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Waldo Emerson Quotes

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"Ralph Waldo Emerson would definitely be my homeboy." - Rainn Wilson

"The ancestor of every action is a thought. -Ralph Waldo Emerson" - David Allen

"The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Our high respect for a well-read man is praise enough for literature. - Ralph Waldo Emerson" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"My Mt. Rushmore of hero worship would include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marcus Aurelius, Frank Sinatra and Barry White." - Karen Duffy

"When [Ralph Waldo] Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, 'What are you doing in there?' it was reported that Thoreau replied, 'What are you doing out there?'" - Howard Zinn

"For character, to prepare for the inevitable I recommend selections from [Ralph Waldo] Emerson. His writings have done for me far more than all other reading." - Rutherford B Hayes

"Dad said I would always be "high minded and low waged" from reading too much Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe he was right." - Jim Harrison

"Let every man shovel out his own snow, and the whole city will be passable," said Gamache. Seeing Beauvoir's puzzled expression he added, "Emerson." "Lake and Palmer?" "Ralph and Waldo." - Louise Penny

"I have not, in general, much belief in the ability of woman as a creative artist. Unwritten lyrics, as [Ralph Waldo] Emerson said once when we conversed on this subject, should be her forte." - Fredrika Bremer

"What a new face courage puts on everything. - Ralph Waldo Emerson To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old." - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

"In the morning a man walks with his whole body; in the evening, only with his legs. RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks Greek architecture is the perfect flowering of geometry." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Waldo is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death." - Saki

"He had gone to the higher Sierras... [about Ralph Waldo Emerson's death]" - John Muir

"To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm,' to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality." - Jim Valvano

"Mr. Emerson visited Thoreau at the jail, and the meeting between the two philosophers must have been interesting and somewhat dramatic. The account of the meeting was told me by Miss Maria Thoreau, Henry Thoreau's aunt: -Henry, why are you here? Waldo, why are you not here?" - Samuel Arthur Jones

"Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would become religious overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television." - Paul Hawken

"President Heber J. Grant often quoted the following statement, which is sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: "That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do-not that the nature of the thing is changed, but that our power to do is increased.'" - Heber J Grant

"If, as Emerson wrote, every word was once an idea, every cliche was once a revelation." - Bradford Morrow

"More and more Emerson recedes grandly into history, as the future he predicted becomes a past." - Robert Penn Warren

"Emerson then incarnated the moral optimism, the progress, and the energy of the American spirit." - Howard Mumford Jones

"Emerson is a person who lives instinctively on ambrosia - and leaves everything indigestible on his plate." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"[Emerson] was interested not in the bookworm, not even in the thinker, only in Man Thinking." - Robert D. Richardson

"Sandra Day O'Connor - once she said that there are - there were no public schools in America until the 18th century, and she overlooked my alma mater because we started - I say we - in 1635. And among the people who went there - and they're on - the walls in the auditorium, the names are: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, except he split when he was 10 years old to go to work." - Nat Hentoff

"Quotations are the backbone of much of literature, and of the transmission of art and thought more generally.... Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. The delight is our natural response to the monuments of creativity and wisdom, kept alive by quotations, a communal bond uniting us with past culture and with other lovers of words and ideas in our own time." - Fred R. Shapiro

"The Princess and the Pea?" Gabrielle suggested. "Not enough time," Kat said "Where's Waldo?" Gabrielle went on. "No." Hamish recoiled. "I am still not allowed back in Morocco." - Ally Carter

"Usually when fans find out about my music for the first time, they're like "Oh this guy's actually for real!" And it's just like yea, you found Waldo." - SonReal

"'Waldo' was one episode I always felt I didn't quite crack. And weirdly, now that feels like one of the more prescient ones." - Charlie Brooker

"As a musician I'm kind of nomadic, Waldo-like. I show up in different places, and I'm witness to unbelievable things." - Yo-Yo Ma

"As a musician I'm kind of nomadic, Waldo-like. I show up in different places, and I'm witness to unbelievable things." - Yoyo Ma

"You are softening toward the young rascal because he is ill, and because he says he likes cats." "It is an engaging quality, Emerson." "That depends," said Emerson darkly, "on how he likes them." - Barbara Mertz

"There comes Emerson first, whose rich words, every one, Are like gold nails in temples to hang trophies on." - James Russell Lowell

"I don't expect people who listen to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer to come hear me. I accept that reality." - Cecil Taylor

"Dreams require down payments. Dreams are free, but the journey isn't. There is a price to pay. First, you must pay the price of dealing with criticism from people who matter. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.' Second, you must pay the price of overcoming your fears. Failure, rejection, and looking foolish are common fears - but they are just feelings that can be conquered and removed from your thoughts. Finally, you must be willing to pay the price of hard work in order to realize your dream." - John C Maxwell

"When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them. "A man is what he thinks about all day long." [Ralph Waldo Emerson] Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting. Aldous Huxley" - Andy Warhol

"When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You ca' make them change if they do' want to, just like when they do want to, you ca' stop them. "A man is what he thinks about all day long." [Ralph Waldo Emerson] Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting. Aldous Huxley" - Andy Warhol

"The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself wouldn't make any sense if quoted as it stands. The average man ought to be allowed a quotation of no less than three sentences, one to make his statement and two to explain what he meant. Ralph Waldo Emerson was about the only one who could stand having his utterances broken up into sentence quotations, and every once in a while even he doesn't sound so sensible in short snatches." - Robert Benchley

"The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself would' make any sense if quoted as it stands. The average man ought to be allowed a quotation of no less than three sentences, one to make his statement and two to explain what he meant. Ralph Waldo Emerson was about the only one who could stand having his utterances broken up into sentence quotations, and every once in a while even he does' sound so sensible in short snatches." - Robert Benchley

"Most thoughtful Americans of today seem to have forgotten how strongly their own and immediate predecessors, Emerson, Hawthorne and Whitman, were still preoccupied with the essence behind things." - Johan Huizinga

"I wouldn't know where to start." "He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to." "Thoreau?" "Harry Emerson Fosdick..." - Kami Garcia

"I could...see in Emerson...that had he lived in those days when the world was made, he might have offered some valuable suggestions." - Herman Melville

"I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be the respected patriarch of an ordinary English family." "Very boring, Emerson." - Barbara Mertz

"The great spiritual geniuses, whether it was Moses, Buddha, Plato, Socrates, Jesus, or Emerson..... have taught man to look within himself to find God." - Ernest Holmes

"Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth?-Or at least, "Do you care about the same truth?" - C S Lewis

"Emerson, Lake & Palmer or King Crimson or Gentle Giant - the worst prog rock references I can come up with. Though I totally loved those groups as a kid." - Duncan Sheik

"Emerson said that music helps people to find the greatness in their souls. The same can be said about any form of art." - Leo Tolstoy

"Holmes said Emerson had a beautiful voice, and, of course, Holmes had one of the most beautiful voices the Lord ever put into a throat." - Felix Frankfurter

"'Life', said Emerson, "consists in what a man is thinking all day." If that be so, then my life is nothing but a big intestine." - Henry Miller

"The antidote to hubris, to overweening pride, is irony, that capacity to discover and systematize ideas. Or, as Emerson insisted, the development of consciousness, consciousness, consciousness." - Ralph Ellison

"You can learn more by going to the opera than you ever can by reading Emerson. Like that there are two sexes." - David Markson

"Emerson was the chief figure in the American transcendental movement, a fact that complicates all accounts of him in literary or cultural history." - Howard Mumford Jones

"My heroes are, above all, the great 19th-century Americans: Emerson, Whitman, Dickinson and the others. I love the way they think." - Marilynne Robinson

"Michael Emerson is just a prince. There's something about him. He's so sweet. I don't know how to describe it. There's something about him that's a bit royal." - Sarah Shahi

"My favorite bands were Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Grand Funk Railroad. If you listen to some of my early music, you can hear it." - John Tesh

"It may be that Emerson is going to hell, but of one thing I am certain; he will change the climate there, and emigration will set that way." - Edward Taylor

"It is difficult to be funny and great at the same time. Aristophanes and Moliere and Mark Twain must sit below Aristotle and Bossuet and Emerson." - Stephen Leacock

"In 1848, Thoreau went to jail for refusing, as a protest against the Mexican war, to pay his poll tax. When RW Emerson came to bail him out, Emerson said, 'Henry, what are you doing in there?' Thoreau quietly replied, 'Ralph, what are you doing out there?'" - Henry David Thoreau

"Emerson, I am trying to live, as you said we must, the examined life. But there are days I wish there was less in my head to examine, not to speak of the busy heart." - Mary Oliver

""All government in essence," says Emerson, "is tyranny." It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual." - Emma Goldman

"We have learned the simple truth, as Emerson said that the only way to have a friend is to be one. We can gain no lasting peace if we approach it with suspicion or mistrust or with fear." - Franklin D Roosevelt

"Of the creative spirits that flourished in Concord, Massachusetts, it might be said that Hawthorne loved men but felt estranged from them, Emerson loved ideas even more than men, and Thoreau loved himself." - Leon Edel

"Emerson was not passionate about abolition. He wasn't a passionate person. He was a cool intellectual, and I think he probably was a little uncomfortable with passionate people, but he was against slavery." - Nell Irvin Painter

"I went to Concord, a young woman from the backwoods, firm in belief that Emerson was the first of living men. He was the modern Moses who had talked with God apart and could interpret Him to us." - Rebecca Harding Davis

"Life is too full of distractions nowadays. When I was a kid we had a little Emerson radio and that was it. We were more dedicated. We didn't have a choice." - Stan Getz

"I'm the man who sits behind a table and tells true stories from his life. I'm also an actor. I was trained as an actor at Emerson College, and I use that training to play myself." - Spalding Gray

"I didn't care at all about losing, but I just didn't want Emerson to feel bad, You know, I didn't win, but Felicity won, and when you come to the set next time, you can give her a big congratulations." - Teri Hatcher

"When he died, Emerson was thought of as the representative American writer par excellence, and his point of view was still so potent that William James was honored to be asked to speak at a centenary celebration." - Howard Mumford Jones

"Tom [Cargil]s suggestion with a further idea: Propsers of new [C++] features should be required to donate a kidney. That would - Jim [Waldo] pointed out - make people think hard before proposing, and even people without any sense would propose at most two extensions." - Bjarne Stroustrup

"I pretend no originality in observing that mass education was motivated in part by the perceived need to "educate them to keep them from our throats," to borrow Ralph Waldo Emerson's parody of elite fears that inspired early advocates of public mass education." - Noam Chomsky

"Beware of charisma... Representative Men; was Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1850 phrase for the great men in a democracy... Is there some common quality among these Representative Men who have been most successful as our leaders? I call it the need to be authentic - or as our dictionaries tell us, 'conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance or belief." - Daniel J Boorstin

"Mostly, in The Great Waldo Pepper I remember the lovely Ed Herrmann befriending me and taking care of me. I was crying a lot. I was a real mess when we made that. But this is all such ancient history, Jesus Lord. Was this before or after The Sting?" - Margot Kidder

"I wandered around not knowing what I was doing in The Great Waldo Pepper and feeling pretty lost, and they rightly cut my part down. I don't think I was in very good emotional shape. I think I was a bit of a mess. I'd done about six movies back-to-back, and was in a state of complete exhaustion." - Margot Kidder

"Beware of charisma . . . Representative Men; was Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1850 phrase for the great men in a democracy . . . Is there some common quality among these Representative Men who have been most successful as our leaders? I call it the need to be authentic-or, as our dictionaries tell us, conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance or belief. While the charismatic has an uncanny outside source of strength, the authentic is strong because he is what he seems to be." - Daniel J Boorstin

"Upon the glazen shelves kept watch Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith The army of unalterable law." - T S Eliot

"There is, as Emerson says, some central idea or conception of yourself by which all the facts of your life are arranged and classified. Change this central idea and you change the arrangement or classification of all the fact and circumstances of your life." - Wallace D. Wattles

"The most wonderful inspirational chemistry we can use on another is the gift of our love and acceptance. Devoted and unquestioned love has a magic creative power. The consciousness of being loved is an uplifting, saving, healing force that causes one to go on when otherwise it would be impossible to do so. "Love," said Emerson, "is the affirmative of affirmatives."" - Wilferd Peterson

"At times it has been doubtful to me if Emerson really knows or feels what Poetry is at its highest, as in the Bible, for instance, or Homer or Shakespeare. I see he covertly or plainly likes best superb verbal polish, or something old or odd." - Walt Whitman

"To hear him (Emerson) talk was like watching one crossing a brook on stepping-stones. His noun had to wait for its verb or its adjective until he was ready; then his speech would come down upon the word he wanted, and not Worcester nor Webster could better it from all the wealth of their huge vocabularies." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"At times it has been doubtful to me if Emerson really knows or feels what Poetry is at its highest, as in the Bible, for instance, or Homer or Shakspeare. I see he covertly or plainly likes best superb verbal polish, or something old or odd" - Walt Whitman

"It's tragic how few people ever 'possess their souls' before they die. 'Nothing is more rare in any man', says Emerson, 'than an act of his own.' It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their life is a mimicry, their passions a quotation." - Oscar Wilde

"Emerson,' I said, choosing my words with care, 'it is a sheer drop from the cleft down to the base of the cliff. If you are bent on breaking your arm or your leg or your neck or all three, find a place closer to home so we won't have to carry you such a distance." - Barbara Mertz

"In his essay 'Self-Reliance' Emerson wrote, 'Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.' The Apostle Paul reminds us that whoso would be a Christian must also be a a nonconformist. Any Christian who blindly accepts the opinions of the majority and in fear and timidity follows a path of expediency and social approval is a mental and spiritual slave." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"India was China's teacher in religion and imaginative literature, and the world's teacher in trignometry, quandratic equations, grammar, phonetics, Arabian Nights, animal fables, chess, as well as in philosophy, and that she inspired Boccaccio, Goethe, Herder, Schopenhauer, Emerson, and probably also old Aesop." - Lin Yutang

"As a former English major, I am a sitting duck for Gift Books, and in the past few years I've gotten Dickens, Thackeray, Smollet, Richardson, Emerson, Keats, Boswell and the Brontes, all of them Great, none of them ever read by me, all of them now on a shelf, looking at me and making me feel guilty." - Garrison Keillor

"When you talk about "infertility" you're already using a land-based metaphor - a woman's body compared to property, to be considered fruitful or barren. And "estate" encompasses both legacy and landscape. Think of Emerson, referring to his son's death as "the loss of a beautiful estate."" - Monica Youn

"I think, especially among the New York intelligentsia at that time, that there was a reason Bob Dylan went to New York to happen, because there was a culture developed there around the ideas of civil rights, around the idea of democracy growing out of Emerson and Thoreau, these ideas of the fanfare for the common man." - T Bone Burnett

"Had it not been for Thomas Paine I could not deliver this lecture here tonight. It is still fashionable to calumniate this man - and yet Channing, Theodore Parker, Longfellow, Emerson, and in fact all the liberal Unitarians and Universalists of the world have adopted the opinions of Thomas Paine." - Robert Green Ingersoll

"It is tragic how few people ever 'possess their souls' before they die. 'Nothing is more rare in any man,' says Emerson, 'than an act of his own.' It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." - Oscar Wilde

"I love the fact that it starts from there, and you don't know where it's gonna go. Wait long enough - love will find you. Everything's a surprise. When you think you've got it all figured out... as Emerson said, the dice of God are always loaded." - Hector Elizondo

"Even a Menno sheltered from the world knows not to stick her tongue into the mouth of a boy who owns an Air Supply record. You might stick your tongue into the mouth of a boy who owned some Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but you would not date him on a regular basis, or openly." - Miriam Toews

"When I was a kid, I used to listen to my Emerson radio late at night under the covers. I started by listening to jazz in the late 1940s and then vocal harmony groups like the Four Freshmen, the Modernaires and the Hi-Lo's. I loved Stan Kenton's big band - with those dark chords and musicians who could swing cool with individual sounds." - Frankie Valli

"In high school, I went to a place called the Mountain School. It's on a farm in Vermont, and I read Emerson and Thoreau and ran around the woods. Now I go hiking with a bunch of my comedy buddies. We talk about our emotions. I also do a lot of writing on hikes, just to get the blood flowing and the ideas moving." - Nick Kroll

"Alas, those six unfortunate souls who have made their way through my books know that every one of them is about Emerson and Thoreau and their dark counters, Melville and Emily Dickinson. Try as I might, I can't get their inspirations, their challenges and sentences and wisdom and questions out of my head." - Pico Iyer

"We all know how we can be turned around by a magic place; that's why we travel, often. And yet we all know, too, that the change cannot be guaranteed. Travel is a fool's paradise, Emerson reminded us, if we think that we can find anything far off that we could not find at home." - Pico Iyer

"When I went to college, I majored in American literature, which was unusual then. But it meant that I was broadly exposed to nineteenth-century American literature. I became interested in the way that American writers used metaphoric language, starting with Emerson." - Marilynne Robinson

"Their spirituality was in nature, even though Emerson was a preacher on the pulpit, he ended up going out into nature for direct, face-to-face communication with God, if you want to call all of this creation part of God." - Story Musgrave

"I studied journalism at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. I did my graduate work at Emerson in Boston, and I was actually a reporter for a year in New York and New Jersey. It dawned on me that I wasn't cut out for that line of work. I mean... there's a certain thing that really good reports have that I just didn't." - Nolan North

"The character truest to itself becomes eccentric rather than immovably centered, as Emerson defined the noble character of the hero. At the edge, the certainty of borders gives way. We are more subject to invasions, less able to mobilize defenses, less sure of who we really are, even as we may be perceived by others as a person of character. The dislocation of self from center to indefinite edge merges us more with the world, so that we can feel blest by everything." - James Hillman

"The question is why one should be so inwardly preoccupied at all. Why not reach out to others in love and solidarity or peer into the natural world for some glimmer of understanding? Why retreat into anxious introspection when, as Emerson might have said, there is a vast world outside to explore? Why spend so much time working on oneself when there is so much real work to be done?" - Barbara Ehrenreich

"Well I've said it before and I'll say it again - America's best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead. America remains what Emerson called her 150 years ago, "the country of tomorrow." What a wonderful description and how true. And yet tomorrow might never have happened had we lacked the courage in the 1980's to chart a course of strength and honor." - Ronald Reagan

"When I got to Performing Arts, within the first week, a few days, Bill Charlap walked in and couldn't read music but he's playing all these solos from Keith Emerson of ELP, and Rick Wakeman from Yes. Real impressive rock piano and keyboard things. And we had really, truly amazing young 13-14 year old classical players in our year who had been practicing six, eight hours a day for eight years. So it was like "Whoa."" - Jon Gordon

"I seem to thrive by destroying the last thing I did, in a kind of cartoon Nietzsche way. Emerson says in "Experience" something like "every ultimate fact soon becomes the next in a series." The self feels more real when you are destroying things you've made than when you are paying them homage. That's the good news about being self-destructive. The bad news, I feel I don't need to deliver." - Dan Chiasson

"Margaret Fuller was already a celebrity, travelling around the world. Emerson, who was the axis around which that whole community turned, just didn't like Fourier's ideas very much. He thought it was all too rigid and programmatic. He said, "Fourier had skipped no fact but one, namely life." He thought it was an inhumane system - the day is scheduled too precisely. He didn't think it would work, and he was right." - Christine Jennings

"Modern transcendental idealism, Emersonianism, for instance, also seems to let God evaporate into abstract Ideality. Not a deity in concreto, not a superhuman person, but the immanent divinity in things, the essentially spiritual structure of the universe, is the object of the transcendentalist cult. In that address of the graduating class at Divinity College in 1838 which made Emerson famous, the frank expression of this worship of mere abstract laws was what made the scandal of the performance." - William James

"If you take a man by surprise, and behave with sufficient arrogance, he will generally do what you ask. -Emerson" - Barbara Mertz

"Dark influences from the American past congregate among us still. If we are a democracy, what are we to make of the palpable elements of plutocracy, oligarchy, and mounting theocracy that rule our state? How do we address the self-inflicted catastrophes that devastated our natural environment? So large is our malaise that no single writer can encompass it. We have no Emerson or Whitman among us. An institutionalized counterculture condemns individuality as archaic and depreciates intellectual values, even in the universities. (The Anatomy of Influence)" - Harold Bloom

"This infantile sense of order tended to infect my life at large. Up at 5:30 a.m., coffee, oatmeal, perhaps sausage (homemade), and fresh eggs giving one of the yolks to Lola. Listening to NPR and grieving more recently over the absence of Bob Edwards who was the sound of morning as surely as birds. Reading a paragraph or two of Emerson or Loren Eiseley to raise the level of my thinking. Going out to feed the cattle if it was during our six months of bad weather." - Jim Harrison

"To laugh often and much ... this is to have succeeded. Probably not from Emerson: here's the full quotation and the story." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I do feel that both visual artists and writers look out at the world in a similar way, and wonder at what they see. They want to record the visual world in their own, distinctive ways. We could call it "attention to detail," which also makes a good carpenter, for instance. To be what Emerson called the "transparent eyeball" (which is a phrase that makes me a little queasy) is a noble quest, I feel. It's a quest for honesty, and as Frost put it, a momentary stay against confusion. If I had more talent and courage, I would still love to be a painter." - Connie Wanek

"No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it.-Harry Emerson FosdickNo one can get inner peace by pouncing on it." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Walt Whitman and Emerson are the poets who have given the world more than anyone else. Perhaps Whitman is not so widely read in England, but England never appreciates a poet until he is dead." - Oscar Wilde

"Of the creative spirits that flourished in Concord, Massachusetts, during the middle of the nineteenth century, it might be said that Hawthorne loved men but felt estranged from them, Emerson loved ideas even more than men, and Thoreau loved himself." - Leon Edel

"I have never as yet gone a step to see a literary lion; but I would go a considerable way to see Emerson, this pioneer in the moral forests of the New World, who applies his axe to the roots of the old trees to hew them down and to open the paths for new planting." - Fredrika Bremer

"It is obvious enough for the reader to conclude, "She loves young Emerson." A reader in Lucy's place would not find it obvious. Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire. She loved Cecil; George made her nervous; will the reader explain to her that the phrases should have been reversed?" - E M Forster

"And this love of definite conception, this clearness of vision, this artistic sense of limit, is the characteristic of all great work and poetry; of the vision of Homer as of the vision of Dante, of Keats and William Morris as of Chaucer and Theocritus. It lies at the base of all noble, realistic and romantic work as opposed to the colourless and empty abstractions of our own eighteenth-century poets and of the classical dramatists of France, or of the vague spiritualities of the German sentimental school: opposed, too, to that spirit of transcendentalism which also was root and flower itself of the great Revolution, underlying the impassioned contemplation of Wordsworth and giving wings and fire to the eagle- like flight of Shelley, and which in the sphere of philosophy, though displaced by the materialism and positiveness of our day, bequeathed two great schools of thought, the school of Newman to Oxford, the school of Emerson to America. Yet is this spirit of transcendentalism alien to the spirit of art. For the artist can accept no sphere of life in exchange for life itself. For him there is no escape from the bondage of the earth: there is not even the desire of escape. He is indeed the only true realist: symbolism, which is the essence of the transcendental spirit, is alien to him. The metaphysical mind of Asia will create for itself the monstrous, many-breasted idol of Ephesus, but to the Greek, pure artist, that work is most instinct with spiritual life which conforms most clearly to the perfect facts of physical life." - Oscar Wilde



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