Saturday, 17 October 2015

Things worth repeating that I recently read

'The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.' D.H. Lawrence. 
I think of it as childlike. Certainly it's Protestant, possibly Calvinist.
'…this dreary Welsh Methodist bastard of a screw – not that I have anything against any particular kind of bastard, but that is the kind of bastard that he is.'
Brendan Behan, Borstal Boy
'He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.' G.K. Chesterton 
'Good is something you do, not something you talk about.' Gino Bartali
'I’m hungering to hear, to be told, and to receive, things which I don’t know where to find elsewhere, and which I feel I shall be the poorer if I don’t hear and receive, and which I feel in some sense I shall die if I don’t have.' Enoch Powell, No Easy Answers (London: Sheldon Press, 1973), in answer to the question, 'Do you consider yourself a religious man?'  
'Nineteenth-century historians, as Herbert Butterfield reminds us, took seriously the task of researching and writing “objective” history. I recall seeing traces of this in an Orthodox Jewish lady I had as graduate student in the early 1970s at NYU. This woman had planned to do a dissertation on the fate of Jewish communities in Galicia in the twentieth century but then abandoned her topic. The reason she gave made me respect her forever: She refused to prepare a dissertation on a subject she could not treat with the proper degree of objectivity. This refusal would now be ascribed in all likelihood to inexcusable moral indifference. Truly sensitive historians, we are told, should have zero tolerance for reactionary rule or for what until recently were considered natural hierarchies....What they consider to be scholarship is a form of proselytizing—or a means of helping the practitioner advance professionally by means of useful political postures.' Paul Gottfried, speaking to the 2011 H.L. Mencken Club conference

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