Friday, February 23, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas February 23, 2007

75 [Aristocracy justified]: The proper leaders of the world, the only ones who could be trusted to guide it disinterestedly, were a class from generation to generation raised above the common level, not by self-seeking ambition, but by birth; a class which a great tradition and a careful training made superior to the selfish greed and the servile meanness other men were subject to. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

76 [Aristocracy]: ...authority in the hands of the disciplined best. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

55 [At the time of Aristotle] the attractive force of matter, the law of gravitation, electrical phenomena, the conditions of chemical combination, pressure of air and its effects, the nature of light, heat, combustion, etc., in short, all the facts on which the physical theories of modern science are based were…almost wholly undiscovered. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

42 Art is to us of the West the unifier of what is without and what is within. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

236 …looking is in itself the business of art. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

274 The artist...touches the hidden strings of pity...searches our hearts...makes us sensitive to beauty...asks questions about fate and destiny. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

279 the aid of the artistic imagination, those humane insights and understandings which alone can...enable us to shape ourselves, rather than the stone, into the forms which great art has anticipated. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

671 [Kennedy] saw the arts not as a distraction in the life of a nation but as something close to the heart of a nation’s purpose. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

672 Kennedy rehabilitated the Presidential Medal of Freedom in an effort to honor those “whose talent enlarges the public vision of the dignity with which life can be graced and the fullness with which it can be lived.” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

673 JFK: “In the eyes of posterity, the success of the United States as a civilized society will be largely judged by the creative activities of its citizens in art, architecture, literature, music and the sciences”: Commission on National Goals for President Eisenhower. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

843 JFK: …art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

36 Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Any literary work that aspires to the condition of art must forget politics, religion, and, ultimately, morals; otherwise it will be a pamphlet, a sermon, or a morality play. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

33 Ann Petry: The argument [in support of art for art’s sake] runs something like this: the novel is an art form; art (any and all art) is prostituted, bastardized, when it is used to serve some moral or political end for it then becomes propaganda. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

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