Logan Pearsall Smith citations

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Logan Pearsall Smith

Date de naissance: 18. octobre 1865
Date de décès: 2. mars 1946

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Logan Pearsall Smith, né le 18 octobre 1865 à Millville et mort le 2 mars 1946 à Londres, est un essayiste et critique littéraire américain qui vit au Royaume-Uni. Connu pour ses aphorismes et ses épigrammes, il doit aussi sa notoriété à son autobiographie, Unforgotten Years .

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Citations Logan Pearsall Smith

„The emergence of a new term to describe a certain phenomenon, of a new adjective to designate a certain quality, is always of interest, both linguistically and from the point of view of the history of human thought.“

— Logan Pearsall Smith
Context: The emergence of a new term to describe a certain phenomenon, of a new adjective to designate a certain quality, is always of interest, both linguistically and from the point of view of the history of human thought. That history would be a much simpler matter (and language, too, a much more precise instrument) if new thoughts on their appearance, and new facts at their discovery, could at once be analysed and explained and named with scientific precision. But even in science this seldom happens; we find rather that a whole complex group of facts, like those for instance of gas or electricity, are at first somewhat vaguely noticed, and are given, more or less by chance, a name like that of gas, which is an arbitrary formation, or that of electricity, which is derived from the attractive power of electrum or amber when rubbed — the first electric phenomenon to be noticed. "Four Romantic Words" http://www.solcon.nl/arendsmilde/cslewis/reflections/e-frw-text.htm in Words and Idioms : Studies in the English Language (1925), § I.

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„The truth is that the phenomena of artistic production are still so obscure, so baffling, we are still so far from an accurate scientific and psychological knowledge of their genesis or meaning, that we are forced to accept them as empirical facts; and empirical and non-explanatory names are the names that suit them best.“

— Logan Pearsall Smith
Context: The truth is that the phenomena of artistic production are still so obscure, so baffling, we are still so far from an accurate scientific and psychological knowledge of their genesis or meaning, that we are forced to accept them as empirical facts; and empirical and non-explanatory names are the names that suit them best. The complete explanation of any fact is the very last step in human thought; and it is reached, as I have said, if indeed it is ever reached, by the preliminary processes of recognition, designation, and definition. It is with these preliminary processes that our aesthetic criticism is still occupied. "Four Romantic Words" in Words and Idioms : Studies in the English Language (1925), § VI

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„The disconcerting fact may first be pointed out that if you write badly about good writing, however profound may be your convictions or emphatic your expression of them, your style has a tiresome trick (as a wit once pointed out) of whispering: ‘Don’t listen!’ in your readers’ ears. And it is possible also to suggest that the promulgation of new-fangled aesthetic dogmas in unwieldy sentences may be accounted for—not perhaps unspitefully—by a certain deficiency in aesthetic sensibility; as being due to a lack of that delicate, unreasoned, prompt delight in all the varied and subtle manifestations in which beauty may enchant us.
Or, if the controversy is to be carried further; and if, to place it on a more modern basis, we adopt the materialistic method of interpreting aesthetic phenomena now in fashion, may we not find reason to believe that the antagonism between journalist critics and the fine writers they disapprove of is due in its ultimate analysis to what we may designate as economic causes? Are not the authors who earn their livings by their pens, and those who, by what some regard as a social injustice, have been more or less freed from this necessity—are not these two classes of authors in a sort of natural opposition to each other? He who writes at his leisure, with the desire to master his difficult art, can hardly help envying the profits of money-making authors.“

— Logan Pearsall Smith
criticizing the Cambridge School of criticism, e.g. John Middleton Murry and Herbert Read, “Fine Writing,” pp. 306-307

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„Thank heavens, the sun has gone in, and I don't have to go out and enjoy it.“

— Logan Pearsall Smith
"Last words" — these are not actually Smith's last words, but a section title).

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