I believe that a work of art, like metaphors in language, can ask the most serious, difficult questions in a way which really makes the readers answer for themselves; that the work of art far more than an essay or a tract involves the reader, challenges him directly and brings him into the argument.
Nothing is more symptomatic of the enervation, of the decompression of the Western imagination, than our incapacity to respond to the landings on the Moon. Not a single great poem, picture, metaphor has come of this breathtaking act, of Prometheus' rescue of Icarus or of Phaeton in flight towards the stars.
The most important tribute any human being can pay to a poem or a piece of prose he or she really loves is to learn it by heart. Not by brain, by heart; the expression is vital.
Books - the best antidote against the marsh-gas of boredom and vacuity
The intellectual is, quite simply, a human being who has a pencil in his or her hand when reading a book.
Every language is a world. Without translation, we would inhabit parishes bordering on silence.
the calling of the teacher. There is no craft more privileged. To awaken in another human being powers, dreams beyond one’s own; to induce in others a love for that which one loves; to make of one’s inward present their future; that is a threefold adventure like no other.
When a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world.
We know that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning.
To many men... the miasma of peace seems more suffocating than the bracing air of war.
Last Update: 28 September 2022
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