Friday, November 2, 2007

Quotes: Servants. Sex. Shakespeare.

Control your servants or they will control you.
Servants 857 But a man must keep an eye on his servants, if he would not have them rule him. Emerson, English Traits.

The ecstasy of sex passes quickly leaving one unchanged.
Sex 68 [People] soon find by experience that the ecstasy of sex, like any other powerful emotion, is self-limiting, and that after it has passed off they are substantially unchanged. Mencken, Minority Report.

For Christian religions, sex is always sinful.
Sex 69 Every one of the Christian sects, however they may differ otherwise, starts out with the assumption that any act of sex is sinful, and most of them teach that it remains somewhat discreditable even after it becomes lawful. Mencken, Minority Report.

Sex is a delusion.
Sex 635 Johnson on sex [without mentioning the word]: …it is a delusion always beginning again. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

When the sexual urge is satisfied, a man seeks to escape being trapped.
Sex 284 For once man’s appetite is satisfied his greatest desire is to escape entrapment. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part One: 1605.

Sex obliterates identity; the space given to it in novels shows a lack of authentic characters.
Sex 212 Mary McCarthy: Sex annihilates identity, and the space given in contemporary novels is an avowal of the absence of character. Plimpton, ed. The Writer’s Chapbook

The loins house the devil.
Sex 344 “The power of the devil is in the loins,” says Saint Jerome. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

You can maintain decorum in everything except sex.
Sex 364 In everything else [except sex] you may maintain some decorum. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Sex is either vicious or ridiculous.
Sex 364 All other activities come under rules of decency; this one [sex] cannot even be imagined other than vicious or ridiculous. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Nature appears to be divided in her attitude toward sex; on the one hand, Nature urges us to have sex to achieve a noble purpose, but on the other hand, she encourages us to condemn it, shun it, blush at it and recommend abstinence.
Sex 364 On the one hand Nature pushes us on in it [sex], having joined to this desire the most noble, useful and pleasant of all her operations; and on the other hand she lets us condemn and shun it as immoderate and indecent, blush at it, and recommend abstinence. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

There is a myth that at one time, humans were androgynous and not divided into sexes.
Sexes 338 Dr. Beatrice Hinkle: Also, there is a myth which tells of a time when human beings were physically androgynous and the sexes were not divided. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

The famous line by Mae West when she meets a man.
Sexual humor 118 Mae West: “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” “Sextette.” Pierpont, Claudia Roth. “A Critic at Large: The Strong Woman.” The New Yorker (Nov. 11, 1996), pp. 106-118.

Regardless of nationality, people feel that Shakespeare represents them on the stage.
Shakespeare 51 Students and friends have described for me Shakespeare as they have seen him in Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Indonesian, and Italian, and the general report has been that the audiences were as one in finding that Shakespeare represented them upon the stage. Bloom, Western Canon.

Shakespeare is disinterested in the attitudes of his characters or the issues in which they are involved.
Shakespeare 172 A miracle of disinterestedness, Shakespeare neither believes nor disbelieves, neither moralizes nor endorses nihilism. Bloom, Western Canon.

Shakespeare introduced “negative energy.”
Shakespeare 180 The representation of negative energy scarcely exists before Shakespeare. Bloom, Western Canon.

Shakespeare developed from comedy to history to tragedy to romance.
Shakespeare 188 Shakespeare’s development, essentially from comedy and history through tragedy to romance.... Bloom, Western Canon.

Goethe: Shakespeare did not write for the stage.
Shakespeare 221 Goethe had the odd notion that Shakespeare did not write for the stage. Bloom, Western Canon.

Many of Shakespeare’s plays are less effective when acted on the stage.
Shakespeare 368 Johnson: “Many of Shakespeare’s plays are the worse for being acted.” Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

Shakespeare is his biographer and even then he only reveals himself to the Shakespeare in all of us.
Shakespeare 720 Shakespeare is the only biographer of Shakespeare; and even he can tell nothing, except to the Shakespeare in us. Emerson, Representative Men: Shakespeare, or the Poet.

Shakespeare does not project his ego into his plays.
Shakespeare 724 Yet there is not a trace of egotism [in Shakespeare’s plays]. Emerson, Representative Men: Shakespeare, or the Poet.

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