Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas March 14, 2007

Character (Continued)
331 Brunel…remained all his life in love with the impossible. Clark, Civilization.

8 She [his aunt Elizabeth running for assessor] had virtually no campaign funds--just a mouth full of caustic comments. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

222 Wallace Stegner on “Big Bill” Stewart: Robust, aggressive, contentious, narrow, self-made, impatient of ‘theorists,’ irritated by abstract principles, a Nevada lawyer, miner, Indian-killer; a fixer, a getter done, an indefatigable manipulator around the whiskey and cigars, a dragon whose cave was the smoke-filled room, Big Bill Stewart was one to delight the caricaturist and depress a patriot…in his way, a man of faith: he believed in Western “development” and he believed in the right of men—himself among them—to get rich by this “development.” Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Because they [the Scotch-Irish] are the people who settled the first American frontier, it is easy to romanticize their toughness, self-reliance, earthiness, sheer drive, and loyalty to one another, but alongside these attributes lay the intolerance toward people different from their kind, the violence that became an act of first resort and a storied virtue, the dispassionate pursuit of self-interest, the unwillingness to think beyond region, and the pettiness, vindictiveness, and score-settling that colored their self-image and dominated their relationships…President Andrew Jackson was the epitome of Scotch-Irish country success. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

360 Robert Kennedy seemed to have a deeper level of conviction, a fuller capacity for love, a keener perception of evil…a more complete understanding of the fragility of life than most political candidates. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

313 Schopenhauer : Character lies in the will, and not in the intellect; character too is continuity of purpose and attitude; and these are will. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

359 He [Spencer] was so busy analyzing and describing life that he had no time to live it. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

401 [Nietzche] was accustomed to denounce those who had most influenced him…his unconscious way of covering up his debts. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzche.

403 …all his [Nietzche’s] life long he was to seek physical and intellectual means of hardening himself into an idealized masculinity. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzche.

529 Durant: We have drawn to us from Europe, and selected for survival and imitation among ourselves, rather the initiative individualist and the acquisitive pioneer than the meditative and artistic souls. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

177 Frank O’Connor on character: At some moment he’s going to reveal himself unconsciously…. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

179 Interviewer: O’Faolin on Hemingway: …trying to isolate his hero in time—trying to isolate him to one moment, when he is put to the test. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

264 Angus Wilson: I attack…only people who are set in one way of thinking. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

276 Wm. Styron: I sometimes feel that the characters I’ve created are not much more than …projected facets of myself. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

132 Then she went on slowly to the end of the chapter, and with her hands clasped together on the Bible she fell into a reverie, and the tears came into our eyes as we watched her look of perfect content: through all her clouded years the promises of God had been her only certainty. Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

67 Action is character. F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing.

9 Plutarch: “Nor is it always in the most distinguished achievements that men’s virtues or vices may be best discerned; but very often an action of small note, a short saying, or a jest, shall distinguish a person’s real character more than the greatest sieges, or the most important battles." Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

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