Nature I believe in. True art aims to represent men and women, not as my little self would have them, but as they appear. My heroes and heroines I want not extreme types, all good or all bad; but human, mortal—partly good, partly bad. Realism I need. Pure mental abstractions have no significance for me.
What terrible tragedies realism inflicts on people.
I wish to confound all these people, to create a work of art of a supernatural realism and of a spiritualist naturalism. I wish to prove... that nothing is explained in the mysteries which surround us.
It has generally been assumed that of two opposing systems of philosophy, e.g., realism and idealism, one only can be true and one must be false; and so philosophers have been hopelessly divided on the question, which is the true one.
So far Unitarian realism claiming to possess positive knowledge about Ultimate Reality has succeeded only by excluding large areas of phenomena or by declaring, without proof, that they could be reduced to basic theory, which, in this connection, means elementary particle physics.
The lost opportunities of the years since September 11 are the stuff of tragedy. Remember the people rallying in sympathy on the streets of Teheran, the famous headline - 'we are all Americans now.' Five years later much of the world wonders what America is now. As we face this landscape of failure and disorder, nothing is more urgent than for us to begin again to rebuild a bipartisan consensus to ensure our interests, increase our security and advance our values. It could well start with what our founders had in mind when they pledged 'a decent respect for the opinions of mankind' in the Declaration of Independence. I think it's fair to say we are now all internationalists and we are all realists. This Administration's choices were false choices. Internationalism versus unilateralism. Realism versus idealism. Is there really any argument that America must remain a preeminent leader for peace and freedom, and yet we must be more willing to work in concert with other nations and international institutions to reach common goals? The American character is both idealistic and realistic: why can't our government reflect both?
Idealism without realism is impotent. Realism without idealism is immoral.
There is an attitude towards life, a way of looking at things, a way of thinking that all of these people that I have been studying they all share this way of looking at the world. It is what I call radical realism. And the reason I call it radical is, realism has this idea of just understanding the world and it sort of has a cynical, sometimes an edge to it. I want the idea of really, deeply understanding what life is about, how people operate in this world. And not only being realistic and understanding it, but accepting in a very deep way that this is what the world is like and actually loving it and embracing it and working with reality.
The ass does not know the worth of this tail till he has lost it.