Zitate von George Eliot

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George Eliot

Geburtstag: 22. November 1819
Todesdatum: 22. Dezember 1880
Andere Namen:Marian Evans

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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.

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Zitate George Eliot

„Es ist nie zu spät zu sein, wer du sein könntest.“

—  George Eliot

Original: It is never too late to be what you might have been.

„Sag ihnen, ich habe starke Schmerzen an der linken Seite.“

—  George Eliot
Letzte Worte, 22. Dezember 1880, zu ihrem Mann John W. Cross; sie meinte die Ärzte

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„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
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):

„What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?“

—  George Eliot
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, 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

„May I reach
That purest heaven, — be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense!

—  George Eliot
Context: This is life to come, — Which martyred men have made more glorious For us who strive to follow. May I reach That purest heaven, — be to other souls The cup of strength in some great agony, Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love, Beget the smiles that have no cruelty, Be the sweet presence of a good diffused, And in diffusion ever more intense! So shall I join the choir invisible Whose music is the gladness of the world.

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„A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.“

—  George Eliot
Context: A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections. <!-- Bk. 2, Ch. 15

„So to live is heaven:
To make undying music in the world,
Breathing a beauteous order that controls
With growing sway the growing life of man.“

—  George Eliot
Context: So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man.

„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.“

—  George Eliot
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

„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.“

—  George Eliot
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.

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„Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult.“

—  George Eliot
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.

„Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self-despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self.“

—  George Eliot
Context: Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child-pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many-volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her? Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self-despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order. Prelude

„Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed.“

—  George Eliot
Context: Some have felt that these blundering lives are due to the inconvenient indefiniteness with which the Supreme Power has fashioned the natures of women: if there were one level of feminine incompetence as strict as the ability to count three and no more, the social lot of women might be treated with scientific certitude. Meanwhile the indefiniteness remains, and the limits of variation are really much wider than any one would imagine from the sameness of women's coiffure and the favorite love-stories in prose and verse. Here and there a cygnet is reared uneasily among the ducklings in the brown pond, and never finds the living stream in fellowship with its own oary-footed kind. Here and there is born a Saint Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed. Prelude

„Each day he wrought and better than he planned,
Shape breeding shape beneath his restless hand.
(The soul without still helps the soul within,
And its deft magic ends what we begin.)“

—  George Eliot
Context: Each day he wrought and better than he planned, Shape breeding shape beneath his restless hand. (The soul without still helps the soul within, And its deft magic ends what we begin.) Nay, in his dreams his hammer he would wield And seem to see a myriad types revealed, Then spring with wondering triumphant cry, And, lest the inspiring vision should go by, Would rush to labor with that plastic zeal Which all the passion of our life can steal For force to work with. Each day saw the birth Of various forms, which, flung upon the earth, Seemed harmless toys to cheat the exacting hour, But were as seeds instinct with hidden power. On the work of the metal-smith Tubal-Cain

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