Naivete Quotes (displaying: 1 - 19 of 19 quotes )
What will be the physiognomy of painting, of poetry, of music, in a hundred years? No one can tell. As after the fall of Athens, of Rome, a long pause will intervene, caused by the exhaustion of consciousness itself. Humanity, to rejoin the past, must invent a second naivet, without which the arts can never begin again.
Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes a part of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. Out goes naivete, in comes wisdom; out goes anger, in comes discernment; out goes despair, in comes kindness. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive and expansive... The pain leaves you healthier than it found you.
The interesting thing about the New Albion was that it was so completely modern in spirit. There was hardly a soul in the firm who was not perfectly well aware that publicity - advertising - is the dirtiest ramp that capitalism has yet produced. In the red lead firm there had still lingered certain notions of commercial honour and usefulness. But such things would have been laughed at in the New Albion. Most of the employees were the hard-boiled, Americanized, go-getting type to whom nothing in the world is sacred, except money. They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket. And yet beneath their cynicism there was the final naivete, the blind worship of the money-god.
They think in terms of a sentimental ballad. And that's what terrifies you about them. It isn't their cruelty, it isn't even their shrewdness - it's their extraordinary naivete. Everything in their whole bloody world is a cliche. Everything is born out of a cliche, rests on a cliche, survives by a cliche. And they believe in the cliches - there's no hope
How important can it be that I suffer and think? My presence in this world will disturb a few tranquil lives and will unsettle the unconscious and pleasant naivet of others. Although I feel that my tragedy is the greatest in history—greater than the fall of empires—I am nevertheless aware of my total insignificance. I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence.
As we parted at the Natural History Museum in London, I asked Richard Fortey how science ensures that when one person goes there's someone ready to take his place. He chuckled rather heartily at my naivet. 'I'm afraid it's not as if we have substitutes sitting on the bench somewhere waiting to be called in to play. When a specialist retires or, even more unfortunately, dies, that can bring a stop to things in that field, sometimes for a very long while.' And I suppose that's why you value someone who spends forty-two years studying a single species of plant, even if it doesn't produce anything terribly new?' Precisely,' he said, 'precisely.' And he really seemed to mean it.
In a way, her strangeness, her naivet, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings, had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous.
It is hard to think of any work of art of which one can say 'this saved the life of one Jew, one Vietnamese, one Cambodian'. Specific books, perhaps; but as far as one can tell, no paintings or sculptures. The difference between us and the artists of the 1920's is that they they thought such a work of art could be made. Perhaps it was a certain naivete that made them think so. But it is certainly our loss that we cannot.
Those sentimental radio hits, with their artificial naivete and empty crudities, are the pitiful remains and the maximum that people will tolerate by way of mental effort; it's a ghastly desolation and impoverishmment. By contrast, we can be very glad when something affects us deeply, and regard the accompanying pains as an enrichment.
Maybe it's the fact the most of the arts here are produced by world-weary and sophisticated older people and then consumed by younger people who not only consume art but study it for clues on how to be cool, hip - and keep in mind that, for kids and younger people, to be hip and cool is the same as to be admired and accepted and included and so Unalone. Forget so-called peer-pressure. It's more like peer-hunger. No? We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendant horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we've hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it's stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naivete.