Monday, February 12, 2018

Quotations from Arthur Machen, Herbert Read, Stephen Fry

"I stood here, and saw before me the unutterable, the unthinkable gulf that yawns profound between two worlds, the world of matter and the world of spirit; I saw the great empty deep stretch dim before me, and in that instant a bridge of light leapt from the earth to the unknown shore, and the abyss was spanned."
Arthur Machen: The Great God Pan, 1894

"The cultured Greeks, it seems, had no word for culture. They had good architects, good sculptors, good poets, just as they had good craftsmen and good statesmen. They knew that their way of life was a good way of life, and they were willing if necessary to fight to defend it. But it would never have occured to them that they had a separate commodity, culture - something to be given a trade-mark by their academicians, something to be acquired by superior people with sufficient time and money, something to be exported to foreign countries along with figs and olives. It wasn't even an invisible export: it was something natural if it existed at all - something of which they were unconscious, something as instinctive as their language or the complexion of their skins. It could not even be described as a by-product of their way of life: it was that way of life itself."
Herbert Read: To Hell with Culture, 1963

"The arts and humanities strike me as more important than ever. We need to understand our soul, spirit, sense of beauty, sense of humour, empathy, love, jealousy, rage, hate, boredom, surprise, enmity, faith, loyalty, art, dance, inspiration, intellect and excitement, because the more machines rise the more time we will have to be human and fulfill and develop to their uttermost our true natures."
Stephen Fry: Shannon Luminary Lecture, 2017

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