George Eliot citations

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George Eliot

Date de naissance: 22. novembre 1819
Date de décès: 22. décembre 1880
Autres noms:Marian Evans

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George Eliot, de son vrai nom Mary Ann Evans, est une romancière britannique née le 22 novembre 1819 à Nuneaton et morte le 22 décembre 1880 à Chelsea, Londres. Elle est considérée comme un des plus grands écrivains victoriens, tous sexes confondus. Ses romans, qui se situent dans une Angleterre provinciale, sont connus pour leur réalisme et leur profondeur psychologique.

Elle prit un nom de plume à consonance masculine afin que son œuvre soit prise au sérieux. Même si les auteurs féminins de cette période publiaient librement sous leur vrai nom, l'usage d'un nom masculin lui aurait permis de s'assurer que ses œuvres ne soient pas perçues comme de simples romans d'amour. L'autre facteur décisif a pu être le souhait d'être jugé séparément de son travail d'éditeur et de critique déjà reconnu et le désir de préserver sa vie privée des curiosités du public et notamment sa relation scandaleuse avec George Henry Lewes, un homme marié avec qui elle vécut plus de 20 ans.

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Citations George Eliot

„A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.“

— George Eliot
Context: Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. Thiis was published without credit in The Best Loved Poems of the American People (1936) with the title "Friendship", and since that time has sometimes been misattributed http://www.geonius.com/eliot/quotes.html to Eliot; it is actually an adaptation of lines by Dinah Craik, in A Life for a Life (1859):

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„What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?“

— George Eliot
Context: What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? I cannot be indifferent to the troubles of a man who advised me in my trouble, and attended me in my illness.

„Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.“

— George Eliot, Impressions of Theophrastus Such
Impressions of Theophrastus Such, Ch, 4 (1879); comparable to. James Russell Lowell 1871: Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it. https://books.google.de/books?id=YRmn-_vXZ58C&pg=PA102&dq=persuaded

„Each day saw the birth
Of various forms, which, flung upon the earth,
Seemed harmless toys to cheat the exacting hour,
But were as seeds instinct with hidden power.“

— George Eliot
Context: Each day he wrought and better than he planned, Shape breeding shape beneath his restless hand. (The soul without still helps the soul within, And its deft magic ends what we begin.) Nay, in his dreams his hammer he would wield And seem to see a myriad types revealed, Then spring with wondering triumphant cry, And, lest the inspiring vision should go by, Would rush to labor with that plastic zeal Which all the passion of our life can steal For force to work with. Each day saw the birth Of various forms, which, flung upon the earth, Seemed harmless toys to cheat the exacting hour, But were as seeds instinct with hidden power. On the work of the metal-smith Tubal-Cain

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„A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.“

— George Eliot
Context: A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections. <!-- Bk. 2, Ch. 15

„Nature repairs her ravages, — repairs them with her sunshine, and with human labor.“

— George Eliot
Context: Nature repairs her ravages, — repairs them with her sunshine, and with human labor. The desolation wrought by that flood had left little visible trace on the face of the earth, five years after. The fifth autumn was rich in golden cornstacks, rising in thick clusters among the distant hedgerows; the wharves and warehouses on the Floss were busy again, with echoes of eager voices, with hopeful lading and unlading. And every man and woman mentioned in this history was still living, except those whose end we know.

„So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man.“

— George Eliot
Context: So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man.

„Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult.“

— George Eliot
Context: These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience. And I would not, even if I had the choice, be the clever novelist who could create a world so much better than this, in which we get up in the morning to do our daily work, that you would be likely to turn a harder, colder eye on the dusty streets and the common green fields — on the real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice; who can be cheered and helped onward by your fellow-feeling, your forbearance, your outspoken, brave justice. So I am content to tell my simple story, without trying to make things seem better than they were; dreading nothing, indeed, but falsity, which, in spite of one's best efforts, there is reason to dread. Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin — the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.

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„New voices come to me where'er I roam,
My heart too widens with its widening home:
But song grows weaker, and the heart must break
For lack of voice, or fingers that can wake
The lyre's full answer; nay, its chords were all
Too few to meet the growing spirit's call.“

— George Eliot
Context: New voices come to me where'er I roam, My heart too widens with its widening home: But song grows weaker, and the heart must break For lack of voice, or fingers that can wake The lyre's full answer; nay, its chords were all Too few to meet the growing spirit's call. The former songs seem little, yet no more Can soul, hand, voice, with interchanging lore Tell what the earth is saying unto me: The secret is too great, I hear confusedly.

„The song shall spread and swell as rivers do,
And I will teach our youth with skill to woo
This living lyre, to know its secret will;
Its fine division of the good and ill.
So shall men call me sire of harmony,
And where great Song is, there my life shall be.“

— George Eliot
Context: "This wonder which my soul hath found, This heart of music in the might of sound, Shall forthwith be the share of all our race, And like the morning gladden common space: The song shall spread and swell as rivers do, And I will teach our youth with skill to woo This living lyre, to know its secret will; Its fine division of the good and ill. So shall men call me sire of harmony, And where great Song is, there my life shall be." Thus glorying as a god beneficent, Forth from his solitary joy he went To bless mankind.

„These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience.“

— George Eliot
Context: These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience. And I would not, even if I had the choice, be the clever novelist who could create a world so much better than this, in which we get up in the morning to do our daily work, that you would be likely to turn a harder, colder eye on the dusty streets and the common green fields — on the real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice; who can be cheered and helped onward by your fellow-feeling, your forbearance, your outspoken, brave justice. So I am content to tell my simple story, without trying to make things seem better than they were; dreading nothing, indeed, but falsity, which, in spite of one's best efforts, there is reason to dread. Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin — the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.

„Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed.“

— George Eliot
Context: Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favorite love-stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed. Prelude

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