Intellectual Intercourse Quotes

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What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturabtion … whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce -- render emotional -- his audience, each time.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
Why are poets so apt to choose their mates, not for any similarity of poetic endowment, but for qualities which might make the happiness of the rudest handicraftsman as well as that of the ideal craftsman of the spirit? Because, probably, at his highest elevation, the poet needs no human intercourse; but he finds it dreary to descend, and be a stranger.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The House of the Seven Gables)
Don't run around looking for someone who can sexually satisfy you, run around and look for the book which will intellectually satisfy you.
Michael Bassey Johnson
What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation . . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce—render emotional-his audience, each time.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Language is deeply entwined in the intellectual development of humanity itself, it accompanies the latter upon every step of its localized progression or regression; moreover, the pertinent cultural level in each case is recognizable in it. ... Language is, as it were, the external manifestation of the minds of peoples. Their language is their soul, and their soul is their language. It is impossible to conceive them ever sufficiently identical... . The creation of language is an innate necessity of humanity. It is not a mere external vehicle, designed to sustain social intercourse, but an indispensable factor for the development of human intellectual powers, culminating in the formulation of philosophical doctrine.
Wilhelm von Humboldt (On Language: On the Diversity of Human Language Construction and its Influence on the Mental Development of the Human Species)
Communication between people of different nationalities enriches human society and makes it more colourful.. Imagine our Russian intellectuals, the kind, merry, perceptive old women in our villages, our elderly workers, our young lads, our little girls being free to enter the melting pot of ordinary human intercourse with the people of North and South America, of China, France, India, Britain and the Congo. What a rich variety of customs, fashion, cuisine and labour would then be revealed! what a wonderful human community would then come into being, emerging out of so many peculiarities of national characters and ways of life. And the beggarliness, blindness and inhumanity of narrow nationalism and hostility between states would be clearly demonstrated.
Vasily Grossman (An Armenian Sketchbook)
Abstract design is all right—for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation . . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce—render emotional-his audience, each time. These laddies who won’t deign to do that—and perhaps can’t—of course lost the public. If they hadn’t lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for ‘art’ that leaves him unmoved—if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such.” “You
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Unassuming in manner, genial and kindly in his intercourse with his fellow-men, never showing impatience or irritation, devoid of personal ambition of the baser sort or of the slightest desire to exalt himself... In the minds of those who knew him, the greatness of his intellectual achievements will never overshadow the beauty and dignity of his life. [H.A. Burnstead's comments on the life of esteemed scientist J. Willard Gibbs]
Henry Andrews Bumstead
Believe me, there is none fraught with such deep, such vital interest. If you talk, indeed, of the capricious inclination awakened by the mere charm of perishable beauty, I grant it to be idle in the extreme; but that love which springs from the concordant sympathies of virtuous hearts; that love which is awakened by the perception of moral excellence, and fed by meditation on intellectual as well as personal beauty; that is a passion which refines and ennobles the human heart. Oh, where is there a sight more nearly approaching to the intercourse of angels, than that of two young beings, free from the sins and follies of the world, mingling pure thoughts, and looks, and feelings, and becoming as it were soul of one soul and heart of one heart! How exquisite the silent converse that they hold; the soft devotion of the eye, that needs no words to make it eloquent! Yes, my friend, if there be anything in this weary world worthy of heaven, it is the pure bliss of such a mutual affection!
Washington Irving (Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories)
When Love becomes a command, Hatred can become a pleasure. *  *  * if you don’t gamble, you’ll never win *  *  * Beautiful thoughts, and beautiful women never last *  *  * you can cage a tiger but you’re never sure he’s broken. Men are easier *  *  * if you want to know where God is, ask a drunk. *  *  * there aren’t any angels in the foxholes *  *  * no pain means the end of feeling; each of our joys is a bargain with the devil. *  *  * the difference between Art and Life is that Art is more bearable *  *  * I’d rather hear about a live American bum than a dead Greek God. *  *  * there is nothing as boring as the truth *  *  * The well balanced individual is insane *  *  * Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot *  *  * a brave man lacks imagination. Cowardice is usually caused by lack of proper diet. *  *  * sexual intercourse is kicking death in the ass while singing *  *  * when men rule governments, men won’t need governments; until then we are screwed *  *  * an intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way. *  *  * everytime I go to a funeral I feel as if I had eaten puffed wheat germ *  *  * dripping faucets, farts of passion, flat tires — are all sadder than death. *  *  * if you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence
Charles Bukowski (Notes of a Dirty Old Man)
In the first place, this is a history of Europe’s reduction. The constituent states of Europe could no longer aspire, after 1945, to international or imperial status. The two exceptions to this rule—the Soviet Union and, in part, Great Britain—were both only half-European in their own eyes and in any case, by the end of the period recounted here, they too were much reduced. Most of the rest of continental Europe had been humiliated by defeat and occupation. It had not been able to liberate itself from Fascism by its own efforts; nor was it able, unassisted, to keep Communism at bay. Post-war Europe was liberated—or immured—by outsiders. Only with considerable effort and across long decades did Europeans recover control of their own destiny. Shorn of their overseas territories Europe’s erstwhile sea-borne empires (Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal) were all shrunk back in the course of these years to their European nuclei, their attention re-directed to Europe itself. Secondly, the later decades of the twentieth century saw the withering away of the ‘master narratives’ of European history: the great nineteenth-century theories of history, with their models of progress and change, of revolution and transformation, that had fuelled the political projects and social movements that tore Europe apart in the first half of the century. This too is a story that only makes sense on a pan-European canvas: the decline of political fervor in the West (except among a marginalized intellectual minority) was accompanied—for quite different reasons—by the loss of political faith and the discrediting of official Marxism in the East. For a brief moment in the 1980s, to be sure, it seemed as though the intellectual Right might stage a revival around the equally nineteenth-century project of dismantling ‘society’ and abandoning public affairs to the untrammelled market and the minimalist state; but the spasm passed. After 1989 there was no overarching ideological project of Left or Right on offer in Europe—except the prospect of liberty, which for most Europeans was a promise now fulfilled. Thirdly, and as a modest substitute for the defunct ambitions of Europe’s ideological past, there emerged belatedly—and largely by accident—the ‘European model’. Born of an eclectic mix of Social Democratic and Christian Democratic legislation and the crab-like institutional extension of the European Community and its successor Union, this was a distinctively ‘European’ way of regulating social intercourse and inter-state relations. Embracing everything from child-care to inter-state legal norms, this European approach stood for more than just the bureaucratic practices of the European Union and its member states; by the beginning of the twenty-first century it had become a beacon and example for aspirant EU members and a global challenge to the United States and the competing appeal of the ‘American way of life’.
Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945)
212. "And all I need now is intellectual intercourse, a soul to dig the hole much deeper"~
Alanis Morissette
Abstract design is all right—for wallpaper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror. What modern artists do is pseudo-intellectual masturbation. Creative art is intercourse, in which the artist renders emotional his audience.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
In the first place, this is a history of Europe’s reduction. The constituent states of Europe could no longer aspire, after 1945, to international or imperial status. The two exceptions to this rule—the Soviet Union and, in part, Great Britain—were both only half-European in their own eyes and in any case, by the end of the period recounted here, they too were much reduced. Most of the rest of continental Europe had been humiliated by defeat and occupation. It had not been able to liberate itself from Fascism by its own efforts; nor was it able, unassisted, to keep Communism at bay. Post-war Europe was liberated—or immured—by outsiders. Only with considerable effort and across long decades did Europeans recover control of their own destiny. Shorn of their overseas territories Europe’s erstwhile sea-borne empires (Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal) were all shrunk back in the course of these years to their European nuclei, their attention re-directed to Europe itself. Secondly, the later decades of the twentieth century saw the withering away of the ‘master narratives’ of European history: the great nineteenth-century theories of history, with their models of progress and change, of revolution and transformation, that had fuelled the political projects and social movements that tore Europe apart in the first half of the century. This too is a story that only makes sense on a pan-European canvas: the decline of political fervor in the West (except among a marginalized intellectual minority) was accompanied—for quite different reasons—by the loss of political faith and the discrediting of official Marxism in the East. For a brief moment in the 1980s, to be sure, it seemed as though the intellectual Right might stage a revival around the equally nineteenth-century project of dismantling ‘society’ and abandoning public affairs to the untrammelled market and the minimalist state; but the spasm passed. After 1989 there was no overarching ideological project of Left or Right on offer in Europe—except the prospect of liberty, which for most Europeans was a promise now fulfilled. Thirdly, and as a modest substitute for the defunct ambitions of Europe’s ideological past, there emerged belatedly—and largely by accident—the ‘European model’. Born of an eclectic mix of Social Democratic and Christian Democratic legislation and the crab-like institutional extension of the European Community and its successor Union, this was a distinctively ‘European’ way of regulating social intercourse and inter-state relations. Embracing everything from child-care to inter-state legal norms, this European approach stood for more than just the bureaucratic practices of the European Union and its member states; by the beginning of the twenty-first century it had become a beacon and example for aspirant EU members and a global challenge to the United States and the competing appeal of the ‘American way of life’.
Tony Judt
A whole intellectual intercourse is established: clerks are appointed to maintain it like the ancient guardians of the sacred flame and issue permits to think and speak.
Pascal Bruckner (The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism)
Television’s greatest appeal is that it is engaging without being at all demanding. One can rest while undergoing stimulation. Receive without giving. It’s the same in all low art that has as goal continued attention and patronage: it’s appealing precisely because it’s at once fun and easy. And the entrenchment of a culture built on Appeal helps explain a dark and curious thing: at a time when there are more decent and good and very good serious fiction writers at work in America than ever before, an American public enjoying unprecedented literacy and disposable income spends the vast bulk of its reading time and book dollar on fiction that is, by any fair standard, trash. Trash fiction is, by design and appeal, most like televised narrative: engaging without being demanding. But trash, in terms of both quality and popularity, is a much more sinister phenomenon. For while television has from its beginnings been openly motivated by — has been about—considerations of mass appeal and L.C.D. and profit, our own history is chock-full of evidence that readers and societies may properly expect important, lasting contributions from a narrative art that understands itself as being about considerations more important than popularity and balance sheets. Entertainers can divert and engage and maybe even console; only artists can transfigure. Today’s trash writers are entertainers working artists’ turf. This in itself is nothing new. But television aesthetics, and television-like economics, have clearly made their unprecedented popularity and reward possible. And there seems to me to be a real danger that not only the forms but the norms of televised art will begin to supplant the standards of all narrative art. This would be a disaster. [...] Even the snottiest young artiste, of course, probably isn’t going to bear personal ill will toward writers of trash; just as, while everybody agrees that prostitution is a bad thing for everyone involved, few are apt to blame prostitutes themselves, or wish them harm. If this seems like a non sequitur, I’m going to claim the analogy is all too apt. A prostitute is someone who, in exchange for money, affords someone else the form and sensation of sexual intimacy without any of the complex emotions or responsibilities that make intimacy between two people a valuable or meaningful human enterprise. The prostitute “gives,” but — demanding nothing of comparable value in return — perverts the giving, helps render what is supposed to be a revelation a transaction. The writer of trash fiction, often with admirable craft, affords his customer a narrative structure and movement, and content that engages the reader — titillates, repulses, excites, transports him — without demanding of him any of the intellectual or spiritual or artistic responses that render verbal intercourse between writer and reader an important or even real activity." - from "Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young
David Foster Wallace (Both Flesh and Not: Essays)
Therefore, the Burmese felt no particular urge to understand their colonial rulers. This indifference was also encouraged by British attitudes. While the Englishman tended to see the Hindus as ‘serious’, ‘mysterious’, ‘deep’, ‘introverted’, and so on, he usually saw the Burmese as ‘gay’, ‘open’, ‘careless’, ‘childlike’, not a people who needed deep philosophical interpretation. The Burmese returned the compliment by assuming that there was not much that they needed to know about the Englishman beyond the necessities of unavoidable intercourse between the ruler and the ruled. How different it was from India, with the earnest, almost obsessive desire for comprehension at the intellectual level that was producing a string of scholars and philosophers in the western mould! It was true that such Indians constituted only a tiny section of the population, but their impact was strong on the upper classes; and they set the tone for those who would be leaders in the independence movements that were to gather momentum in the twentieth century. II
Suu Kyi, Aung San (Freedom from Fear: And Other Writings)
But she made one serious mistake which very clever people in their intercourse with their intellectual inferiors are almost universally apt to commit—she trusted implicitly to the folly of a fool. She
Wilkie Collins (No Name)
There's something else I wanted to say about Cézanne: that no one else before him demonstrated so clearly the extent to which painting is something that takes place among the colors, and how one has to leave them completely alone, so that they can come to terms among themselves. Their mutual intercourse: this is the whole of painting. Whoever meddles, whoever arranges, whoever injects his human deliberation, his wit, his advocacy, his intellectual agility in any way, is already disturbing and clouding their activity. Ideally a painter (and, generally, an artist) should not become conscious of his insights: without taking the detour through his conscious reflection, his progressive steps, mysterious even to himself, should enter so swiftly into the work that he is unable to recognize them in the moment of transition. Alas, the artist who waits in ambush there, watching, detaining them, will find them transformed like the beautiful gold in the fairy tale which cannot remain gold because some small detail was not taken care of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters on Cézanne)