American Author, Literary Critic and Poet
George Edward Woodberry
American Author, Literary Critic and Poet
Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. Murphy's First Corollary If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.
The world is a multiplicity, a harvest-field, a battle-ground; and thence arises through human contact ways of numbering, or mathematics, ways of tillage, or agriculture, ways of fighting, or military tactics and strategy, and these are incorporated in individuals as habits of life.
A marvelous power of expression over language often distinguishes genius; but Shakespeare in his phrases seems independent of the bonds of language as of the bonds of metre.
Much of a poet's experience takes place in imagination only; the life he tells is oftenest the life that he strongly desires to live, and the power, the purity and height of his utterance may not seldom be the greater because experience here uses the voices of desire.
To be faithful to your instincts and the impulses that carry you in the direction of the excellence you most desire and value ... surely that is to lead the noble life.
A nation's poets are its true owners; and by the stroke of the pen they convey the title-deeds of its real possessions to strangers and aliens.
My first recollection of hearing Wendell Phillips is from my college days, though of course he was always one of my heroes, and I may have heard him before, for we were an anti-slavery family.
To realize life in the abstract as noble or beautiful or humane, to set it forth so with radiance upon it, that is civilization in the arts. Shakespeare is the chief modern example of this supreme faculty of mankind.
A writer is justly called 'universal' when he is understood within the limits of his civilization, though that be bounded by a country or an age.
'Old times' never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day in the year, and that's better.
We foresee no limit to scientific advancement in the future, and in scientific truth there is nothing dead; science is always a living and growing body of knowledge; but art on the contrary has many times run its course to an end, and exhausted its vital power.
Aesthetic freedom is like free speech; it is, indeed, a form of free speech.
One can re-create what was in the mind of a mathematician a thousand years ago, recapture the truth of the intellect wherever it may have once come to light; but the image of art, that infinite variable of perception and expression in the individual, - that is not easily re-created, at least, not with certainty and in its original fullness.
Who of English speech, bred to the traditions of his race, does not recognize Hamlet in his 'inky cloak' at a glance? Not to know him would argue one's self untaught in the chief glories of his language.
Always begin anew with the day, just as nature does. It is one of the sensible things that nature does.
Our understanding of Shakespeare already depends largely on the vitality of Renaissance elements in our education. Each man must live in his own generation, as the saying is; but the generations are bound together by the golden links of the great tradition of civilization.
Words are intermediary between thought and things. We express ourselves really not through words, which are only signs, but through what they signify - through things.
Art does not, like science, set forth a permanent order of nature, the enduring skeleton of law. Two factors primarily determine its works: one is the idea in the mind of the artist, the other is his power of expression; and both these factors are extremely variable.
Seasonal changes, as it were, take place in history, when there is practically an almost universal death, a falling of the foliage of the tree of life. Such were the intervals between the ancient and mediaeval time, the mediaeval and the modern.
You may name a bronze statue 'Liberty,' or a painted figure in a city hall 'Commerce,' or a marble form in a temple 'Athene' or 'Venus;' but what is really there is only a representation of a single woman.
Art has a double visage: it looks before and after. Romance is its forward-looking face. The germ of growth is in romanticism. Formalism, on the other hand, consolidates tradition; gleans what has been gained and makes it facile to the hand or the mind; economizes the energy of genius.
Shakespeare has been praised in English more than anything mortal except poetry itself. Fame exhausts thought in his eulogy.
Art is expression; what is expressed is often the vision of a subtle and powerful soul, and also his experience with his vision; and however vivid and skilful he may be in the means of expression, yet it is frequently found that the master-spell in his work is something felt to be indefinable and inexpressible.
Shakespeare is, essentially, the emanation of the Renaissance. The overflow of his fame on the Continent in later years was but the sequel of the flood of the Renaissance in Western Europe. He was the child of that great movement, and marks its height as it penetrated the North with civilization.
Education has really one basic factor, a sine qua non-you must want it