Zitate von George Eliot
Geburtstag: 22. November 1819
Todesdatum: 22. Dezember 1880
Andere Namen: Marian Evans
George Eliot, eigentlich Mary Anne Evans, war eine englische Schriftstellerin, Übersetzerin und Journalistin, die zu den erfolgreichsten Autoren des viktorianischen Zeitalters zählt. Romane wie Middlemarch und Die Mühle am Floss gehören zu den Klassikern der englischen Literatur. 2015 wählten 82 internationale Literaturkritiker und -wissenschaftler den Roman Middlemarch sogar zu dem bedeutendsten britischen Roman.
Zitate George Eliot
— George Eliot
Letzte Worte, 22. Dezember 1880, zu ihrem Mann John W. Cross; sie meinte die Ärzte Original engl.: "Tell them I have a great pain in the left side."
„A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.“
— George Eliot
Misattributed, Context: Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. Thiis was published without credit in The Best Loved Poems of the American People (1936) with the title "Friendship", and since that time has sometimes been misattributed http://www.geonius.com/eliot/quotes.html to Eliot; it is actually an adaptation of lines by Dinah Craik, in A Life for a Life (1859):
— George Eliot, Middlemarch
Middlemarch (1871), Context: What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? I cannot be indifferent to the troubles of a man who advised me in my trouble, and attended me in my illness.
„Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.“
— George Eliot, book Impressions of Theophrastus Such
Impressions of Theophrastus Such, Ch, 4 (1879); comparable to. James Russell Lowell 1871: Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it. https://books.google.de/books?id=YRmn-_vXZ58C&pg=PA102&dq=persuaded
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— George Eliot, book Scenes of Clerical Life
Scenes of Clerical Life (1858), Context: Nice distinctions are troublesome. It is so much easier to say that a thing is black, than to discriminate the particular shade of brown, blue, or green, to which it really belongs. It is so much easier to make up your mind that your neighbour is good for nothing, than to enter into all the circumstances that would oblige you to modify that opinion. "The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton" Ch. 4
„There is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it.“
— George Eliot, Middlemarch
Middlemarch (1871), Context: There is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know.
„There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.“
— George Eliot, Adam Bede
Adam Bede (1859), Context: All honour and reverence to the divine beauty of form! Let us cultivate it to the utmost in men, women, and children — in our gardens and in our houses. But let us love that other beauty too, which lies in no secret of proportion, but in the secret of deep human sympathy. Paint us an angel, if you can, with a floating violet robe, and a face paled by the celestial light; paint us yet oftener a Madonna, turning her mild face upward and opening her arms to welcome the divine glory; but do not impose on us any aesthetic rules which shall banish from the region of Art those old women scraping carrots with their work-worn hands, those heavy clowns taking holiday in a dingy pot-house, those rounded backs and stupid weather-beaten faces that have bent over the spade and done the rough work of the world — those homes with their tin pans, their brown pitchers, their rough curs, and their clusters of onions. In this world there are so many of these common coarse people, who have no picturesque sentimental wretchedness! It is so needful we should remember their existence, else we may happen to leave them quite out of our religion and philosophy and frame lofty theories which only fit a world of extremes. Therefore, let Art always remind us of them; therefore let us always have men ready to give the loving pains of a life to the faithful representing of commonplace things — men who see beauty in these commonplace things, and delight in showing how kindly the light of heaven falls on them. There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.
„Then your charitable speeches may find vent; then you may remember and pity the toil and the struggle and the failure; then you may give due honour to the work achieved; then you may find extenuation for errors, and may consent to bury them.“
— George Eliot, book The Lifted Veil
Context: I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations. The heart will by and by be still — "ubi saeva indignatio ulterius cor lacerare nequit" the eye will cease to entreat; the ear will be deaf; the brain will have ceased from all wants as well as from all work. Then your charitable speeches may find vent; then you may remember and pity the toil and the struggle and the failure; then you may give due honour to the work achieved; then you may find extenuation for errors, and may consent to bury them. The Lifted Veil (1859); Eliot here quotes the Latin epitaph of Jonathan Swift, translated as "Where savage indignation can lacerate his heart no more" · The Lifted Veil online at Wikisource
— George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
The Mill on the Floss (1860), Context: It is doubtful whether our soldiers would be maintained if there were not pacific people at home who like to fancy themselves soldiers. War, like other dramatic spectacles, might possibly cease for want of a "public."
— George Eliot, Adam Bede
Adam Bede (1859), Context: These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience. And I would not, even if I had the choice, be the clever novelist who could create a world so much better than this, in which we get up in the morning to do our daily work, that you would be likely to turn a harder, colder eye on the dusty streets and the common green fields — on the real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice; who can be cheered and helped onward by your fellow-feeling, your forbearance, your outspoken, brave justice. So I am content to tell my simple story, without trying to make things seem better than they were; dreading nothing, indeed, but falsity, which, in spite of one's best efforts, there is reason to dread. Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin — the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.