To a life deprived of the works of genius. Who are your favourite heroes of fiction? Those of romance and poetry, those who are th e expression of an ideal rather than an imitation of the real. Who is your favourite character in history? The Quest for Proust Who are jour favourite heroines in real life? A woman of genius leading an ordinary life. Who are jour heroines of fiction? Those who are more than women without ceasing to be womanly: everything that is tender, poetic, pure, and in every way beautiful.
Your favourite painter? Your favourite musician? The qualitjjou most admire in a man? Intelligence, moral sense. The qualitjjou most admire in a woman? Gentleness, naturalness, intelligence. Your favourite virtue? All virtues that are not limited to a sect : the universal virtues. Your favourite occupation? Reading, dreaming, and writing verse. Who would you have liked to he?
Since the question does not arise, I prefer not to answer it. All the same, I should very much have liked to be Pliny the Younger. There is, in Swann , a scene which certainly belongs to Marcel's childhood. It is concerned with an evening on which his mother, because she had friends coming to dinner, failed to go to his room for their customary good-night kiss.
There are two beds in his room. Perhaps you had better spend the night with him. The defeatist attitude of a nervous subject, which was to cause him gradually to withdraw from the life of society, and was to make him both a seriously sick man and a great artist, began on that evening at ComKray.
There was, first of all, Paris, where he lived with his parents in a solid, middle-class house at 9 Boulevard Males- herbes. Klotz, and Madame Gaston de Caillavet. How pleased he was to be back in the room where tall white curtains hid the bed with its flowered counterpane and embroidered coverlet. He loved to find, unaltered since he had left them last, the trinity beside his bed, consisting of a blue-patterned glass, a sugar-bowl, a water jug. On the mantelpiece stood the glass bell within which the clock still chattered and, hanging on the wall, a picture of Our Lord above a sprig of consecrated box.
Finally there was the Channel coast, to one of the resorts of which, Trouville, Dieppe, and at a later date Cabourg, Marcel Proust was packed off for part of each summer. Out of these places Balbec was born.
As the result of a miracle of tenderness which had imprisoned my thought in each one of her ideas, of her intentions, of her words, of her smiles and glances, there seemed to exist between us a peculiar, a pre- established harmony, which made of me - her grandson - so much her own possession, and of her - my grandmother - so much mine, that had it been suggested that either of us should have been replaced, she by some woman of superlative genius, I by some man of the noblest sanctity ever known since the world began, we should have smiled, knowing full well that each would have preferred the worst fault of the other to all the virtues to be found in the rest of humanity.
But this beauty remains his own peculiar gift, and those who see in nature only what nature gives will be bitterly disappointed if they try to find in those places the lovely iridescence and the velvety texture of his epithets. We should like to go with Monsieur Claude Monet to Givemy on the Seine, to that bend of the river which he half reveals to us through morning mists. The truth of the matter is that it was the mere chance of going to stay with friends or relations that led Madame deNoailles, Maeterlinck, Millet, or Claude Monet to paint one particular gar- den, one particular field, one particular bend of the river, rather than another.
To each one of us it once was known, by each one of us it has been' lost. For only by reason of our childhood did it have existence in the world of our imagination. He suffered an attack of breathlessness asthma or hay-fever so violent that ever afterwards he had, during the spring season, to avoid all contact with nature.
From then on he was destined to lead the life of an invalid, never free from the threat of a recurrent attack. It is generally agreed today that asthma and hay-fever are often no more than nervous afflictions closely allied to a morbid craving for tenderness. Many asthma cases have suffered in their youth from an excess, or a lack, of maternal affection, with the result that they have been sometimes led into a state of utter dependence on their mother, or cling desperately to other props - to a husband, a wife, a relation, a friend, a doctor.
Their attacks of breathlessness are, in reality, a species of appeal. Of this theory Marcel Proust would seem to have been a living proof. We know what torments he endured whenever his mother was absent. All through his life he remained a man who felt that he was dependent on others. To be loved, praised, desired, was the prime need of his being.
He never felt safe unless he could call upon more than the normal amount of affection. Certain of his characteristics derived directly from this state of mind. He was always anxious to please, always thoughtful of the needs and desires of others. He overwhelmed his friends with gifts. He wanted to be true to the idea that they had formed of him, and was filled with remorse whenever he failed to be so. He never had that indifference to the sufferings and the opinions of his familiars which makes the cynic.
He was a trifle too suave, too complimentary and, because his habit of flattery was, in fact, a form of defence mechanism, found compensation in moods of pitiless criticism which he confided to the secret pages of his Memoranda and his Notebooks. So much was this so that an excess of tenderness could with him, by a curious transmutation, be changed into cruelty. He quite sincerely believed that he could achieve nothing unaided.
He would complain, would announce, that he was ill or ruined, would exploit his sufferings and take pleasure in his own jeremiads, simply because he regarded an excess of wretchedness as the surest means of opening for him- self a credit-account of sympathy. He could not do the simplest thing without asking the advice of his friends - give a dinner, sell a piece of furniture, send a present of flowers. Whenever he feared that he was not a favourite he became sus- picious, a prey to the most torturihg refinements of emotional analysis.
This neurosis no other word can describe a state of mind so definitely morbid contributed to his formation as a minute and subtle analyst of the passions. He could register finer shades of feeling than Constant or than Stendhal, because he was more sensitive than either. He was well aware of the power that this weakness gave him. He scarcely knows that he is asleep. A dose of insomnia is of no little value to those who would appreciate the gift of sleep, who would seek to cast even the feeblest ray into that mysterious darkness.
A fault- less memory is not the best of instruments with which to probe the phenomenon of memory. The world will never know how much it owes to them, nor yet what they have suffered in the act of giving.
Sickness, however, is one of the wheels of that piece of mental mechanism which increases the power of analysis. It is certain that, ever since the days of his childhood, he had been obsessed by a desire to write, and in particular to grasp a beauty which he felt to be imprisoned beneath the surface ap- pearances of things. To write: t hat was his secret ambi tion. But he believed that he had no talent, because, as soon as he attempted to find the subject for a novel similar to any of those which brought him so much enchanted pleasure, he was conscious at once of impotence.
They were too simple, too special. Neverthe- less, when one day Dr Percepied had taken him driving, and he had found a seemingly inexplicable pleasure in watching three belfries in the plain, and had noticed how, as a result of the move- ment of the carriage and the winding of the road, they seemed constantly to alter their relations one to another in space, he had been made aware, once again, that what he most wanted to do was to formulate his mysterious sense of delight in words and phrases.
He asked the doctor for a pencil, and. Marcel was still a child. Not yet could he attain to the truths hidden beneath the scrub, the orchards, and the day- light of La Beauce. But even then he could feel something of their presence.
What did they read? Everything that could at that time be regarded as modern - Barres, France, Lemaitre, Maeterlinck. Marcel Proust shared these tastes and was long 33 The Quest for Proust faithful to them. A failure to admire Maeterlinck was one of the Duchesse de Guermantes 5 more absurd characteristics. Two jpaggg jpf The Mill on theFloss are enough to start me crying.
Substitute the Vivonne for the Floss, and the two mental landscapes become interchangeable. Marcel Proust grew up under the influence of Leconte de Lisle and of his study of the classics. During his schooldays, round about , he suffered to some extent from that grandiloquent pedantry which he was later to ascribe to Bloch. Marcel Proust to his grand- mother: T am sorely embarrassed. Madame Catusse is bound to see this portrait, and, though it is I who make it, I swear by Artemis the white goddess, and by Pluto of the burning eyes, that I feel, even if she does not, a certain shyness at the idea of saying baldly that I find her charming I bless the immortal gods for bringing here a woman so astonishingly well informed, one who has learned so much, and who spreads about her so surprising an aura of delight.
Mens pulcher in corpore pulchro. My curse upon those spirits that wage war on human peace of mind, and have compelled me to utter such stale compliments in the hearing of one who so holds my affections, who has been so kind to me, and is so utterly adorable. It was this dead and vanished self that the author of Swann was later to ridicule in the character of Bloch.
The most intelligent among them felt confusedly that they were in the presence of a fantastic but undeniable genius. When they started a Revue Verte consisting of a single manuscript copy passed round among a group of subscribers, or a multi- graphed Revue Lilas , it was to Proust that they turned for contri- butions.
But his uneasy, his excessive and neurotic affection never ceased to amaze them. A man who played with him as a child has described how terrified he felt when Marcel one day came up to him, took him by the hand, and declared that what he craved was an affection that should be tyrannical and total.
Even in those days he pre- tended to find in those about him all the sublimer virtues, though, in the secrecy of his heart, he judged all individuals at their true worth. People like Proust are fated to be lonely. Nor were they less surprised by his touchiness. Why should he utter the friendliest sentiments, only, from then on, to have even less to do with me? What are they after? Do they want to wash their hands of me, mystify me - or what? I had thought they were so charming. Being themselves a great deal more aggressive than he was, they thought his sensi- bility affected.
To judge from the way he spoke, he was prepared to make sacrifices of a kind that no one dreamed of asking of him, sacrifices that nothing but love between the sexes could possibly justify. They felt all at sea. Much later his critics accused him of being a snob, which was unfair, because the Proust of A la recherche du temps perdu had got far beyond that stage, and viewed the great world only in the light of an admirable museum in which historical and zoological specimens are preserved.
When reading literature, he had two different teachers, and their influence upon him was complementary. In every other way he may be a thoroughly sound fellow, and a blessed relief from all the other fools who are for ever turning fine phrases. The other, Maxime Gaucher, literary critic of La Revue Blanche , was a liberal-minded man of great charm, who at once became devoted to Proust, let him show up compositions which had nothing whatever to do with the subject set, and actually made him read them aloud to the class which expressed its opinion of them with boos and cheers.
Paris Grasset , The Quest for Proust Here is one of his 'Essays'. The creations of poetry and of literature are never the outcome of pure thought. They are, in addition, the expression of a personality which differs with each artist, and takes on something of his individuality. He writes Le Cid , he writes Andromaque , and, by giving expression to the highest that is in him, seems to be the spokesman of the very spirit of mankind.
But sometimes at the beginning, sometimes at the end, of his career, before he knows, or when he has forgotten, how to discipline his individual tendencies, it is them, and them only, that he voices. The heroic, over-stressed, shows as extrava- gance. Prior to Andromaque he can write only Les Freres ennemis , and, later, incapable of producing a second Cid , declines from Agesilas to Attila. The very quality which once gave charm, life, and newness to his work, is seen, when unduly magnified, as the error of his genius, the cause of his decadence.
But is he not most himself at that precise moment when, not yet assured of perfection, he has failed to fuse what is most original in his gift with the beauties of the art he practises? Do not those whose love is greater than their power of detached admiration, who praise Corneille and Racine, not so much as great writers, but because one of them discovered a new subtlety of the exquisite, the other a new aspect of the sublime, find a peculiar pleasure in those works of a given poet which display most clearly both his qualities and his defects, in which he no longer softens, no longer modifies , no longer keeps them subordinate, no longer fuses them with the totality of his art?
When that happens, is not the image of the adored author then imprinted upon the charmed sensibility of the disciple, at once more accurate, narrower, more personal? Does not his Corneille show as rather too proud, his Racine as too subtle? He can scarcely have meant that those qualities are to be regarded as being the characteristic defects of their less successful compositions. But if the works in which personality is seen in so extreme a form that it becomes a caricature of sensibility or of the heroic in Corneille, in Racine, or in both, or, perhaps we should say, if the extreme expression of themselves w r hich devoted admirers have drawn from their artistic practice produces an appearance of bravura or of preciosity, is it not because these things are potentially present even in their master- pieces, are, as it were, foreshadowed as an end to which the natural bent of their minds will ultimately lead them?
Why does she draw back quite so violently when she is about to be reunited with her lover, if not because she is inspired by what one might call the coquetry of renunciation, or because she wants to lead him on to make display of a superfluous amount of heroism and constancy? How skilled they are at setting their heroism in the brightest possible light, at playing the changes on, at widening the held of, their noble temperaments.
If our contemporary critics insist so loudly on directing our attention to the harsh realism that lies behind the Tragedies of Racine, are we entitled to object? Is not the fact that we have made this discovery so late in the day merely a proof of the loving care with which he smoothed and fused the form of his drama? But one can love a great man without necessarily excusing, still less adoring, his faults, and that kind of love is not the least good nor the least elevated.
If we understand love in this sense, we can, indeed, love passionately - and to love Racine passionately means, in that case, to love the deepest, the tenderest, the most painful, and the most sincere of those intuitions which he brought to the understanding of so many charming and martyred existences, just as to love Corneille means to love, in the integrity of its beauty and in the unbending quality of its pride, the highest possible realization of a heroic ideal.
Marcel was quoting from memory, and, therefore, inaccurately. It was a habit that he never lost. See, for instance, in Chroniques , where he misquotes Hugo pp. It is his way of expressing the unbroken flow of his thought. Maxime Gaucher was right in thinking that this critical fragment gave evidence of an astonishing maturity of mind. Thin pencils of moonlight strike through scarce-perceptible gaps in the red curtains and turn the room-walls blue I open the window to take one last look at the sweet, wild, round-cheeked face of my darling moon.
Then I close it. I go to bed. The lamp, set on a small table close beside my pillow, in a litter of glasses and bottles, of cool drinks and slim books in precious bindings, of letters that tell of friendship and of love, casts a dim light into the corners of my library. Hour of all hours divine! Not mine the power to overcome nature or familiar things, but at least I can consecrate them.
I have draped them in the garment of my spirit, turning them to emblems of something that is secret and superb. No less remarkable is the following letter, written to Robert Dreyfus during the summer holidays of 1 8 8 8 :. I am quite sure that what we take to be the interpretation by ourselves of this or that character is, actually, nothing but the effect of associated ideas.
Suppose, for instance, that in real life, or in some work of literature, you are shown the spectacle of a man shedding tears over the misfortune of another. Now, just because, whenever you have seen anybody crying from sheer pity, it so happens that the person in ques- tion has been good, gentle, and sensitive, your natural deduction is that this man, too, is sensitive, good, etc. For our interpretation of a character is based only on certain leading features of which we have knowledge, and we assume that these features imply others.
But such interpretation is, in fact, pure guesswork. Similarly, in real life. Now, among the many different persons of whom I am composed, one is an excessively romantic gentleman who, though rarely vocal, remarks on this oc- casion. Only when he is quite sure that I shall not force my presence on him, does he venture to address me. What he does know is that it is completely unimportant and not worth worrying about.
Reading this, we are filled with admiration for the subdety of the analysis, and with amazement that so young a boy should be so complex. Proust had the good fortune to sit. But his influence on Proust was deep and lasting.
He failed to win any prizes, except a second in maths, but got an honourable mention for general excellence, another honourable mention for philosophy, and a third for physics. Fortunately, he is taking it all very calmly. I had a long talk about him with Darlu, who spoke glowingly of his abilities! Honour for Philosophy. She was, just then, staying with her uncle at Auteuil. Marcel was at Fontainebleau with a friend.
I send you a thousand kisses, the accumulated love of a whole week. Look after yourself, dear boy. What time do you get up? Pauvre loup, I have no liking for arid natures, yet am reduced to wishing yours to be such rather than to see you in the grip of an excessive melancholy. What you most need is to grow a protective skin over your heart, that it may not be too easily hurt, too sensitive ,. Darling, what a fool I was not to do that before; I shall certainly do it a lot in future.
As soon as I got under the trees it was lovely, all cool and sunlit, and I laughed aloud from sheer happiness, though there was no one with me; it was a pleasure just to breathe, to feel, to move my limbs. I felt as I used to feel at Treport, or at Illiers that year when I was busy with Augustin Thierry - much, much happier than when I used to go walking with Robert.
Le Manage de Loti increased my sense of well-being - gave me the same sort of feeling I have when I have - been dr in kin g tea. I read it lying in the grass by the small lake which was violet in the shadows, with gleams of sunshine here and there which set a sparkle on the trees and water. Dans Petincelle- ment et le charme de Pheure. I understood, or, rather, felt, what a 44 School , the Great World , the Army wealth of sensations is expressed by that delightful line of Leconte de Lisle.
Y ou see, I always come back to him. Madame Adrien found no pleasure in the great world, and knew it scarcely at all. The Prousts of Illiers had done no more than graft a country family on to her own Hebrew stock. Dr Proust, who was well on the way to becoming one of the high priests of official medicine, dreamed of one day offering his candidature to the Academie des Sciences Morales, and did his best to maintain such contacts as might be useful to him.
But his wife very often let him go to parties without her, and when important dinners were in the wind his sons used to watch with admiring eyes while he adjusted the red ribbon of a Commander of the Legion under his white tie. Ever since his boyhood Marcel had shown a liking for Society, a liking that ultimately became one of the necessities of his being.
Some of his school friends, Jacques Baigneres and Gaston de Caillavet, for instance, had young mothers who did much enter- taining. His friend, Jacques Bizet, introduced him to his mother who, before her marriage, had been Genevieve Halevy, the daughter of Fromenthal Halevy, the composer of La Juive, She was the widow of the composer of Carmen , and had taken as her second husband a rich lawyer called Smile Straus. Her mind, which Proust immor- talized by borrowing it for Madame de Guermantes, was a mixture of common sense and of a sort of flickering and surprised gaiety which made it possible for her to say the most impossible things with an air of complete innocence.
She had a whimsical fancy, and, in that, resembled her cousin, Ludovic Halevy. Her mockery was unforced and kindly, her logic quite unpredictable. No- body admired her more than did Monsieur Straus who, to that extent, and to that extent only, served as a model for the Due de Guermantes. He smothered her with flowers, actual as well as figurative, and begged her not to think that his love for her had grown less just because, for some days, he was unable to send her chrysanthemums.
You are, in fact, a person who cares for this way of living more than for anything else - and who knows how to charm. To prove that the very reverse is the case I shall send you still lovelier flowers. You will be annoyed, Madame, because you do not smile upon those senti- ments which lead me to sign myself in ecstatic pain, De Votre Indifference Souveraine Le plus respectueux serviteur.
But he remained the humble slave of his Dear Lady Disdain, and made use of many of the traits of the kindly egotist when he came to create the Duchesse de Guermantes. He asked her to tell Bourget how much he admired the book, and Bourget replied as follows : This young Marcel of yours - this Saxe psychologique , as you call him - must be a really delightful creature, if I can judge of him from the letter which you so very graciously sent me.
His comment on the passage in Gladys referring to Jacques Molon, proves that he has a mind which is capable of thinking about what he reads, and his enthusiasm warms my heart. Please tell him that I look forward to having the great pleasure of meeting him as soon as I have finished the piece of work to which I am at present harnessed.
His father gave him three pieces of advice, and you a fourth. To these I am going to add a fifth: never to let his love for letters die. A time will come when he will no longer love my books, because, at present, he loves them to excess. Gaude Larcher knows only too well that when one loves too much, one is on the point of ceasing to love at all. But let him never cease from loving that beauty 47 T he Quest for Proust of art at which he guesses, and for which he seeks through the medium of my unworthy self.
Like the Narrator of his own novel, he seems to have been of no specific age. Are we to think of him as a child or as an adolescent? Impossible to tell. At a later period he went in for pale green ties, loosely knotted, baggy trousers, and a frock-coat with voluminous skirts.
He carried a malacca cane which he had a way of twirling whenever he stooped to pick up a dropped glove his gloves were pearl-grey with black stitching, and were always crumpled and dirty , or was engaged in putting on or taking off its fellow.
He was for ever leaving odd gloves about, and would implore their return by post in return for a new pair or for half a dozen new pairs, which he liked to present as a thank-offering to anyone who would be kind enough to find his strays for him. His top-hats very soon took on the appear- ance of hedgehogs or skye-terriers, as a result of being brushed the wrong way, or rubbed against the skirts or furs of his driving- companions.
School , the Great World , and the Army was riveted by its expression, in which a melancholy bred of his contemplation of the world seemed to swim in a medium of Mvely malice. The blank stare of complete indifference which he could suddenly assume at will, would show the golden flicker of a fervour which came from brooding on infinite perspectives. His ties were rather too light in colour, and he sported an orchid in his buttonhole.
There was, in his appearance, a mixture of the dandified and the limp which reminded one, for a brief moment, of Oscar Wilde. He was fully aware of his own beauty. It gave him intense delight to see in the eyes of those he passed a gleam of admiration for his adolescent grace. Sometimes he would exaggerate his natural grace by an assumed affectation.
But his mannerisms were never crude, just as the flatteries of which he was so lavish, and the exaggerated expressions of friendship which were typical of him, never lacked intelli- gence. I give below the rough draft of a passage from his unpublished Note- books, which he was to use later, much revised, and in a slightly different form, for his novel.
It describes how a taste for senti- mental inversion can take root in a pure heart : One who, for a long time, has failed to realize that his desire is not for women, leaning with a friend over some book of poetry or some collec- tion of bawdy pictures, will press closely to him, convinced that this craving for physical contact is bred of a shared desire for women.
Men of this kind, hilly conscious of what they feel in the presence of those various delineations of love which they find alike in literature, in art, in history, and in religion, fail to see that the bodily shapes in which they incarnate their emotions are quite different from those imagined by their friends.
They interpret their feelings in their own special way, and, because of this confusion of mind, derive nourishment for their vice from the romanticism of Sir Walter Scott, the subtleties of Baudelaire, the idea of Honour preached by medieval Chivalry, the melancholy of mysticism, the purity of form achieved by the sculptors of Greece and the painters of Italy, so that they await the coming of Rob Roy with all the excitement of Diana Vernon, and persuade themselves that they are like everybody else, because they find an echo of their melancholy, their scruples, and their disenchantment in Sully Prudhomme and in Musset.
Nevertheless, some instinct warns them to keep silent about their sufferings, so that they are like the kleptomaniac who is as yet unaware of his unfortunate tendency, and hides his weakness - the better to exploit it But he has himself pointed out that inverts, the better to protect themselves against those who are hostile to their manner of life, and from motives, too, of prudence, habitually wear a mask. They are sons without mothers, because to their mothers they must lie their whole life long, even at the last moment when they close their eyes in death I would go further and say that it never was.
To this problem the artist finds a solution, not in terms of his individual life, but in those of a more generalized and literary kind. Just as the great doctors of the Church often began their careers - though with no loss to their essential goodness - by making acquaintance with the sins 51 The Quest for Proust of their fellow men, and, from the knowledge thus acquired, achieved their own personal sanctity, so does it often happen that great artists, even when their natures are essentially evil, may learn from their very vices to recognize the existence of a general moral law.
What a profound change must have come over him, when he was about twenty, can be seen if we read the answers he then made to the same questionnaire as that presented to him at the age of thirteen. This second version reveals, as yet, not hardness or bitterness, but spiritual anguish, latent remorse, an insatiable craving for tender- ness, and a desire to be swept off his feet by the strength of his instincts.
Your most marked characteristic? A craving to be loved, or, to be more precise, to be caressed and spoiled rather than to be admired. The quality you most like in a man? Feminine charm. The quality you most like in a woman? What doyou most value iny our friends? Tenderness - provided they possess a physical charm which makes their tenderness worth having.
What isy our principal defect? Lack of understanding; weakness of will. What is your favourite occupation? What is your dream of happiness? Not, I fear, a very elevated one. What , to your mind, would be the greatest of misfortunes? Never to have known my mother or my grandmother. Myself - as those whom I admire would like me to be. In what country would you like to live? Proust has underlined the last half of this sentence.
What is your favourite colour? Beauty lies not in colours but in their harmony. What is your favourite flower? What is your favourite bird? The swallow. Who are your favourite prose writers? Baudelaire and Alfred de Vigny. Who is your favourite hero of fiction? Who ai'eyour favourite heroines of fiction?
Phedre crossed out by Proust Berenice. Who are your favourite composers? Beethoven, Wagner, Shuhmann sic. Who are your favourite painters? Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt. Who are your heroes in real life? Monsieur Darlu, Monsieur Boutroux. What are your favourite names? I have only one at a time. My own worst qualities.
What historical characters do you most despise? I am not sufficiently educated to say. What event in military history do you most admire? My own enlistment as a volunteer! What reform do you most admire? Marcel Proust has left this question unanswered. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Will-power and irresistible charm. How would you like to die? A better man than I am, and much beloved. What is your present state of mind? Annoyance at having had to think about myself in order to answer these questions. Those that I understand the word is underlined by Proust. What is your? I prefer not to say - for fear it might bring me ill-luck.
This copy is the property of Mr Edward Waterman. The precocious schoolboy was not exactly a brilliant soldier. Still he did not complain, and expressed himself as feeling some surprise at finding how well, on the whole, he stood the life. Marcel "Proust to his father 23 September 1 8 89 I am far from unwell stomach apart and not even a prey to that general mood of gloom of which my absence from home this year might, so easily, be regarded as - if not the cause, at least the occasion, and, therefore, the excuse.
But I do find great difficulty in concentrating my mind, in reading, in learning by heart and remembering what I have read. I have no time for a proper letter. This is just a note to say that I constantly think of you with affection. No more at present, dear Papa. Remember me to the poet, your neighbour, whose recollection of me would be peculiarly precious, and tell Madame Cazalis that I am at her feet. There are only eleven slices of the cake left for you to eat, and of these, one or two will be consumed on leave.
I have thought of a way in which you may make the time seem shorter. Put aside eleven slabs of chocolate you know how fond you are of chocolate , and make up your mind to eat one on the last day of every month. You will be surprised to find how quickly they vanish - and, with them, the months of your exile.
On one occasion he actually went all the way with me to Orleans! He was my sole subject of conversation in the barrack- room, and my batman, the corporal, etc. Nose and chin-tuft forced him to start again from the beginning.
In this he was sincere. Intelligence was so natural to him that he attached very little value to its activities. What he really envied and admired was the grace of those who live ins tin ctively. But he adored his parents and would not willingly go against their wishes. Dr Proust was anxious that he should go into diplomacy. Marcel Proust to his father : Dearest father, my hope is that, ultimately, I shall be able to return to my literary and philosophical studies, for which I believe myself to be fitted.
I am prepared to work seriously for the Foreign Office examination or for the ficole des Chartes - whichever you prefer But there are degrees of unpleasantness. Never, in my gloomiest moments, have I thought that anything could be more hideous than to practise as a barrister. In so far as life in the embassies may save me from that, I regard it, if not as my vocation, at least as a remedy. But, since filial respect condemned him to lose his time, and since the highway to the embassies lay through the ficole des Sciences Politiques, he proceeded to enter that establishment.
There he found Robert de Billy and Gabriel Trarieux. To say that is not to be guilty of a contradiction in terms. Delicate health would not allow him to play, but his conversational gifts soon formed a circle about him, under the trees, of young girls and their not yet middle-aged mothers.
When it was hot, he was sent off to a near-by Bar for beer and lemonade. These drinks he would carry back, with much groaning, in an awful old basket borrowed from the proprietor. Sometimes a ball would drop bang in the middle of the cakes, making girls and glasses jump. Many years later, referring to a book on which he was then working, he wrote to Jeanne Pouquet who had since become the wife of Gaston de Caillavet recalling those days to her mind.
But why remind you of things which, with an absurd and rather spiteful obstinacy, you now pretend that you never noticed? Never- theless he did, on one occasion, after a rehearsal of a Revue in which Jeanne Pouquet played the part of Cleopatra and Marcel, with con- spicuous lack of success, officiated as prompter, send her the fol- lowing verses - which he himself dismissed as beneath contempt: On a young lady who tonight assumed the role of Queen Cleopatra, to the undoing and future damnation of a certain young man who happened to be present: and on the metaphysical essence, doubly distilled, of the said Lady.
Paris Hachette , Ses cheveux sentaient bon comme les fleurs des champs. Sa parole etait lente et douce comme un chant; Ses yeux brillaient dans un fond de nacres humides ; Elle arretait son corps en des poses languides. Vous avez detrone la reine de Cydnus. Vous etes une fleur et vous etes une ame. So does a lowering sky In a great weariness send down the rain, Sad messenger of doubt and melancholy - Yet feels no pain.
Fathomless as your eyes, your spirit broods apart: Yet beauty like to hers since has there never been. Her hair was fragrant as the flowered land. Fain had I seen upon her lovely brow The glittering pageant of her scented flow Of tresses. Gentle her voice that ever fanned The air to singing: limpid her changing eyes. The Queen of Cydnus have you indeed cast down: You are a flower, yet, no less, a soul. Her lotus-twined brow knew not the frown Of thought.
As far from woman was she as we from the pole. Professor Proust and his wife were too indulgent to bring continuous pressure to bear on him. I feel more and more drawn to the Public Audit Office. This is how I argue the matter. Probably I should find the latter rather more difficult to get into, but that is compensated by the fact that the probationary period would not absorb my mind to the exclusion of all other interests.
I should have plenty of time for other things. Never have I felt so much in need of your advice, and I do so wish you were here. What is there left for me if I am not to become a barrister, a doctor, a priest, or It was at this period that he came under the influence of Henri Bergson who, as a result of his marriage with Mademoiselle Neuburger in , had become his cousin, and who, like Darlu, believed that poetry and philo- sophy must go hand in hand.
It is as though we were standing together on a high hill I think I have told you how much I admire him, and how good he has always been to me. I hope to show later that it is perfectly possible to take a different view. Paris Amiot-Dumont , , p. All about him, the worlds of literature and politics were producing new schools and new parties. The strife between Naturalism and Symbolism was setting the young men of the rising generation at odds.
Marcel Proust was not greatly interested in general theories. As at Illiers he had garnered a harvest of natural images, so in Paris he tried to analyse the achievements of art and to make himself familiar with them. From some of his friends he learned about painting, and would spend long hours at the Louvre: from others about music.
All agreed in condemning as excessive his interest in the Faubourg Saint-German. It was, says Gregh, due in part to the fact that he regarded the Faubourg as a kingdom which he would never succeed in entering. Why is it that he later took such delight in the dazzling social success of a man like Swann?
The reason should be obvious : it bore so close a resemblance to his own. In himself, as in Swann, the prestige gained by taste and intelligence managed to overcome a host of hostile prejudices. He did, to be sure, once write to Paul Souday, pointing out what an effort it had needed to put himself in the posi- tion of a Narrator who knew no Duchesses, and longed to know them, because he himself had always lived in the great world.
That was one of the rare occasions on which he was guilty, con- sciously or not, of inexactitude. His conquest of Society did, it is true, begin early, but it was a conquest, and he had had to fight for it. Three years younger than Marcel, bom in Venezuela but deeply imbued with French culture, Reynaldo had a precocious talent, exquisite taste, and an oddly universal intelligence.
Whether playing and singing at the piano, or talking of books and people, he could improvise in a manner that was delicate, mercurial, and quite inimitable. Marcel Proust and Reynaldo were born to be friends. They had the same deeply critical love of culture, the same horror of over-emphasis, and in their assumed frivolity there was some- thing of the same painful solemnity. They were devoted to one another.
They both loved nature; they both indulged in moods of melancholy pessimism. Upon a perfect community of tastes they built a friendship which kept them, for many years, inseparable. Paris La Table Ronde , , pp,i. Occasionally he would remove one glove and point heavenwards an exquisite, ex- clamatory hand of which the sole adornment was a single but exotic ring.
And, as the hand went up, so would the intonation of his voice rise to a pitch of stridency like the sudden blare of brass in an orchestral ensemble, or drop with a plaintive hint of tears, while his eyebrows drew together into the semblance of a circumflex accent. Voulez-vous bien me dire ou git le faible, en somme Et la faiblesse, alors, de cet effemine?
He played the pontiff in the salons of Paris, where he started a fashion for Whistler and Gustave Moreau. He could, he boasted, open all doors to those whom he chose to take under his wing. His harshness was the fruit of this unhappiness, his arrogance the expression of a desire to give evidence of a virility which many thought he did not possess. Revue de Paris, July 1 How then can he be weak? My knowledge of you, my sense of your bigness, continually grows.
I feel like a man climbing a mountain and awed by the ever expanding view before his gaze. Yesterday, I turned one more corner, and the vista then opened to me was the finest I have yet encountered. But have I, even now, reached the summit? Montesquiou invited him to a party where he saw her as the future Princesse de Guermantes. Paris Plon , , pp. It is difficult to judge of her, because judgement involves comparison, and there is about her some thing that one could find in no one else, or, indeed, any- where at all But the secret of her beauty lies in its brilliance, and especially in the enigmatic quality of her eyes.
I have never seen so lovely a woman. Had he been confined within the limits of the literary world, he would have produced a very poor crop. To a woman friend he said one day: 'Madame de Chevigne is for ever at me to meet Porto-Riche. But I am Porto- Riche. His power of judgement was always marked by a fine lucidity.
In so far as he takes any note of it at all in com- posing his pictures, it can only be as of one among many principles of differentiation, on the same level as, say, nationality, race, and environment. There is something of interest to be found at every social level, and it is a matter of equal concern to the artist whether he portray the manners of a queen or the habits of a seamstress. Paris La Table Ronde , But that could never have been said of Proust.
He was always genuinely interested in his monsters. It is not snobbery in its pure essence. Proust loved to study, in Paris no less than at Illiers, the historical formation of various social environ- ments, and the way in which they grow old and worm-eaten, until at last they break down altogether. He demanded adulation, and Marcel, the better to observe him, paid the price he asked. Sooner or later they will have to be settled, and the threat of them hangs over our heads all our life long But he did not regard flattery as a very heinous crime.
Their elegance, like yours, is less a matter of clothes than of bodies, and even their bodies seem to have derived it - to be forever deriving it afresh, from the spirit that inhabits them. It is a moral elegance. Everything on those occasions combined to heighten that melancholy resemblance, even to the background of leafy shadow against which Van Dyck so often immobilized a King taking his daily saunter. Like so many of his models, you, too, were fated to die young, and in your eyes, as in theirs, one could see in alternation the darkness of presentiment and the sweet light of a re- signed awareness.
But if your proud race belonged of right to the brush of a Van Dyck, it was of Da Vinci that one was reminded by the intensity of your spiritual life. There is great beauty in that dedication. It tells of the delicate sentiment that animated friendships at which the evil-minded shot their poisoned arrows, and also of the desperate melancholy deep in the heart of the charming youth who set out in evening dress with a flower in his buttonhole, to discover the great world.
There are passages in the Notebooks that bring vividly to mind those days of affection, anguish, and purity :. Sometimes they have a friend of their own age, or younger, for whom they feel an ardent love, and then they dread, worse even than 69 The Quest for Proust death, the thought that he should ever know the sin, the vice that fills them with a sense of shame and remorse.
Fortunately, they think him incapable of such knowledge, and then is added to their love something of veneration and respect, such as an old lecher may feel for a pure young girl, so that they are ready, for his sake, to make great sacrifices If, at some moment of mourning, they pluck up courage to touch his forehead with their lips, the joy that comes to them is of a kind to warm them all their lives. Only a very hard, or a very foolish, man would laugh at that passage.
Proust, when it was written, had engaged in a struggle with himself. He introduced one of his earliest short stories with this quotation from the Imitation of Christ'. We set forth in joy and often return in sadness, and the pleasures of the night often make our morning gloomy. Thus do the joys of the flesh at first bring delusive happiness, but, in the end, wound and slay. He would gladly, in all sincerity, have kept his affections on the Platonic level. In vain does it strive to resemble the constancy and quiet of friendship.
Marcel Proust burned incense at their shrines - and took their measure. They, for their part, struck by his penetrating intelligence, deplored the fact that he did scarcely any work. When I was your age, I was not, like you, good-looking. Nobody, in fact, much cared for me. Consequently, I was never asked out, but stayed at home reading, reading endlessly.
Jacques Bizet was a dresser at one of the hospitals. Fernand Gregh had published his first volume of verse, and was reading for his Master of Arts degree in Literature. Marcel was still uncertain of his future, and 7i The Quest for Proust his friends never ceased to wonder at his life of studious idleness.
What could he not have done if only he had turned his mind to something? He attracts women, and a certain kind of man, by his beauty He has, too, what is sufficient to gain him the friendship of the average man, - charm, an all-enveloping charm, which, despite its seeming passivity, is really very active. He produces the impression that he is giving - though all the while he is taking. Everyone who has known him has been, in turn, his friend. But because he loves, not so much his friends as his own image in them, he quickly tires, and can terminate a friendship with an ease which is equalled only by the pains he formerly took to begin it.
In this matter, the dexterity of his performance is beyond all praise. Better still, he knows when not to flatter those who dislike flattery, and that, in itself, is one way of giving pleasure. He is quite capable of waiting for an hour in the rain or the snow to meet a friend whom, a fortnight later, he will quietly drop overboard, and whose name, in two years time, he will have to hear repeated several times before he can fit a face to it.
But all this gives a very poor idea of his ability to charm It is not just that he has good looks, grace, wit and intelligence. All these things he has at once, and such a concurrence of qualities makes him even more engaging than does the ingenuity of his flattery. New magazines were flourishing, numerous as hawthorn buds in May. Each of the founder-members was to contribute ten francs a month, and this would produce a sum sufficient to launch a monthly journal limited to four hun- dred copies.
The choice of a title gave rise to much passionate controversy, Robert Dreyfus suggested Le Chaos: other proposals were: Les Divergences, Opinions et varietes, UAnarchie lift er air e, V aria. It was necessary to bring some pressure to bear on Messrs Fernand Gregh and Robert Dreyfus before this choice could be ratified. Some minutes later Monsieur Gregh rallied enthusiastically to our title, and, after two hours had elapsed.
Its verdict, though always open to discussion, will determine the acceptance or rejection of contributions In practice, the Reading Committee failed to function, and the proposed oligarchy became a dictatorship - that of Fernand Gregh, the editor and instigator of Re Banquet The life of the magazine carried it through only eight numbers, but almost all the members of the editorial committee were destined to achieve fame or, at least, notoriety.
Jane Kelly, The Anchorage Daily News in July "The wonderful things in life are the things you do, not the things you have" -- Reinhold Messner, alpinest "It's always further than it looks. It's always taller than it looks. It's always harder than it looks. Now I have only good days or great days. They are far superior and always have been.
Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. I you give her sperm she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiples and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit! I have children. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.
Several new science papers suggest that getting away is an essential habit of effective thinking. When we escape from the place we spend most of our time, the mind is suddenly made aware of all those errant ideas we'd previously suppressed. We start thinking about obscure possibilitiebsthat never would have occurred to us if we'd stayed home.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" " Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands: but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed. To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd.
To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action. The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day. Familiar in his mouth as household words Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man That ever lived in the tide of times. Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood! Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,-- Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips, To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue-- A curse shall light upon the limbs of men; Domestic fury and fierce civil strife Shall cumber all the parts of Italy; Blood and destruction shall be so in use And dreadful objects so familiar That mothers shall but smile when they behold Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war; All pity choked with custom of fell deeds: And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, With Ate by his side come hot from hell, Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war; That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard. It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. Good morrow, Kate; for that's your name, I hear. Katharina: Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing: They call me Katharina that do talk of me.
Petruchio: You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst; But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate, For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate, Take this of me, Kate of my consolation; Hearing thy mildness praised in every town, Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded, Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs, Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.
Katharina: Moved! Come on, and kiss me, Kate. It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now?
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief, That thou her maid art far more fair than she: Be not her maid, since she is envious; Her vestal livery is but sick and green And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love! O, that she knew she were! She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it. I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks: Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, Having some business, do entreat her eyes To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven Would through the airy region stream so bright That birds would sing and think it were not night. See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O, that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek! That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Voice: The Village. Number 6: What do you want? Voice: Information. Number 6: Whose side are you on? Voice: Now that would be telling. We want information. Number 6: You won't get it. Voice: By hook or crook we will. Number 6: Who are you? Voice: The new number 2. Number 6: Who is number 1? Voice: You are number 6. Number 6: I am not a number. I am a free man! Open, locks, Whoever knocks! Second Witch: Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Third Witch: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches' mummy, maw and gulf Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark, Liver of blaspheming Jew, Gall of goat, and slips of yew Silver'd in the moon's eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-deliver'd by a drab, Make the gruel thick and slab: Add thereto a tiger's chaudron, For the ingredients of our cauldron.
Second Witch: Cool it with a baboon's blood, Then the charm is firm and good. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar. Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade.
Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in, Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are of a most select and generous chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell Themselves when they be felt. He does not seem to know where the center of the earth is.
The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. The intelletual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of a conceptual order for the persceptual order in which his experience originally comes.
If it's in my mouth, it's mine. If I can take it from you, it's mine. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. If I'm chewing something, all the pieces are mine. If it looks just like mine, it is mine. If I saw it first, it's mine. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
Sometimes she wished she were sleeping with the right man instead of with her dog, but she never felt she was sleeping with the wrong dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" -- anon In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.
Murtogg: No. Mullroy: No. Murtogg: But I have seen a ship with black sails. Is that what you're telling me? Mullroy: Like I said, there's no real ship as can match the Interceptor. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the Pirate's Code to apply, and you're not.
And thirdly, the Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner. But there's no ship as can match the Interceptor for speed. Rooney And now to all the good dogs-- the special ones you loved best, those of ours we still miss -- good-bye, until, on some brighter day, in some fairer place, they run out again to greet us. What we call each other ultimately becomes what we think of each other, and it matters.
It was snowing And it was going to snow. The blackbird sat In the cedar limbs. The dog has long been bemused by the singular activites and the curious practices of men, cocking his head inquiringly to one side, intently watching and listening to the strangest goings-on in the world.
He has seen men sing together and fight one another in the same evening. He has watched them go to bed when it is time to get up, and get up when it is time to go to bed. He has observed them destroying the soil in vast areas, and nurturing it in small patches. He has stood by while men built strong and solid houses for rest and quiet and then filled them with lights and bells and machinery. His sensitive nose, which can detect what's cooking in the next township, has caught at one and the same time the bewildering smells of the hospital and the munitions factory.
He has seen men raise up great cities to heaven and then blow them to hell. Show him you remember that he is Mr. Well, you know where he is. Confront the problem! It distracts from the now. Stowe "Man will occasionally stumble across the truth, but will usually pick himself up and carry on. Then YOU feel successful about it; that's how success is measured. Save lives and you are a nurse. Ride to live. Robert Langdon: Father, I simply believe that religion I asked if you believe in God.
Robert Langdon: I'm an academic. My mind tells me I will never understand God. Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: And your heart? Robert Langdon: Tells me I'm not meant to. Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive. Barbara Brown Taylor "A powerful programming language is more than just a means for instructing a computer to perform tasks.
The language also serves as a framework within which we organize our ideas about processes. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
Dalberg Acton "Human beings The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. Dijkstra "The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. Dijkstra "Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. Dijkstra "Computers are dull and boring; humans are clever and imaginative.
We humans make computers exciting. Equipped with computing devices, we use our cleverness to tackle problems we would not dare take on before the age of computing and build systems with functionality limited only by our imaginations.
Horning "The traditional mathematician recognizes and appreciates mathematical elegance when he sees it. I propose to go one step further, and to consider elegance an essential ingredient of mathematics: if it's clumsy, it's not mathematics". Dijkstra "For me, the first challenge for Computer Science is to discover how to maintain order in a finite, but very large, discrete universe that is intricately intertwined.
And a second, but not less important challenge is how to mould what you have achieved in solving the first problem, into a teachable discipline: it does not suffice to hone your own intellect that will join you in your grave , you must teach others how to hone theirs. The more you concentrate on those two challenges, the more you will see that they are only two sides of the same coin: teaching yourself is discovering what is teachable".
Dijkstra "We must organize the computation in such a way that our limited powers are sufficient to guarantee that the computation will establish the desired effect. Dijkstra "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not. A Sense of Humor was provided to console him for what he is.
It is the measles of mankind. Malcolm Reynolds: But it ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I'm about to say. River Tam: I do. But I like to hear you say it. Malcolm Reynolds: Love. You can learn all the math in the 'Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurtin' 'fore she keens.
Makes her a home. River Tam: Storm's getting worse. Malcolm Reynolds: We'll pass through it soon enough. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere. Because the second I say 'I'm a formerly dead orphan quadriplegic who's the Halo-Bearer for a secret sect of demon-hunting nuns. The noise is what distracts us from the the truth. To many it appears barren, hostile, repellent - a fearsome mostly waterless land of rock and heat, sand dunes and quicksand, cactus, thornbrush, scorpion, rattlesnake, and agaraphobic distances.
To those who see our land in that manner, the best reply is, yes, you are right, it is a dangerous and terrible place. Enter at your own risk. Carry water. Avoid the noonday sun. Try to ignore the vultures. Pray frequently. The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth, in my honest judgment; I doubt if all the smoking censers of Dante's paradise could equal it. One breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the American West.
Long may it burn. What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses Lost in time and lost in space See androids fighting. Brad and Janet.
Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet. We sat on a high esplanade and looked far over the countless chimneys of northern Manchester to the horizon. On the skyline, green and aloof, the Pennines rose like the ramparts of paradise. And books are like food for the imagination.
It's one of the reasons for their wickedness. King Hubbert "There is no better test of a man's integrity than his behavior when he is wrong. Boorstin "We live on an island of knowledge surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance. Wheeler, Scientific American, "If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people?
Alder "My paranoia wasn't always right, but just to be on the safe side, I never went to sleep with a clown in the room. Burroughs "Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant - it tends to get worse. No wonder we trusted him, he never lied to us. His stubbornness, even defiance, in the face of facts 'stupid things,' he once called them in a memorable slip was nothing short of splendid. This is the man who proved that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency.
Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle Also less likely to live. Eliot "Ultimately, however, conflict lies not in objective reality, but in people's heads.
Truth is simple one argument - perhaps a good one, perhaps not - for dealing with the difference. The difference itself exists because it exists in their thinking. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. But I heard Rosa Parks. I met Rosa Parks in when I was In , I met Dr.
King, and these two individuals inspired me to get into trouble, and I've been getting in good trouble, necessary trouble, ever since. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children.
Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. I just watch what they do. Until they make that first turn. That's what it is to be a slave. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die. Deckard: I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments, he loved life more than he ever had before.
Not just his life, anybody's life, my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die. Chase "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom. Frankl Law of the Splintered Paddle Oh people, Honor thy god; respect alike [the rights of] people both great and humble; May everyone, from the old men and women to the children Be free to go forth and lie in the road i.
Break this law, and die. I existed before God. When I have the map I will be free and the world will be different. I have understanding. Robert: Understanding of what master? Evil: Digital watches. And soon I will have understanding of video cassette recorders. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers.
And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being. God isn't interested in technology. He knows nothing of the potential of the micro chip or the silicon revolution. Look how he spends his time. Forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men! Robert: Slugs. Evil: Slugs! He created slugs. They can't hear. They can't speak. They can't operate heavy machinery. If I were creating a world, I wouldn't mess around with butterflies and daffodils. I would've started with lasers 8 o'clock day one!
This time we'll start it properly. Tell me about computers. A man with two watches is never sure. But if he sees a man in the other boat he will scream and shout and curse at the man to steer clear. If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world, no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you. Thus is the perfect man -- his boat is empty. I was happy to be on the Drus, but here as elsewhere, my happiness was to lead a companion.
What would a guide be without someone to lead? Good weather, bad weather, easy, difficult, I needed to sing the same tune as he. That was the best gift of our mountains. Climbing to the summit, one man does his job, another is on vacation and the luxury of their efforts is friendship. Climbing, you do the best you can with what you've got, from where you are, right now. You are focused in this moment on solving this next step, this next move. You're not saying, 'Arg, this shouldn't have happened.
Why is this crack ending here? You can make the best possible decisions when you keep your creativity open and you're embracing reality. That's what Jeff calls it, 'embracing reality' instead of resisting reality. In fact, you will lose your desire for certain things. If you don't do them when you want to, you may never have that experience at all, because what you desire changes over time. Tomorrow may never come.
The challenge is unambiguous. The universe narrows to a meter or two. It's not about the mountain, which is inert. It's you. It's what you discover about yourself in all those hours of concentration. Tell them they are being attacked, and decnounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and endangering country. If works the same in every country.
Common sense tells us that massive satellites cannot hang suspended 36, kilometers above the one point on the earth's surface, but they do Wilson "Splendor awaits in minute proportions. Wilson "Destroying a rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal" -- E. Wilson "Don't feel lonely.
The entire universe is inside you. It will not lead you astray. Wilson "The love of complexity without reductionism makes art; the love of complexity with reductionism makes science" -- E. Wilson "People would rather believe than know. Wilson "Jungles and grasslands are the logical destinations, and towns and farmland the labyrinths that people have imposed between them sometime in the past.
I cherish the green enclaves accidentally left behind. Wilson "The great challenge of the twenty-first century is to raise people everywhere to a decent standard of living while preserving as much of the rest of life as possible. Wilson "You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. The world needs all you can give.
Wilson "Adults forget the depths of languor into which the adolescent mind decends with ease. They are prone to undervalue the mental growth that occurs during daydreaming and aimlses wandering. Wilson "In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught. Difficulty was only an ingredient. I never thought to wonder about grades, just as I never thought to wonder what Tarzan might bench press.
I found the closer I moved to sport, the closer I felt to science -- and the closer I moved to adventure, the closer I felt to greatness. But not knowing was our greatest pleasure. They have not seen the west side of any mountain. Thompson 'Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming What a ride!
Thompson "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us. Charles Bukowski "Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down. Newman "If you can survive death, you can probably survive anything. Well, you probably are. What's wrong with that? In the first place, if you've any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs and we do for our defeats.
Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure. Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free" -- Tom Robbins " We live every day. I've changed a lot. You will board my boat, sail across the sea and restore the heart of Te Fiti. Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? The only path to serenity. There is always a monkey. Chao-chou said, "Shake the tree and birds take to the air, startle the fish and water becomes muddy. We have to see that everything we demand and even get eventually disappoints us.
This discovery is our teacher. On the beach. Where does a wise man hide a leaf? In the forest. Chesterton I saw people coming towards me But all were the same man, All were myself. The worldly pleasure which you enjoy now becomes suffering in the future. Why then are you attached to this pleasure? One moment of practice becomes lasting pleasure. Why then do you not practice? Get up. Go to work.
Catch the bus, eat chips, and go to bed. Mickey: It's what the rest of us do. Rose: But I can't. Mickey: Because you re better than us? Rose: No, I didn't mean that. But it was, it was a better life. I don t mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things.
That don't matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You don't just give up. You don t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say "no. Who episode: Parting of the Ways "See into life. Don't just look at it.
Photograph also has two sides to it and thank goodness, I am only intersted in those who discover; I feel a certain solidarity with those who set out in a spirit of discovery; I think there is much more risk invovled in this than in trying to create images; and in the end, reality is more important. You can't steal second with your foot on first. The impossible takes a little longer. Adams, Commander of United Planets Cruiser C57D From the movie "Forbidden Planet" Shadowless dusk growing colder - steaming teakettle -- Mike Garofalo, Cuttings My object all sublime I shall achieve in time-- To let the punishment fit the crime-- The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent Unwillingly represent A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment - The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan Two birds disputed about a kernel, when a third swooped down and carried it off. It links us with all the misty figures of the past who also planted and were nourished by the fruits of their planting. Yet when my master's voice I heard Call, from the window, "Jane! They're unfussy about where they live, adapt quickly to environmental stress, use multiple strategies for getting their own way, It's curious that it took us so long to realize that the species they most resemble is us.
Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth? The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on. My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly nintey-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has-or rather had-a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy. Arthur Dent I don't know, I didn't listen! He was desperately worried that one day sentient life forms would forget how to do this.
Only by counting could humans demonstrate their independence of computers. At the first hint of trouble, they turn totally black and thus prevent you from seeing anything that might alarm you. We've got to find out what people want from fire, how they relate to it, what sort of image it has for them.
It sounds a terribly interesting project. What do you mean, difficulty? It's the single simplest machine in the entire Universe! Wiseguy," she said, "you're so clever, you tell us what color it should be. Really big. You just won t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it s a long way down the road to the chemist s, but that s just peanuts to space. Perhaps the most remarkable, certainly the most successful book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor - of which no Earthman had ever heard of.
It's already supplanted the Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for two important reasons. No, don't bother to answer that, I'm fifty thousand times more intelligent than you and even I don't know the answer. It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. McGuire: Plastics.
Here's another of those self-satisfied doors. Don't talk to me about life. In lighter news, the city of New New York is doomed. The meddling idiot! As though his ape's brain could contain the secrets of the Krell. Wells, and have fallen asleep. The mathematician finds his own monastic niche and happiness in pursuits that are disconnected from external affairs.
Some practice it as if using a drug. Chess sometimes plays a similar role. In their unhappiness over the events of this world, some immerse themselves in a kind of self-sufficiency in mathematics. Some have engaged in it for this reason alone. If you meet a man who is not a poet, don't read him your poem. Be happy that the elephant can dance at all. Kennedy "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. After the flash, we're blind again.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. Elliott in "Four Quartets" "I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it the right way, did not become more complicated. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. This is the secret of success. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game of living. It is a field which has often been compared with chess, but differs from the latter in that it is only one's best moments that count and not one's worst. A single inattention may lose a chess game, whereas a single successful approach to a problem, among many which have been relegated to the wastebasket, will make a mathematician's reputation.
Think only and entirely and completely of what you're doing at the moment and you are free as a bird. Blyth "I don't believe I can really do without teaching. How careful you have to be about checking your experiments. How easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something. That used to be a huge number.
But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers. His most valuable contribution to physics is as a sustainer of morale; when he bursts into the room with his latest brain wave and proceeds to expound it with lavish sound effects and waving about of the arms, life at least is not dull. It's my personal approach that creates the climate.
It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.
If the first few stories are slightly out of line. But when the building is 18 or 20 stories high, everyone will see that it tilts. Ward "If we expect students to be winners and expect them to do well, they will rise to the occasion. The personal satisfaction you get when you do it effectively is just phenomenal. Pratt "The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there. Blyth We dance around in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. It's about being the person of your horse's dreams. Lewis " Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? As though the lives trapped in their binding Are not ones that make you feel. For sometimes our greatest lessons Come from those with ink for skin, Who reach beyond the page To take our hand and pull us in. Not the horses. For by the love that guides my pen I know great horses live again.
It was terrible in its beauty, the flight of the horse. The rest I've just wasted. Russell "Wherever man has left his footprints in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization, we find the hoofprint of a horse beside it. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity.
A willing servant, yet never a slave. Mullen "When a horse greets you with a nicker and regards you with a large and liquid eye, the question of where you want to be has been answered. Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of the other's very well-being. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh it was. My very heart leapt with the sound.
Surtees "And indeed, a horse who bears himself proudly is a thing of such beauty and astonishment that he attracts the eyes of all beholders. No one will tire of looking at him as long as he will display himself in his splendor. We two have shared great joy and great sorrow. And now I stand at the gate of the paddock watching you run in an ecstasy of freedom, knowing you will return to stand quietly, loyally, beside me. He knows when you're comfortable. He knows when you're confident.
And he always knows when you have carrots. One must get on a horse to see what God has made. A cat looks down on a man. But a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. And they ask deep questions! They ask: 'What is a dream, why do we have toes, why is the moon round, what is the birthday of the world, why is the grass green?
They just bubble right out of them. You go talk to 12th graders and there's none of that. They've become incurious. Something terrible has happened between kindergarten and 12th grade. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites now down to 10 seconds or less , lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance" - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark "Smooth seas do not make for good sailors.
What was more, they had taken the first step toward genuine friendship. They had exchanged vulnerabilities. It consists of replacing a theory that is wrong with one that is more subtly wrong. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them.
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