quote by Pauline Kael

One of the surest signs of the Philistine is his reverence for the superior tastes of those who put him down.

— Pauline Kael

Most Powerful Philistines quotations

Our society distributes itself into Barbarians, Philistines and Populace;

and America is just ourselves with the Barbarians quite left out, and the Populace nearly.

Witticism. A sharp and clever remark, usually quoted and seldom noted; what the Philistine is pleased to call a joke.

The philistine provides the best definition of art. Anything that makes him rage is first class.

Everything about me is a contradiction, and so is everything about everybody else. We are made out of oppositions; we live between two poles. There's a philistine and an aesthete in all of us, and a murderer and a saint. You don't reconcile the poles. You just recognize them.

The English people, a lot of them, would not be able to understand a word of spoken Shakespeare. There are people who do and I'm not denying they exist. But it's a far more philistine country than people think.

The sign of a Philistine age is the cry of immorality against art.

In most modern instances, interpretation amounts to the philistine refusal to leave the work of art alone. Real art has the capacity to make us nervous. By reducing the work of art to its content and then interpreting that, one tames the work of art. Interpretation makes art manageable, conformable.

Philistine must have originally meant, in the mind of those who invented the nickname, a strong, dogged, unenlightened opponent of the chosen people, of the children of the light.

PHILISTINE, n. One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.

A great piece of music is beautiful regardless of how it is performed.

Any prelude or fugue of Bach can be played at any tempo, with or without rhythmic nuances, and it will still be great music. That's how music should be written, so that no-one, no matter how philistine, can ruin it.

To speak the truth is the most difficult of all arts, for in its "pure" form, not connected with the interests of individuals, groups, classes, or nations, truth is almost completely unsuitable for use by the Philistine and is unacceptable to him.

You all have learned reliance On the sacred teachings of Science, So I hope, through life, you will never decline In spite of philistine Defiance To do what all good scientists do. Experiment. Make it your motto day and night. Experiment. And it will lead you to the light.

Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.

There is nothing more vulgar than a petty bourgeois life with its halfpence, its victuals, its futile talk, and its useless conventional virtue.

England has become a squalid, uncomfortable, ugly place .

.. an intolerant, racist, homophobic, narrow-minded, authoritarian, rat-hole run by vicious, suburban-minded, materialistic philistines.

Nothing is more exhilarating than philistine vulgarity.

A philistine is a full-grown person whose interests are of a material and commonplace nature, and whose mentality is formed of the stock ideas and conventional ideals of his or her group and time.

A country of inveterate, backwoods, thick-headed, egotistic philistines

A great affliction of all Philistines is that idealities afford them no entertainment, but to escape from boredom they are always in need of realities.

What passed for society was a loud, giddy whirl of thieves and pretentious hustlers, a dull sideshow full of quacks and clowns and philistines with gimp mentalities.

Australia's is a special kind of philistinism, an immovable materialism which puts art and ideas of any kind deliberately and firmly to one side to let the serious business of living proceed without distraction.

Utilitarianism had found [in Samuel Smiles' Self-Help] its portrait gallery of heroes, inscribed with a vigorous exhortation to all men to strive in their image; this philistine romanticism established the bourgeois hero-prototype the penniless office-boy who works his way to economic fortune and this wins his way into the mercantile plutocracy.

A philistine is habitually bored and looks for things that won't bore him.

An artist finds things boring, but is never bored.

A quest for knowledge is not a war with faith;

spirituality is not usually an infelicitous amalgam of superstition and philistinism; and moral relativism, taken outside midfield, leads inexorably both to heresy and to secular wickedness, which are often identical.

Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you are the answer to Samson's riddle. You are the honey in the lion.

I'm quite squeamish, really. I'm philistine and unsophisticated - not because of my great discerning palate but other reasons. Some are moral grounds, some texture.

With all due respect to all philistines, the dictatorship of the proletariat does just consist in "giving a hiding" to the classes that were previously supreme, before forcing them to recognize the new order and to submit to it.

It has been wisely said, "that well may thy guardian angel suffer thee to lose thy locks, when thou darest wilfully to lay thy head in the lap of temptation!" Was it not easier for the hero of Judaea to avoid the touch of the fair Philistine, than to elude her power when held in her arms?

The national distrust of the contemplative temperament arises less from an innate Philistinism than from a suspicion of anything that cannot be counted, stuffed, framed or mounted over the fireplace in the den.

Why can't the black man have a God? What's so wrong when a black man says his God will protect him form his white foe? If Jehovah can slay Philistines for the Jews, why can't Allah slay crackers for the so-called Negro?

Those Eggheadsareterrible Philistines. A realgood head is not oval but round.

I think a philistine environment should be bracing for young artists.

You have to make your own enjoyment, you've got to make your own art.

No difference exists between American and European manners.

A proletarian from Chicago can be just as Philistine as an English duke.

I started to shed the monstrous aesthetic affectation of my youth so as to make room for the monstrous philistine postures of middle age, but it was some years before I was bold enough to decline an invitation to "Hamlet" on the grounds that I knew who won.