Sunday, April 8, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas April 8, 2007

45 In war time, as Vice President Henry Wallace once wryly remarked, a coordinator was only a man trying to keep all the balls in the air without losing his own. Blum, V Was for Victory

415 He [Kennedy] never self-consciously thought of himself as “courageous,” but he lived by the Hemingway definition with which he had opened Profiles: “grace under pressure.” Sorenson, Kennedy

843 “A man does what he must,” he [Kennedy] had written in Profiles in Courage, “in spite of personal consequences, in spite of…dangers—and that is the basis of all human morality.” Sorenson, Kennedy

417 …three-o’clock-in-the-morning courage, which Bonaparte thought was the rarest. Thoreau, Walden.

609 The bravest people are the ones who don’t mind looking like cowards. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

1019 A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture.

381 In the gloom of our ignorance of what shall be, in the hour when we are deaf to the higher voices, who does not envy those who have seen safely to an end their manful endeavor? Emerson, Prudence.

407 Valor consists in the power of self-recovery…. Emerson, Circles.

727 When a valiant man flees, it is obvious that there is foul play, and it is a wise man’s duty to reserve himself for a better occasion. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

391 To consider and judge the danger is in some sort the reverse of being scared by it. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

471 I sometimes get from nonchalance and unconcern the means of strengthening myself…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

19 …under the London Blitz—Ed Murrow…said: “I have never gone down into a shelter because I was afraid…that if I did it once I could not stop doing it.” Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

68 In accordance with his usual mode of creative thought Einstein set the stage with an imaginary situation. Barnett, The Universe and Dr. Einstein

xviii The technical objections raised were themselves a spur to invention. Clark, Civilization.

xviii I could see the truth of those familiar words, ‘How often has a difficult rhyme led me to a beautiful thought.’ Clark, Civilization.

417 [Nietzche] Zarathustra: He who must be a creator…verily, he must first be a destroyer, and break values into pieces. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Nietzche.

473 Leonardo: The minds of men of lofty genius are most active in invention when they are doing the least external work. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Benedetto Croce.

473 Everybody knows the story told of DaVinci, that when he was painting the “Last Supper,” he sorely displeased the Abbot who had ordered the work, by sitting motionless for days before an untouched canvas; and revenged himself for the importunate Abbot’s persistent query--when would he begin to work?--by using the gentleman as an unconscious model for the figure of Judas. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Benedetto Croce.

481 Russell: ...those creative powers within him that struggle on in the face of failure.... Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Bertrand Russell.

188 The process of creation is only partly intellectual[;] the rest of it seems to be based on instinct rather than on idea. Mencken, Minority Report.

335 Dr. Beatrice Hinkle: When one looks back over human existence, however, it is very evident that all culture has developed through an initial resistance against adaptation to the reality in which man finds himself…resistance acts as a stimulus to his inner impulse to action and to creation, thus causing him to shape and remake his environment to suit better his need and desire. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

338 Dr. Beatrice Hinkle: The creator does not create only for the pleasure of creating but…he also desires to subdue other minds. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

431 What is that abridgment and selection we observe in all spiritual activity, but itself the creative impulse? Emerson, Art.

471 In times when we thought ourselves indolent, we have afterwards discovered, that much was accomplished and much was begun in us. Emerson, Experience.

113 John Hersey: It may be that the mystery [of creativity] is among the things that attract those of us who write. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

118 Marianne Moore: Life is energy and energy is creativity. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

101 Edward Albee: If you intellectualize and examine the creative process too carefully, it can evaporate and vanish. [Tells story of centipede who is asked about how it manipulates its hundreds of legs—thinks about it and then can’t walk.] Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

68 Albert Schweitzer: To create means evolution. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

100 The Renaissance historian of art, Vasari, when he asked himself...why it was in Florence and not elsewhere that men became perfect in the arts, gave as his first answer: ‘the spirit of criticism: the air of Florence making minds naturally free, and not content with mediocrity.’ Clark, Civilization.

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