Ts Eliot Best Quotes

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The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man
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T.S. Eliot
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The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.
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T.S. Eliot
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James's critical genius comes out most tellingly in his mastery over, his baffling escape from, Ideas; a mastery and an escape which are perhaps the last test of a superior intelligence. He had a mind so fine that no idea could violate it. [...] In England, ideas run wild and pasture on the emotions; instead of thinking with our feelings (a very different thing) we corrupt our feelings with ideas; we produce the public, the political, the emotional idea, evading sensation and thought. [...] James in his novels is like the best French critics in maintaining a point of view, a view-point untouched by the parasite idea. He is the most intelligent man of his generation." (Little Review, 1918)
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T.S. Eliot
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What was to be the value of the long looked forward to, Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders, Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit? The serenity only a deliberate hebetude, The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secrets Useless in the darkness into which they peered Or from which they turned their eyes. There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, For the pattern is new in every moment And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.
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T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets)
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The detective story, as created by Poe, is something as specialised and as intellectual as a chess problem, whereas the best English detective fiction has relied less on the beauty of the mathematical problem and much more on the intangible human element. [...] In The Moonstone the mystery is finally solved, not altogether by human ingenuity, but largely by accident. Since Collins, the best heroes of English detective fiction have been, like Sergeant Cuff, fallible.
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T.S. Eliot (Selected Essays: 1917-1932)
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You both love Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Hawthorne and Melville, Flaubert and Stendahl, but at that stage of your life you cannot stomach Henry James, while Gwyn argues that he is the giant of giants, the colossus who makes all other novelists look like pygmies. You are in complete harmony about the greatness of Kafka and Beckett, but when you tell her that Celine belongs in their company, she laughs at you and calls him a fascist maniac. Wallace Stevens yes, but next in line for you is William Carlos Williams, not T.S. Eliot, whose work Gwyn can recite from memory. You defend Keaton, she defends Chaplin, and while you both howl at the sight of the Marx Brothers, your much-adored W.C. Fields cannot coax a single smile from her. Truffaut at his best touches you both, but Gwyn finds Godard pretentious and you don't, and while she lauds Bergman and Antonioni as twin masters of the universe, you reluctantly tell her that you are bored by their films. No conflicts about classical music, with J.S. Bach at the top of the list, but you are becoming increasingly interested in jazz, while Gwyn still clings to the frenzy of rock and roll, which has stopped saying much of anything to you. She likes to dance, and you don't. She laughs more than you do and smokes less. She is a freer, happier person than you are, and whenever you are with her, the world seems brighter and more welcoming, a place where your sullen, introverted self can almost begin to feel at home.
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Paul Auster (Invisible (Rough Cut))
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Reilly: The human condition...they may remember the vision they have had, but they cease to regret it, maintain themselves by the common routine, learn to avoid excessive expectation, Become tolerant of themselves and others, Giving and taking, in the usual actions what there is to give and take. They do not repine; Are contented with the morning that separates and with the evening that brings together for casual talk before the fire. Two people who know they do not understand each other, breeding children whom they do not understand and who will never understand them. Celia: Is that the best life? Reilly: It is a good life. Though you will not know how good until you come to the end. But you will want nothing else, and the other life will be only like a book you have read once, and lost. In a world of lunacy, violence, stupidity, greed...it is a good life.
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T.S. Eliot (The Cocktail Party)
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We dwell with satisfaction upon the poet’s difference from his predecessors, especially his immediate predecessors; we endeavour to find something that can be isolated in order to be enjoyed. Whereas if we approach a poet without this prejudice we shall often find that not only the best, but the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously. And I do not mean the impressionable period of adolescence, but the period of full maturity.
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T.S. Eliot
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TO MY WIFE To whom I owe the leaping delight That quickens my senses in our wakingtime And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime, The breathing in unison Of lovers … Who think the same thoughts without need of speech And babble the same speech without need of meaning: To you I dedicate this book, to return as best I can With words a little part of what you have given me. The words mean what they say, but some have a further meaning For you and me only.
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T.S. Eliot (The Complete Poems and Plays)
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In a minute there is time Β For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
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T.S. Eliot (T.S. Eliot: Best 3 Poems (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Gerontion, and The Waste Land))
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There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, For the pattern is new in every moment.
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T.S. Eliot (East Coker)
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Religion can hardly revive, because it cannot decay. To put the matter bluntly on the lowest level, it is not to anybody’s interest that religion should disappear. If it did, many compositors would be thrown out of work; the audiences of our best-selling scientists would shrink to almost nothing; and the typewriters of the Huxley Brothers would cease from tapping. Without religion the whole human race would die, as according to W. H. R. Rivers, some Melanesian tribes have died, solely of boredom. Every one would be affected: the man who regularly has a run in his car and a round of golf on Sunday, quite as much as the punctilious churchgoer.
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T.S. Eliot (Selected Essays: 1917-1932)
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It is not of advantage for us to indulge a sentimental attitude towards the past. For one thing, in even the very best living tradition there is always a mixture of good and bad, and much that deserves criticism; and for another, tradition is not a matter of feeling alone. Nor can we safely, without very close examination, dig ourselves in stubbornly to a few dogmatic notions, for what is a healthy belief at one point may, unless it is one of the few fundamental things, be a pernicious prejudice at another. Nor should we cling to traditions as a way of assuring our superiority over less favored peoples. What we can do is to use our minds, remembering that a tradition without intelligence is not worth having, to discover what is the best life for us not as a political abstraction, but as a particular people in a particular place; what in the past is worth preserving and what should be rejected; and what conditions, within our power to bring about, would foster the society that we desire.
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T.S. Eliot (After Strange Gods : A Primer of Modern Heresy)
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It is important that a man should feel himself to be, not merely a citizen of a particular nation, but a citizen of a particular part of his country, with local loyalties. These, like loyalty to class, arise out of loyalty to the family. Certainly, an individual may develop the warmest devotion to a place in which he was not born, and to a community with which he has no ancestral ties. But I think we should agree that there would be something artificial, something a little too conscious, about a community of people with strong local feeling, all of whom had come from somewhere else. I think we should say that we must wait for a generation or two for a loyalty which the inhabitants had inherited, and which was not the result of a conscious choice. On the whole, it would appear to be for the best that the great majority of human beings should go on living in the place in which they were born. Family, class and local loyalty all support each other; and if one of these decays, the others will suffer also.
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T.S. Eliot (Notes Towards the Definition of Culture)
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Just as I do not see how anyone can expect really to understand Kant and Hegel without knowing the German language and without such an understanding of the German mind as can only be acquired in the society of living Germans, so a fortiori I do not see how anyone can understand Confucius without some knowledge of Chinese and a long frequentation of the best Chinese society. I have the highest respect for the Chinese mind and for Chinese civilisation; and I am willing to believe that Chinese civilisation at its highest has graces and excellences which may make Europe seem crude. But I do not believe that I, for one, could ever come to understand it well enough to make Confucius a mainstay. I am led to this conclusion partly by an analogous experience. Two years spent in the study of Sanskrit under Charles Lanman, and a year in the mazes of Patanjali's metaphysics under the guidance of James Woods, left me in a state of enlightened mystification. A good half of the effort of understanding what the Indian philosophers were after and their subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys lay in trying to erase from my mind all the categories and kinds of distinction common to European philosophy from the time of the Greeks. My previous and concomitant study of European philosophy was hardly better than an obstacle. And I came to the conclusion seeing also that the 'influence' of Brahmin and Buddhist thought upon Europe, as in Schopenhauer, Hartmann, and Deussen, had largely been through romantic misunderstanding that my only hope of really penetrating to the heart of that mystery would lie in forgetting how to think and feel as an American or a European: which, for practical as well as sentimental reasons, I did not wish to do
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T.S. Eliot (After Strange Gods : A Primer of Modern Heresy)
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The Moonstone is the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels. But it is something more important than that; it is the best of all the novels written by that man who among the novelists of the nineteenth century was in every way the most closely associated with Charles Dickens. You cannot appreciate Collins without taking Dickens into account; and the work of Dickens after 1850 would not be what it is but for the reciprocal influence of Collins.
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T.S. Eliot
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If you imagine yourselves suddenly deprived of your personal present, of all possibility of action, reduced in consciousness to the memories of everything up to the present, these memories, this existence which would be merely the totality of memories, would be meaningless and flat, even if it could continue to exist. If suddenly all power of producing more poetry were withdrawn from the race, if we knew that for poetry we should have to turn always to what already existed, I think that past poetry would become meaningless. For the capacity of appreciating poetry is inseparable from the power of producing it, it is poets themselves who can best appreciate poetry. Life is always turned toward creation; the present only, keeps the past alive.
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T.S. Eliot
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Because I came to see That I should never have been a first-rate potter. I didn't have it in me. It's strange, isn't it, That a man should have a consuming passion To do something for which he lacks the capacity? Could a man be said to have a vocation To be a second-rate potter? To be, at best, A competent copier, possessed by the craving To create, when one is wholly uncreative? I don't think so. For I came to see, That I had always known, at the secret moments, That I didn't have it in me. There are occasions When I am transported- a different person, Transfigured in the vision of some marvellous creation, And I feel what the man must have felt when he made it. But nothing I made ever gave me that contentment- That state of utter exhaustion and peace Which comes in dying to give something life...
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T.S. Eliot
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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. –T.S. Eliot
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K.E. Kruse (365 Best Inspirational Quotes: Daily Motivation For Your Best Year Ever)
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Today, the work that is most associated with Weston's memory is one that she wrote when she was 70 years old. From Rituals to Romance, published in 1921, is Weston's best known work largely in part due to the fact that T.S. Eliot named it as one of his great sources and influences for his poem, The Waste Land. In a note in the work, Eliot wrote: Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were suggested by Miss Jessie L. Weston's book on the Grail legend: From Ritual to Romance (Cambridge).
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Jessie Laidlay Weston (From Ritual to Romance [with Biographical Introduction] (Cosimo Classics Mythology and Folklore))