Subtly Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 40 quotes )
[...] under the guise of caring only for intrinsic values Osmond lived exclusively for the world. Far from being its master as he pretended to be, he was its very humble servant, and the degree of its attention was his only measure of success. He lived with his eye on it from morning till night, and the world was so stupid it never suspected the trick. Everything he did was pose—pose so subtly considered that if one were not on the lookout one mistook it for impulse. Ralph had never met a man who lived so much in the land of consideration.
Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. Faith that something should be in existence as far as lies in our power is changed into the intellectual belief that it is already in existence. When physical existence does not bear out the assertion, the physical is subtly changed into the metaphysical. In this way, moral faith has been inextricably tied up with intellectual beliefs about the supernatural.
Oh, they never lie. They dissemble, evade, prevaricate, confound, confuse, distract, obscure, subtly misrepresent and willfully misunderstand with what often appears to be a positively gleeful relish and are generally perfectly capable of contriving to give one an utterly unambiguous impression of their future course of action while in fact intending to do exactly the opposite, but they never lie. Perish the thought.
The ear participates, and helps arrange marriages; the eye has already made love with what it sees. The eye knows pleasure, delights in the body's shape: the ear hears words that talk about all this. When hearing takes place, character areas change; but when you see, inner areas change. If all you know about fire is what you have heardsee if the fire will agree to cook you! Certain energies come only when you burn. If you long for belief, sit down in the fire! When the ear receives subtly; it turns into an eye. But if words do not reach the ear in the chest, nothing happens.
To say exactly what one means, even to one's own private satisfaction, is difficult. To say exactly what one means and to involve another person is harder still. Communication between you and me relies on assumptions, associations, commonalities and a kind of agreed shorthand, which no-one could precisely define but which everyone would admit exists. That is one reason why it is an effort to have a proper conversation in a foreign language. Even if I am quite fluent, even if I understand the dictionary definitions of words and phrases, I cannot rely on a shorthand with the other party, whose habit of mind is subtly different from my own. Nevertheless, all of us know of times when we have not been able to communicate in words a deep emotion and yet we know we have been understood. This can happen in the most foreign of foreign parts and it can happen in our own homes. It would seem that for most of us, most of the time, communication depends on more than words.
We came to wish you a happy day,” Eric said. “And I suppose, as usual, Bill will want to express his undying love that surpasses my love, as he’ll tell you—and Pam will want to say something sarcastic and nearly painful, while reminding you that she loves you, too.” Bill and Pam looked decidedly miffed at Eric’s preemptive strike, but I wasn’t going to let anything dim my mood. “And what about you, Eric?” I asked on counterattack. “Are you going to tell me that you love me just as much as Bill, but in a practical way, while finding some way to subtly threaten me and simultaneously remind me that you may be leaving with Freyda?
A veteran, calm and assured, he pauses for a well-measured moment in the doorway of the office and then, boldly, clearly, with the subtly modulated British intonation which his public demands of him, speaks his opening line, 'Good morning!'And the three secretaries - each of them a charming and accomplished actress in her own chosen style - recognise him instantly, without even a flicker of doubt, and reply 'Good morning' to him. (There is something religious here, like responses in church; a reaffirmation of faith in the basic American dogma, that it is, always, a Good Morning. Good, despite the Russians and their rockets, and all the ills and worries of the flesh. For of course we know, don't we, that the Russians and the worries are not real? They can be unsought and made to vanish. And therefore the morning can ve made to be good. Very well then, it is good.
Yet it is the masculine values that prevail. Speaking crudely, football and sport are ‘important’; the worship of fashion, the buying of clothes ‘trivial’. And these values are inevitably transferred from life to fiction. This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room. A scene in a battle-field is more important than a scene in a shop — everywhere and much more subtly the difference of value persists.
It was as if thousands and thousands of little roots and threads of consciousness in him and her had grown together into a tangled mass, till they could crowd no more, and the plant was dying. Now quietly, subtly, she was unravelling the tangle of his consciousness and hers, breaking the threads gently, one by one, with patience and impatience to get clear.
Let us love nobly, and live, and add again Years and years unto years, till we attain To write threescore: this is the second of our reign. Love was as subtly catched, as a disease; But being got it is a treasure sweet, Which to defend is harder than to get: And ought not be profaned on either part, For though 'tis got by chance,'tis kept by art
The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already... begun to be warped, had been subtly manoeuvred in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the resul? The very experiences of the dissecting room and the pathological laboratory were breeding a conviction that the stifling of all deep-set repugnances was the first essential for progress.
But why do you want to talk to me?' He is going to say: 'Because you look so kind,' or 'Because you look so beautiful and kind,' or, subtly, 'Because you look as if you'll understand....' He says: 'Because I think you won't betray me.' I had meant to get this mean to talk to me and tell me all about it, and then be so devastatingly English that perhaps I should manage to hurt him a little in return for all the many times I've been hurt.... 'Because I think you won't betray me, because I think you won't betray me....' Now it won't be so easy.
I, being born a woman and distressed. By all the needs and notions of my kind, Am urged by your propinquity to find. Your person fair, and feel a certain zest. To bear your body's weight upon my breast; So subtly is the fume of life designed, To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind, And leave me once again undone, possessed. Think not for this, however, the poor treason. Of my stout blood against my staggering brain, I shall remember you with love, or season. My scorn with pity, - let me make it plain: I find this frenzy insufficient reason. For conversation when we meet again.
Hello, Dad.""Well, well, well, so you're still alive." The booming, full-bodied voice was not so subtly laced with sarcasm. "Your mother and I thought you'd met with some fatal accident."Alan managed to keep the grin out of his voice. "I nicked myself shaving last week. How are you?""He asks how I am!" Daniel heaved a sigh that should have been patended for long-suffering fathers everywhere. "I wonder you even remember who I am. But that's all right-it doesn't matter about me. Your mother, now, she's been expecting her son to call. Her firstborn."Alan leaned back. How often had he cursed fate for making him the eldest and giving his father that neat little phrase to needle him with? Of course, he remembered philosophically, Daniel had phrases for Rena and Caine as well-the only daughter, the youngest son. It was all relative.
What I did,' [Hal said,] 'I went in there and presented with anger at the grief therapist. I accused the grief-therapist of actually inhibiting my attempt to process my grief, by refusing to validate my absence of feelings. I told him I'd told him the truth already. I used foul language and slang. I said I didn't give a damn if he was an abundantly credentialed authority figure or not. I called him a shithead. I asked him what the cock-shitting fuck he wanted from me. My overall demeanor was paroxysmic. I told him I'd told him that I didn't feel anything, which was the truth. I said it seemed like he wanted me to feel toxically guilty for not feeling anything. Notice I was subtly inserting certain loaded professional-grief-therapy terms like validate, process as a transitive verb, and toxic guilt. These were library derived.
Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood.' That's a rather broad idea,' I remarked. One's ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature,' he answered.
Dreams appear much more prominent and clear when the dreamer is in an unhealthy state - they have an extraordinary semblance of reality. Most monstrous pictures are put together but all the circumstances are so subtly interwoven the details so artistically harmonious in every minute respect as to defy human imitation. Such morbid dreams are always recollected for very long and produce strong impressions on the disordered and already excited organs of the dreamer.
I see no justice in that plan.""Who said," lashed out Isaac Penn, "that you, a man, can always perceive justice? Who said that justice is what you imagine? Can you be sure that you know it when you see it, that you will live long enough to recognize the decisive thunder of its occurrence, that it can be manifest within a generation, within ten generations, within the entire span of human existence? What you are talking about is common sense, not justice. Justice is higher and not as easy to understand -- until it presents itself in unmistakable splendor. The design of which I speak is far above our understanding. But we can sometimes feel its presence."No choreographer, no architect, engineer, or painter could plan more thoroughly and subtly. Every action and every scene has its purpose. And the less power one has, the closer he is to the great waves that sweep through all things, patiently preparing them for the approach of a future signified not by simple human equity (a child could think of that), but by luminous and surprising connections that we have not imagined, by illustrations terrifying and benevolent -- a golden age that will show not what we wish, but some bare awkward truth upon which rests everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. There is justice in the world, Peter Lake, but it cannot be had without mystery.
The idea of painless, nonthreatening coercion is an illusion. Fear is the inseparable companion of coercion, and its inescapable consequence. If you think it your duty to make children do what you want, whether they will or not, then it follows inexorably that you must make them afraid of what will happen to them if they don’t do what you want. You can do this in the old-fashioned way, openly and avowedly, with the threat of harsh words, infringement of liberty, or physical punishment. Or you can do it in the modern way, subtly, smoothly, quietly, by withholding the acceptance and approval which you and others have trained the children to depend on; or by making them feel that some retribution awaits them in the future, too vague to imagine but too implacable to escape.