Of course, clothing fashions have always been impractical, except in Tahiti.— Jacques Barzun
The most informative Jacques Barzun quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
The danger that may really threaten (crime fiction) is that soon there will be more writers than readers
Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work.
It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
The test and the use of person's education is that they find pleasure in the exercise of their mind.
The truth is, when all is said and done, one does not teach a subject, one teaches a student how to learn it.
If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game - and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.
Universities incline wits to sophistry and affectation.
Music is intended and designed for sentient beings that have hopes and purposes and emotions.
Everybody keeps calling for Excellence - excellence not just in schooling, throughout society. But as soon as somebody or something stands out as Excellent, the other shout goes up: "Elitism!" And whatever produced that thing, whoever praises that result, is promptly put down. "Standing out" is undemocratic.
Finding oneself was a misnomer; a self is not found but made.
Time and rest are needed for absorption.
Psychologists confirm that it is really in the summer that our muscles learn to skate and in the winter, how to swim.
The world has long observed that small acts of immorality, if repeated, will destroy character. It is equally manifest, though never said, that uttering nonsense and half-truth without cease ends by destroying Intellect
Criticism will need an injection of humility that is, a recognition of its role as ancillary to the arts, needed only occasionally in a temporary capacity. Since the critic exists only for introducing and explaining, he must be readily intelligible; he has no special vocabulary: criticism is in no way a science or a system.
History, like a vast river, propels logs, vegetation, rafts, and debris;
it is full of live and dead things, some destined for resurrection; it mingles many waters and holds in solution invisible substances stolen from distant soils.
Idealism springs from deep feelings, but feelings are nothing without the formulated idea that keeps them whole.
Bad writing, it is easily verified, has never kept scholarship from being published.
The ever-present impulse is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in. Thus in practice, every liberation increases the sense of oppression. Nor is the paradox merely in the mind: the laws enacted to secure the rights of every person and group, by creating protective boundaries, create new barriers.
Except among those whose education has been in the minimalist style, it is understood that hasty moral judgments about the past are a form of injustice.
Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine.
It seems a long time since the morning mail could be called correspondence.
Since it is seldom clear whether intellectual activity denotes a superior mode of being or a vital deficiency, opinion swings between considering intellect a privilege and seeing it as a handicap
Art distills sensations and embodies it with enhanced meaning.
Simple English is no one’s mother tongue. It has to be worked for.
The intellectuals' chief cause of anguish are one another's works.
Only a great mind that is overthrown yields tragedy.
By the time I was 9, I had the conviction that everybody in the world was an artist except plumbers or people who delivered groceries.
In producers, loafing is productive; and no creator, of whatever magnitude, has ever been able to skip that stage, any more than a mother can skip gestation.
In any assembly the simplest way to stop transacting business and split the ranks is to appeal to a principle.
The philosophical implication of race-thinking is that by offering us the mystery of heredity as an explanation, it diverts our attention from the social and intellectual factors that make up personality.
My notion about any artist is that we honor him best by reading him, by playing his music, by seeing his plays or by looking at his pictures. We don't need to fall all over ourselves with adjectives and epithets. Let's play him more.
Tennis belongs to the individualistic past - a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world.
Democracy, to maintain itself, must repeatedly conquer every cell and corner of the nation. How many of our public institutions and private businesses, our schools, hospitals, and domestic hearths are in reality little fascist states where freedom of speech is more rigorously excluded than vermin?
When plugged in, the least elaborate computer can be relied on to work to the fullest extent of its capacity. The greatest mind cannot be relied on for the simplest thing; its variability is its superiority.
Vanity is a static thing. It puts it faith in what it has, and is easily wounded. Pride is active, and satisfied only with what it can do, hence accustomed not to feel small stings.
Americans began by loving youth, and now, out of adult self-pity, they worship it.
To delve into history entails, besides the grievance of hard work, the danger that in the depths one may lose one’s scapegoats.
We may complain and cavil at the anarchy which is the amateurs natural element, but in soberness we must agree that if the amateur did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.
To watch a football game is to be in a prolonged neurotic doubt as to what you're seeing. It's more like an emergency happening at a distance than a game. I don't wonder the spectators take to drink.
The piano is the social instrument par excellence.
.. drawing-room furniture, a sign of bourgeois prosperity, the most massive of the devices by which the young are tortured in the name of education and the grown-up in the name of entertainment.
Boredom and fatigue are great historical forces.
Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.
The sole justification of teaching, of the school itself, is that the student comes out of it able to do something he could not do before. I say do and not know, because knowledge that doesn't lead to doing something new or doing something better is not knowledge at all.
Like Rousseau, whom he resembles even more than he resembles Voltaire, Shaw never gave a social form to his assertiveness, never desired to arrive and to assimilate himself, or wield authority as of right.
When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent.
Science is an all-pervasive energy, for it is at once a mode of thought, a source of strong emotion, and a faith as fanatical as any in history.
In a large university, there are as many deans and executive heads as there are schools and departments. Their relations to one another are intricate and periodic; in fact, "galaxy" is too loose a term: it is a planetarium of deans with the President of the University as a central sun. One can see eclipses, inner systems, and oppositions.
No one has ever used historical examples, near or remote, with the detail, precision, and directness to be found in every page of Shaw.
It is always some illusion that creates disillusion, especially in the young, for whom the only alternative to perfection is cynicism.
Maxims in times of danger are useless, experience is incommunicable.
The knotted strands of life, desire, assumptions, and moral codes cannot be unsnarled; they can only be cut, which is what happens when an air raid occurs, with a silencing fortissimo like the finale of a Beethoven symphony.