George Henry Lewes

George Henry

English Author, Philosopher and Critic of Literature

Author Quotes

A man may be buoyed up by the efflation of his wild desires to brave any imaginable peril; but he cannot calmly see one he loves braving the same peril; simply because he cannot feel within turn that which prompts another. He sees the danger, and feels not the power that is to overcome it.

In complex trains of thought signs are indispensable.

Shakespeare is a good raft whereon to float securely down the stream of time; fasten yourself to that and your immortality is safe.

We are not judicious in love; we do not select those whom we ought to love, but those whom we cannot help loving.

A man may be variously accomplished, and yet be a feeble poet.

It is not by his faults, but by his excellences, that we measure a great man.

Sincerity is moral truth.

We must never assume that which is incapable of proof.

All bad Literature rests upon imperfect insight, or upon imitation, which may be defined as seeing at second-hand.

It is unhappily true that much insincere Literature and Art, executed solely with a view to effect, does succeed by deceiving the public.

Sincerity is not only effective and honorable, it is also much less difficult than is commonly supposed.

When a man fails to see the truth of certain generally accepted views, there is no law compelling him to provoke animosity by announcing his dissent.

All good Literature rests primarily on insight.

Language, after all, is only the use of symbols, and Art also can only affect us through symbols.

Speak for yourself and from yourself, or be silent.

All great authors are seers.

Literature delivers tidings of the world within and the world without.

The delusions of self-love cannot be prevented, but intellectual misconceptions as to the means of achieving success may be corrected.

And to some men popularity is always suspicious. Enjoying none themselves, they are prone to suspect the validity of those attainments which command it.

Literature is at once the cause and the effect of social progress.

The great desire of this age is for a doctrine which may serve to condense our knowledge, guide our researches, and shape our lives, so that conduct may really be the consequence of belief.

As all Art depends on Vision, so the different kinds of Art depend on the different ways in which minds look at things.

Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.

The history of the race is but that of the individual "writ large".

Books have become our dearest companions, yielding exquisite delights and inspiring lofty aims.

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George Henry
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English Author, Philosopher and Critic of Literature