Wystan Auden

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Wystan Auden

Wystan Auden

Literary confessors are contemptible, like beggars who exhibit their sores for money, but not so contemptible as the public that buys their books.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Healing, Papa would tell me, is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
In a land which is fully settled, most men must accept their local environment or try to change it by political means; only the exceptionally gifted or adventurous can leave to seek his fortune elsewhere. In America, on the other hand, to move on and make a fresh start somewhere else is still the normal reaction to dissatisfaction and failure.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
All works of art are commissioned in the sense that no artist can create one by a simple act of will but must wait until what he believes to be a good idea for a work comes to him.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
God is Love, we are taught as children to believe. But when we first begin to get some inkling of how He loves us, we are repelled; it seems so cold, indeed, not love at all as we understand the word.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
My face looks like a wedding-cake left out in the rain.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
America has always been a country of amateurs where the professional, that is to say, the man who claims authority as a member of an lite which knows the law in some field or other, is an object of distrust and resentment.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
If the most significant characteristic of man is the complex of biological needs he shares with all members of his species, then the best lives for the writer to observe are those in which the role of natural necessity is clearest, namely, the lives of the very poor.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
We are not commanded (or forbidden) to love our mates, our children, our friends, our country because such affections come naturally to us and are good in themselves, although we may corrupt them. We are commanded to love our neighbor because our natural attitude toward the other is one of either indifference or hostility.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
How happy the lot of the mathematician! He is judged solely by his peers, and the standard is so high that no colleague or rival can ever win a reputation he does not deserve. No cashier writes a letter to the press complaining about the incomprehensibility of Modern Mathematics and comparing it unfavorably with the good old days when mathematicians were content to paper irregularly shaped rooms and fill bathtubs without closing the waste pipe.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
The center that I cannot find is known to my unconscious mind.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
If music in general is an imitation of history, opera in particular is an imitation of human willfulness; it is rooted in the fact that we not only have feelings but insist upon having them at whatever cost to ourselves. The quality common to all the great operatic roles, e.g., Don Giovanni, Norma, Lucia, Tristan, Isolde, Brnnhilde, is that each of them is a passionate and willful state of being. In real life they would all be bores, even Don Giovanni.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a suspension of belief. A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Rhymes, meters, stanza forms, etc., are like servants. If the master is fair enough to win their affection and firm enough to command their respect, the result is an orderly happy household. If he is too tyrannical, they give notice; if he lacks authority, they become slovenly, impertinent, drunk and dishonest.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
The masculine imagination lives in a state of perpetual revolt against the limitations of human life. In theological terms, one might say that all men, left to themselves, become gnostics. They may swagger like peacocks, but in their heart of hearts they all think sex an indignity and wish they could beget themselves on themselves. Hence the aggressive hostility toward women so manifest in most club-car stories.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: they must not do too much of it: and they must have a sense of success in it --not a doubtful sense, such as needs some testimony of others for its confirmation, but a sure sense, or rather knowledge, that so much work has been done well, and fruitfully done, whatever the world may say or think about it.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]
When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.More Wystan Auden [01/01/2000 12:01:00]

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