Saturday, June 9, 2007

Heresy and Orthodoxy. Hero. History.

Heresy and Orthodoxy
Heresy and orthodoxy 574 One generation’s heresy is the next generation’s orthodoxy. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Hero 188 It will never make any difference to a hero what the laws are. Emerson, The Conservative. [Heroes are not bound by laws.]

Hero 369 The hero is not fed on sweets,/ Daily his own heart he eats. Emerson, Prudence. [Heroes are very self-critical.]

Heroes 241 Don Quixote: They [classical authors] do not portray them [heroes] or describe them as they were but as they should have been, to give example by their virtues to the men to come after them. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha, Part 1: 1605. [Classical authors wrote about heroes, not as they were, but as they should have been.]

Heroic 124 And yet we recognize that to despise material obstacles, and even to defy the blind forces of fate, is man’s supreme achievement; and…in the end, civilization depends on man extending his powers of mind and spirit to the utmost…. Clark, Civilization. [Man’s ultimate achievement is to defy obstacles and fate.]

Heroism 19 When a flippant high school youth asked him [Kennedy], as we walked down a street in Ashland, Wisconsin, in 1959, how he came to be a hero, he gaily replied, “It was easy--they sank my boat.” Sorenson, Kennedy [JFK said he became a hero because the Japs sank his boat.]

Heroism 261 Angus Wilson: The opportunities for heroism are limited in this kind of world: the most people can do is sometimes not to be as weak as they’ve been at other times. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work. [Heroism in today’s world is not to be as weak as we usually are.]

Heroism 261 Angus Wilson: the heroism of my people…is in their success in making a relationship with other human beings…and their willingness to accept some sort of pleasure principle in life as against the gnawings of a Calvinist conscience and the awareness of Freudian motivations. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work. [Heroism in today’s society is to make relationships, to enjoy life without allowing religious conscience and Freudian motivates deter you.]

Heroism 379 The characteristic of heroism is its persistency. Emerson, Prudence. [Heroes are persistent.]

Heroism 640 The greatest obstacle to being heroic, is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt—and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. [The biggest obstacle to being heroic is one’s doubt that he may appear in the eyes of others as a fool.]

Heroism 777 There can be no truer test of the noble and heroic, in any individual, than the degree in which he possesses the faculty of distinguishing heroism from absurdity. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance. [The test of the heroic is to distinguish it from the absurd.]

History 165 ...circumstances swayed by human nature are bound to repeat themselves and in the same situation men are bound to act in the same way unless it is shown to them that such a course in other days ended disastrously. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way. [In the same circumstances, people will act in the same way unless they learn from history how others fared.]

History 165 Thucydides wrote his book because he believed that men would profit from a knowledge of what brought about the ruinous struggle precisely as they profit from a statement of what causes deadly disease. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way. [Thucydides wrote his book to show people the cause of the ruinous struggle.]

History 408 Eiseley on the 60s: …he complained that his students refused to read anything more than five years old. “Plot gives way to episode.” “Make the revolution. Afterward we will decide what to do about it.” If one cannot efface the past, one can at least pretend that history has never been. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley [The spirit of the 1960s: Never read anything more than five years old.]

History 199 …the history of National Socialism from beginning to end is the history of its underestimation. Bracher, The German Dictatorship [Hitler’s National Socialists were constantly underestimated.]

History 109 When something had enough steam behind it to move people and make an impression on history, it must have some rational explanation, and Kennedy wanted to know what that rational explanation was. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days [JFK wanted to know what had moved people and made a difference in history.]

History 376 ...the rise of the so-called “New History” with its emphasis on the life of the common man.... Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience [New History” emphasized the life of the common man.]

History 717 What was there in prehistory in the events and conditions prior to recorded history, which still survived in the mind of modern man? Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud). [What residue from pre-history still influenced modern man?]

History 66 …great catastrophes have periodically denuded the earth and reduced man again to his first beginnings; like Sisyphus, civilization has repeatedly neared its zenith only to fall back into barbarism and begin de capo its upward travail. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle. [Civilization reaches peaks, then falls back into barbarity again.]

History 100 Lucretius: "…some nations wax, others wane, and in a brief space the races of living things are changed, and like runners hand over the lamp of life." Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon. [Civilizations wax and wane and pass the torch to those that follow.]

History 220 Voltaire: History is nothing more than a picture of crimes and misfortunes. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [History is a listing of crimes and misfortunes.]

History 20 Voltaire: History is after all nothing but a pack of tricks which we play upon the dead; we transform the past to suit our wishes for the future; and in the upshot history proves that anything can be proved by history. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [Anything can be proved by history; history is transformed to help modern people secure what they want in the future.]

History 221 Voltaire: I wish to write a history not of wars, but of society; and to ascertain how men lived in the interior of their families; and what were the arts which they commonly cultivated…my object is the history of the human mind…but I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization. . Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Voltaire. [What were the steps by which man passed from barbarism to civilization?]

History 283 Kant: The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realization of a hidden plan of nature to bring about a political constitution…in which all the capacities implanted by her in mankind can be fully developed. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant. [History records how man has been brought by nature to use all of his capacities to their fullest.]

History 297 Hegel: …history is the growth of freedom…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Hegel.

History 381 Spencer: History [in an industrial society] begins to study the people at work rather than kings at war; …ceases to be record of personalities and becomes the history of great inventions and new ideas. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer. [Modern history is the story of great inventions and new ideas.]

History 599 Johnson: Of the future we certainly know nothing; but we may form conjectures from the past; and the power of forming conjectures, includes, in my opinion, the duty of acting in conformity to that probability which we discover. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1. [We turn insights in the past into probability for the future.]

History 141 ...the whole interest of history lies in the fortunes of the poor. Emerson, Man the Reformer. [History is the story of the progress of the poor.]

History 240 ...there is properly no history; only biography. Emerson, History. [History is biography.]

History 66 …it would be said of John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson that both had their Bay of Pigs, that the former’s lasted four days and the latter’s lasted four years. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest [JFK and LBJ both had their Bay of Pigs; JFK’s lasted four days; LBJ’s lasted four years.]

History 717 We are forced to fall back on fatalism to explain the irrational events of history (that is to say, events the intelligence of which we do not see). Tolstoi, War and Peace. [Irrational events are explained as fatalism.]

History 1400 The ancient historians…wrote of the parts played by the individuals who stood in authority over that people, and regarded their activity as an expression of the activity of the nation as a whole. Tolstoi, War and Peace [Ancient history is the story of leaders who were supposed to represent the character of their people.]

History truth viii Peter Gay: The craft of history has two tasks to perform: To tell the truth about the past insofar as it lies in fallible men to tell the truth; and to give passing events a lasting memorial and immortality to mortal men. Bracher, The German Dictatorship. [History’s purpose is to tell the truth about the past and to memorialize mortal men.]

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