Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. May 8, 2007.

Note: A bold-face statement at the conclusion of a quote is my attempt to express a wordy or convoluted quote in plain English.

Fame 266 After browsing among the stately ruins of Rome...of Pompeii, and after glancing down the long marble ranks of battered and nameless imperial heads that stretch down the corridors of the Vatican, one thing strikes me with a force it never had before: the unsubstantial, unlasting character of fame. Twain, Innocents Abroad. [Rome shows how unsubstantial is fame.]

Fame 272 “It is a good lesson...,” he wrote of his Custom House experiences, “for a man who has dreamed of literary fame...to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of significance...is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.” Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times. [It’s a good experience to have achieved fame in one circle, then to step out of that circle and learn how no one has even heard of you.]

Fame 118 F. Bacon: Phocion took it right, who, being applauded by the multitude, asked, What had he done amiss? Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon. [When he was being applauded by the multitude, he asked, “What have I done wrong?”]

Fame 126 I was always sorry for such men, for I soon observed that the applause of today was almost invariably followed by the indifference of tomorrow. Mencken, Minority Report. [The applause of today is followed by the indifference of tomorrow.]

Fame 234 When I hear a man applauded by the mob I always feel a pang of pity for him[;] all he has to do to be hissed is to live long enough. Mencken, Minority Report.

Fame 234 [The mob] always stones those it has worshipped. Mencken, Minority Report.

Families 44 One of the least agreeable circumstances of her residence there, was her being treated with too much confidence by all parties, and being too much in the secret of the complaints of each house…she could do little more than listen patiently, soften every grievance, and excuse each to the other…. Austen, Persuasion. [She became the confidante of every member of the family who told her their grievances against other members of the family.]

Family 54 Joyce Cary: [Family life]: Toughest thing in the world…but of course it is also a microcosm of a world…--birth, life, death, love and jealousy, conflict of wills, of authority and freedom, the new and the old. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work. [The family is a microcosm of the world.]

Fanatic 89 The fanatic…embraces a cause not primarily because of its justness and holiness but because of his desperate need for something to hold on to. Hoffer, The True Believer [The fanatic adopts a cause, not because he believe in it, but because he needs a cause.]

Fanatic 90 It is doubtful whether the fanatic who deserts his holy cause or is suddenly left without one can ever adjust himself to an autonomous individual existence. Hoffer, The True Believer

Fanaticism 165 [The fanatic] is without the fruitful intervals of groping, when the mind is as it were in solution--ready for all manner of new reactions, new combinations and new beginnings. Hoffer, The True Believer. [The fanatic does not take the opportunity to reflect on and explore ideas.]

Farewells 64 Albert Schweitzer: After a farewell, one wishes to be alone. Anderson, The Schweitzer Album.

Farmer 752 Silas Foster: He can do his day’s work…with any man or ox on the farm.

Fashion 97 Nor is it so very long since Richard the Third set up half the backs of the nation; and high shoulders, as well as high noses, were the top of the fashion. Steele, 4/6/1711. The Spectator. [Even deformities can become fashionable.]

Fat Man
Fat man 390 ...reg’lar fat man, as hadn’t caught a glimpse of his own shoes for five-and-forty-year. Dickens, Pickwick.

Fate 160 Chorus: All’s ordained—past all denying. Sophocles. Oedipus at Colonus. [Everything has been foreordained.]

Fate 97 Oedipus: As it was, where I went all ignorant towards a doom too known to those who planned it. Sophocles. Oedipus at Colonus. [I went to my doom without knowing that that was what the gods had planned.]

Fate 37 “Unconsciously, they [his parents] had arrived at the philosophy that foresight merely invited the attention of some baleful intelligence that despised and persecuted the calculating planner.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley. [Conscious planning only invites the eye of the almighty planner.]

Fate 118 Chorus: From fate and from necessity there’s no escape. Euripides, Hippolytus.

Fate 577 …permeating sense of destiny, as though his life had been assigned to him by fate and had to be fulfilled. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud). [A sense of destiny.]

Fate 952 What ever limits us we call fate. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Fate.

Fate 954 ‘Tis the best use of Fate to teach a fatal courage. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Fate.

Fate 1289 The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute force or Destiny; the belief that the order of nature and events is controlled by a law not adapted to man, nor man to that, but which holds on its way to the end, serving him if his wishes chance to lie in the same course,--crushing him if his wishes lie contrary to it,--and heedless whether it serves or crushes him. Emerson, Uncollected Prose. [I believe that if one chooses the course blessed by fate, one is successful, that if one chooses a course not blessed by fate, you are crushed by a force that doesn’t care whether you succeed or are crushed.]

Fate 386 …without all the deeper trust in a comprehensive sympathy above us, we might…be led to suspect the insult of a sneer…on the iron countenance of fate. Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables. [We believe in a comprehensive sympathy from above, not the iron countenance of fate.]

Fate 268 Chillingworth to Hester: By thy first step awry, thou didst plant the germ of evil; but, since that moment, it has all been a dark necessity. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter. [Once you chose your course of action, everything that followed became a dark necessity.]

Fate 161 Achilles: But Zeus will not fulfill what men design,/ not all of it. Homer, Iliad. [The gods will not fulfill man’s designs.]

Fate Hecuba, Hector’s mother: Almighty Fate spun this thing for our son/ the day I bore him: destined him to feed the wild dogs after death.… Homer, Iliad. [On the day her son was born, he was destined to die and be eaten by dogs.]

Fate evil 185 Chorus: If evil good appear/ To any, fate is near. Sophocles. Antigone. [If evil appears to be good, your fate is near.]

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