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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.

„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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„Perhaps not only in his attitude towards truth, but in his attitude towards himself, Montaigne was a precursor. Perhaps here again he was ahead of his own time, ahead of our time also, since none of us would have the courage to imitate him. It may be that some future century will vindicate this unseemly performance; in the meanwhile it will be of interest to examine the reasons which he gives us for it. He says, in the first place, that he found this study of himself, this registering of his moods and imaginations, extremely amusing; it was an exploration of an unknown region, full of the queerest chimeras and monsters, a new art of discovery, in which he had become by practice “the cunningest man alive.” It was profitable also, for most people enjoy their pleasures without knowing it; they glide over them, and fix and feed their minds on the miseries of life. But to observe and record one’s pleasant experiences and imaginations, to associate one’s mind with them, not to let them dully and unfeelingly escape us, was to make them not only more delightful but more lasting. As life grows shorter we should endeavour, he says, to make it deeper and more full. But he found moral profit also in this self-study; for how, he asked, can we correct our vices if we do not know them, how cure the diseases of our soul if we never observe their symptoms? The man who has not learned to know himself is not the master, but the slave of life: he is the “explorer without knowledge, the magistrate without jurisdiction, and when all is done, the fool of the play.”“

—  Logan Pearsall Smith
“Montaigne,” p. 6

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