Friday, March 23, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas March 23, 2007

Class (Social)
932 An Englishman shows no mercy to those below him in the social scale, as he looks for none from those above him: any forbearance from his superiors surprises him, and they suffer in his good opinion. Emerson, English Traits.

518 …and if the people should destroy class after class, until two men only were left, one of these would be the leader, and would be involuntarily served and copied by the other. Emerson, Manners.

161 In Rosamond’s romance it was not necessary to imagine much about the inward life of the hero, or of his serious business in the world: of course, he had a profession and was clever, as well as sufficiently handsome; but the piquant fact about Lydgate was his good birth, which distinguished him from all Middlemarch admirers, and presented marriage as a prospect of rising in rank…. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

222 Even when Caleb Garth was prosperous, the Vincys were on condescending terms with him and his wife, for there were nice distinctions of rank in Middlemarch; and though old manufacturers could not any more than dukes be connected with none but equals, they were conscious of an inherent social superiority which was defined with great nicety in practice, though hardly expressible theoretically. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

535 No matter what a man is--I wouldn’t give two pence for him...whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn’t do well what he undertook to do. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

83 …unlike the English, they [the French] just took you for what they were; they did not trouble themselves with the painful preliminaries of deciding whether they were your superiors or your inferiors. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

xix A classic is, of course, among other things, a work which retains some of its initial freshness upon being reread and which continues to have an illuminating relevance to the themes it treats. Sidney Hook. Hoffer, The True Believer.

7 All the classic poets were looked upon and looked upon themselves as serious teachers…. Hadas, ed., The Complete Works of Aristophanes.

62 The Dole adviser said, “It is not so much a feeling of ‘I can’t believe I am losing to this guy’ as it is ‘I can’t believe a guy who is this much a phony and who has this sheer magnitude of ethical scandals all around him is going to pull this election off.’” The New Yorker, Nov. 11, 1996. Michael Kelly, “Ire in the Belly.”

520 Passengers invariably divide up into cliques, on all ships. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

164 Clouds …piled up blossoms of the sky…. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

Cocktail Parties
40 The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath: already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the center of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

Cold War
329 Churchill: “From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the continent… certainly not the liberated Europe we fought to build up[;] nor is it one which contains the essentials of permanent peace. March 5, 1946, Fulton, Missouri. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg.

178 American college president...combined the academic and the man of business; he was supposed to apply learning to current affairs and to use business judgment for the world of counterpart in the Old World, he was the living symbol of the breakdown of the cloistered walls. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

181 The primary aim of the American college was not to increase the continental stock of cultivated men, but rather to supply its particular region with knowledgeable ministers, lawyers, doctors, merchants, and political leaders. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

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