AS A MIND, who the hell else is there left for me to take an interest IN??
The intellect is a very nice whirligig toy, but how people take it seriously is more than I can understand.
What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.
All my life I believed I knew something. But then one strange day came when I realized that I knew nothing; yes, I knew nothing. And so words became void of meaning. I have arrived too late at ultimate uncertainty.
Topics: Despair, Knowledge
Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The rest is mere sheep-herding.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree.
A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.
I should consent to breed under pressure, if I were convinced in any way of the reasonableness of reproducing the species. But my nerves and the nerves of any woman I could live with three months, would produce only a victim… lacking in impulse, a mere bundle of discriminations. If I were wealthy I might subsidize a stud of young peasants, or a tribal group in Tahiti.
No good poetry is ever written in a manner twenty years old, for to write in such a manner shows conclusively that the writer thinks from books, convention and cliche, not from real life.
It ought to be illegal for an artist to marry. If the artist must marry let him find someone more interested in art, or his art, or the artist part of him, than in him. After which let them take tea together three times a week.
It is difficult to write a paradise when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse. It is obviously much easier to find inhabitants for an inferno or even a purgatorio.
Topics: Paradise, Authors & Writing
A civilized man is one who will give a serious answer to a serious question. Civilization itself is a certain sane balance of values.
‘Tis the white stag, Fame, we’re a-hunting, bid the world’s hounds come to horn!
Genius … is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.
A heroic figure… not wholly to blame for the religion that’s been foisted on him.
Any general statement is like a check drawn on a bank. Its value depends on what is there to meet it.
Good art however “immoral” is wholly a thing of virtue. Good art can NOT be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
Topics: Arts, Artists, Art
Mass ought to be in Latin, unless you could do it in Greek or Chinese. In fact, any abracadabra that no bloody member of the public or half-educated ape of a clargimint could think he understood.
Topics: Churches, Religion
The only chance for victory over the brainwash is the right of every man to have his ideas judged one at a time. You never get clarity as long as you have these packaged words, as long as a word is used by twenty-five people in twenty-five different ways. That seems to me to be the first fight, if there is going to be any intellect left.
There once was a brainy baboon who always breathed down a bassoon for he said, “It appears that in billions of years I shall certainly hit on a tune.”
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Stanley Kunitz American Poet
- Mark Van Doren American Poet, Critic
- Langston Hughes American Poet, Writer
- Rod McKuen American Poet
- Aaron Copland American Composer
- Marianne Moore American Poet
- Czeslaw Milosz Polish-American Poet, Novelist
- John Cage American Composer
- Henry Adams American Historian
- Ernest Hemingway American Author