator for the individual that I can imagine.”
— Rob Lowe

34. “In the morning, we carry the world like Atlas; at noon, we stoop and bend beneath it; and at night, it crushes us flat to the ground.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

35. “Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.”
— Franz Kafka

36. “See me looking like Atlas, when he handles the globe. I see you looking like Alice, Wonderland is your home. It makes me wonder if you practice your flow.”
— One Be Lo

37. “For my birthday that year Anne gave me an inflatable atlas globe, along with a birthday card in which she wrote: I give you the world. Have fun blowing it up.”
— Craig Ferguson

38. “I can only drive slowly.” “That’s all right.” “And I can only do left turns.” Rose ran downstairs, grabbed a road atlas, and ran triumphantly back up again. “Wales is left! Look! It’s left all the way!”
— Hilary McKay

39. “On my tenth birthday a bicycle and an atlas coincided as gifts, and a few days later I decided to cycle to India…However, I was a cunning child so I kept my ambition to myself, thus avoiding the tolerant amusement it would have provoked among my elders.”
— Dervla Murphy

40. “As I searched the atlas for somewhere to run to, Hugh made a case for his old stomping grounds. His first suggestion was Beirut, where he went to nursery school. His family left there in the mid-sixties and moved to the Congo. After that, it was Ethiopia, and then Somalia, all fine places in his opinion.”
— David Sedaris

41. “Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, doubtless two of the most exquisitely adolescent of fictions.”
— Nancy Mairs

42. “It is not Atlas who carries the world on his shoulders, but a woman; and sometimes she plays with it as with a ball.”
— Henryk Sienkjewicz

43. “What is Atlas Obscura? So, it was a small digital media company. It’s an atlas, it’s literally like, an atlas of places, wonderful, unusual places.”
— David Plotz

44. “Later that night, I held an atlas on my lap, ran my fingers across the whole world, and whispered, ‘where does it hurt?’ It answered, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.”
— Warsan Shire

45. “After a while, some sheets in the Atlas acquired another value, after all – that is, it seemed to me that they could stand on their own terms, not only under the protection of the Atlas.”
— Gerhard Richter

46. “Atlas isn’t carrying the world on his shoulders, no giant muscular hulk with a sense of responsibility; the world is balanced on a pyramid of clowns, and they are always tooting horns and wobbling and goosing each other.”
— Dean Koontz

47. “I guess when you take a look at the book ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ I think most people always like to identify with the main character – that would be John Galt. I guess I identify with Hank Rearden, the fella that just refused until the very end to give up.”
— Ron Johnson

48. “An Atlas, whose back is bowed and whose hands are busy holding up the world, has no arms to lift to deal with his own defense. Increase his burdens and you will crush him…This is our present posture…This suggestions I make…would…conserve American lives for American ends.”
— Murray Rothbard

49. “Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand – and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs – the woman can tell a story. I mean, the novel as an art form is just in full florid bloom in ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ It’s an unbelievable story. The characters are so compelling, and what she’s saying is mind-expanding.”
— Anne Hathaway

50. “Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.”
— Ray Bradbury

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