Eighteenth Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 34 quotes )
(W)hy is poetry wholly an elderly taste? When I was twenty I could not for the life of me read Shakespeare for pleasure; now it lights me as I walk to think I have two acts of King John tonight, and shall next read Richard the Second. It is poetry that I want now -- long poems. I want the concentration and the romance, and the words all glued together, fused, glowing; having no time to waste any more on prose. When I was twenty I liked Eighteenth Century prose; now it's poetry I want, so I repeat like a tipsy sailor in the front of a public house.
His [Francisco Goya's] debt to the Christianity of the eighteenth century is contained in the idea that politics was just adopting from the Gospels: the conviction that man has a right to justice. Such a statement would seem utterly conceited to a Roman, who would doubtless have looked upon the Disasters as we look upon photographs of the amphitheatre...But if Goya thought that man has not come onto the earth to be cut to pieces he thought that he must have come here for something. Is it to live in joy and honour? Not only that; it is to come to terms with the world. And the message he never ceased to preach, a message underlined by war, is that man only comes to terms with the world by blinding himself with childishness.
Religion carries two sorts of people in two entirely opposite directions: the mild and gentle people it carries towards mercy and justice; the persecuting people it carries into fiendish sadistic cruelty. Mind you, though this may seem to justify the eighteenth-century Age of Reason in its contention that religion is nothing but an organized, gigantic fraud and a curse to the human race, nothing could be farther from the truth. It possesses these two aspects, the evil one of the two appealing to people capable of nave hatred; but what is actually happening is that when you get natures stirred to their depths over questions which they feel to be overwhelmingly vital, you get the bad stirred up in them as well as the good; the mud as well as the water. It doesn't seem to matter much which sect you have, for both types occur in all sects....
I suppose the mothers of most twelve-year-old boys live with the uneasy conviction that their sons are embarked upon a secret life of crime. In my case, this belief about my son Laurie is shared - not without reason - by Mrs. John R. Simpkins, of upper New York State, whose opinions on Laurie are even more forceful than those held by myself and, to a lesser extent, by my husband, who has recently been doing research into eighteenth-century crime, and points out that at that time all twelve-year-old boys were criminals - or, as he has it, cross-coves - and many of them, as a matter of fact, were named Simpkins. 'The gooseberry trick,' he says reassuringly, 'glomming the grapevine.
Standing here, as immune to the cold as a marble statue, gazing towards Charlotte Street, towards a foreshortened jumble of faades, scaffolding and pitched roofs, Henry thinks the city is a success, a brilliant invention, a biological masterpiece--millions teeming around the accumulated and layered achievements of the centuries, as though around a coral reef, sleeping, working, entertaining themselves, harmonious for the most part, nearly everyone wanting it to work. And the Perownes own corner, a triumph of congruent proportion; the perfect square laid out by Robert Adam enclosing a perfect circle of garden--an eighteenth century dream bathed and embraced by modernity, by street light from above, and from below by fibre-optic cables, and cool fresh water coursing down pipes, and sewage borne away in an instant of forgetting.
After the dazzling orgies in form and color of the eighteenth century, art was put on a diet, and allowed nothing but the straight line. This sort of progress ended in ugliness. Art reduced to a skeleton, was the result. This was the advantage of this kind of wisdom and abstinence; the style was so sober that it became lean.
Ben and I walked by the Forum, which, with the green grass still growing among the stones, seems to be a double ruin: a ruin of antiquity and a monument to the tender sentiments of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travelers, for we see not only the ghosts of Romans here but the shades of ladies with parasols and men with beards and little children rolling hoops.
We criticize Americans for not being able either to analyse or conceptualize. But this is a wrong-headed critique. It is we who imagine that everything culminates in transcendence, and that nothing exists which has not been conceptualized. Not only do they care little for such a view, but their perspective is the very opposite: it is not conceptualizing reality, but realizing concepts and materializing ideas, that interests them. The ideas of the religion and enlightened morality of the eighteenth century certainly, but also dreams, scientific values, and sexual perversions. Materializing freedom, but also the unconscious. Our phantasies around space and fiction, but also our phantasies of sincerity and virtue, or our mad dreams of technicity. Everything that has been dreamt on this side of the Atlantic has a chance of being realized on the other. They build the real out of ideas. We transform the real into ideas, or into ideology.
[Doubt] is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas bought in - a trial-and-error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar...doubt is not to be feared, but welcomed and discussed.
Cambridge exceeded our most macabre expectations ... the arm-chairs, the crumpets, the beautifully-bound eighteenth century volumes, the fires roaring in stoked grates. Each of us had the loan of an absent undergraduate's rooms - bedroom, sitting-room and pantry; all fitted up in a style which, after the spartan simplicity of a public school study, seemed positively sinful.
"You see, I do a little in this way myself," he explained; "here is my most prized piece." He took from his pocket a snuffbox, which looked to be of eighteenth-century workmanship. Inside the lid was an enamel picture of Leda and the Swan, and when a knob was pushed to and fro the swan thrust itself between Leda's legs, which jerked in mechanical ecstasy. A nasty toy, I thought, but Urky doted on it. "We single gentlemen like to have these things," he said. "What do you do, Darcourt? Of course we know that Hollier has his beautiful Maria." To my astonishment Hollier blushed, but said nothing. His beautiful Maria? My Miss Theotoky, of New Testament Greek? I didn't like it at all.
Almost overnight it became laughable to read writers like Cheever or Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about anally deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France. The reason de Sade was preferable was that his shocking sex scenes weren't about sex but politics. They were therefore anti-imperialist, anti-bourgeois, anti-patriarchal, and anti-everything a smart young feminist should be against.
Tolkien's reply when asked by a German printer if he was Jewish, before they would agree to print The Hobbit. If I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people. My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject—which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
One of the regrets of my life is that I did not study Latin. I'm absolutely convinced, the more I understand these eighteenth century people, that it was that grounding in Greek and Latin that gave them their sense of the classic virtues: the classic ideals of honor, virtue, the good society, and their historic examples of what they could try to live up to.
…modern man no longer communicates with the madman […] There is no common language: or rather, it no longer exists; the constitution of madness as mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, bears witness to a rupture in a dialogue, gives the separation as already enacted, and expels from the memory all those imperfect words, of no fixed syntax, spoken falteringly, in which the exchange between madness and reason was carried out. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.
In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, "The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language." What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!
It is time... to end the long-standing and unproductive methodological debate over 'originalism' versus 'dynamism' or 'evolution' and focus instead on how, as a substantive matter, we should interpret the Constitution in the twenty-first century, and what it has to say on questions unimaginable to our eighteenth-century Framers.