Zitate von Jacques Barzun

Jacques Barzun Foto
0   0

Jacques Barzun

Geburtstag: 30. November 1907
Todesdatum: 25. Oktober 2012

Jacques Martin Barzun war ein US-amerikanischer Historiker und Hochschullehrer. Noch in hohem Alter galt er als ein führender Intellektueller in den Bereichen Literatur, Erziehungswissenschaft und Kulturgeschichte. Wikipedia

Photo: Eric Robert Morse, Own work / Public domain

Zitate Jacques Barzun

„Great works of art are great by virtue of being syntheses of the world; they qualify as art by fusing form and contents into an indivisible whole; what they offer is not "discourse about," nor a cipher to be decoded, but a prolonged incitement to finesse.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"Culture High and Dry" (1984), p. 14
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: Scholarship has yielded to the irresistible pull that science exerts on our minds by its self-confidence and the promise of certified knowledge. But, to repeat, the objects of culture are not analyzable, not graspable by the geometric mind. Great works of art are great by virtue of being syntheses of the world; they qualify as art by fusing form and contents into an indivisible whole; what they offer is not "discourse about," nor a cipher to be decoded, but a prolonged incitement to finesse. So it is paradoxical that our way of introducing young minds to such works should be the way of scholarship.

„The wonder washes over them rather than into them, and one of its effects is to make anything shocking or odd suddenly interesting enough to gain a month's celebrity.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"A Surfeit of Fine Art" (1986), p. 127
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: The eager or dutiful persons who subject themselves to these tidal waves of the classics and the moderns find everything wonderful in an absent-minded way. The wonder washes over them rather than into them, and one of its effects is to make anything shocking or odd suddenly interesting enough to gain a month's celebrity. And so another by-product of our come-one, come-all policy is the tendency to reward cleverness, not art, and to put one more hurdle in the path of the truly original artist.

„It is difficult enough to reconcile these two needs, but the problem holds another hazard: the need of action under the pressure of time.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), IV
Kontext: On the one hand, society needs a common faith and vigorous institutions with the power to coerce; and on the other, the individual as a human soul or as the bearer of a new and possibly saving heresy, must be free. It is difficult enough to reconcile these two needs, but the problem holds another hazard: the need of action under the pressure of time.

„Shaw knows at any moment, on any subject, what he thinks, what you will think, what others have thought, what all this thinking entails; and he takes the most elaborate pains to bring these thoughts to light in a form which is by turns abstract and familiar, conciliatory and aggressive, obvious and inferential, comic and puzzling.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), II
Kontext: Shaw knows at any moment, on any subject, what he thinks, what you will think, what others have thought, what all this thinking entails; and he takes the most elaborate pains to bring these thoughts to light in a form which is by turns abstract and familiar, conciliatory and aggressive, obvious and inferential, comic and puzzling. In a word, Shaw is perhaps the most consciously conscious mind that has ever thought — certainly the most conscious since Rousseau; which may be why both of them often create the same impression of insincerity amounting to charlatanism.
Yet it is by excess of honesty that Shaw himself lent color to his representation as an inconsequential buffoon bent on monopolizing the spotlight.

„Shaw's emotional development was one with his intellectual strength.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), II
Kontext: Shaw's emotional development was one with his intellectual strength. His path led him into the thick of the scrimmage, where more spontaneous natures defend themselves with the usual weapons of malice, humility, bad temper or conceit. But Shaw used the death ray of imperturbability. His feelings were never hurt, his envy never aroused, his conceit was a transparent fiction, he never quarreled.

„The greatest artists have never been men of taste.“

—  Jacques Barzun

The Energies of Art: Studies of Authors Classic and Modern (1956)
Kontext: The greatest artists have never been men of taste. By never sophisticating their instincts they have never lost the awareness of the great simplicities, which they relish both from appetite and from the challenge these offer to skill in competition with popular art.

„Among the words that can be all things to all men, the word "race" has a fair claim to being the most common, most ambiguous and most explosive.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Race: A Study in Modern Superstition (1937)
Kontext: Among the words that can be all things to all men, the word "race" has a fair claim to being the most common, most ambiguous and most explosive. No one today would deny that it is one of the great catchwords about which ink and blood are spilled in reckless quantities. Yet no agreement seems to exist about what race means.

„A person is not a democrat thanks to his ignorance of literature and the arts, nor an elitist because he or she has cultivated them.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"Exeunt the Humanities" (1980), p. 117
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: A person is not a democrat thanks to his ignorance of literature and the arts, nor an elitist because he or she has cultivated them. The possession of knowledge makes for unjust power over others only if used for that very purpose: a physician or lawyer or clergyman can exploit or humiliate others, or he can be a humanitarian and a benefactor. In any case, it is absurd to conjure up behind anybody who exploits his educated status the existence of an "elite" scheming to oppress the rest of us.

„Seeing clearly within himself and always able to dodge around the ends of any position, including his own, Shaw assumed from the start the dual role of prophet and gadfly.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), II
Kontext: Seeing clearly within himself and always able to dodge around the ends of any position, including his own, Shaw assumed from the start the dual role of prophet and gadfly. To his contemporaries it appeared frivolous and contradictory to perform as both superman and socialist, sceptic and believer, legalist and heretic, high-brow and mob-orator. But feeling the duty to teach as well as to mirror mankind, Shaw did not accept himself as a contradictory being.

„Culture, humaneness, spiritual grace, are not forced upon us by logic: they either are self-evident or pointless.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), IV
Kontext: For Shaw as for Goethe, the obligation to strive is a primary feeling: reason initiates nothing and would stop everything. Its use is to come after the fact and devise helpful justification of action. Culture, humaneness, spiritual grace, are not forced upon us by logic: they either are self-evident or pointless. There is, Shaw reminds us, no argument in behalf of moral conduct which would not equally well support immoral. But it is clearly impossible (and immoral) to exact moral conduct, cultivation, and grace from those whom circumstances force to lead sub-human lives. Therefore society must be reformed.

„The ever-present impulse is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"The Bugbear of Relativism," p. 97
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: The ever-present impulse is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in. Thus in practice, every liberation increases the sense of oppression. Nor is the paradox merely in the mind: the laws enacted to secure the rights of every person and group, by creating protective boundaries, create new barriers.

„The truth is that more and more of the important things in life turn on pinpoints.“

—  Jacques Barzun

God's Country and Mine (1954)
Kontext: Many of us affect a tone of irony about gadgets, as if we lived always in realms above and dealt with trifles only during rare descents from sublime thoughts. The truth is that more and more of the important things in life turn on pinpoints. Our frustrations begin in trivialities — a telephone out of order, a car that will not start, a claim check whose number has been misread. The thing in cellophane that cannot be got at — plain to the sight but sealed like an egg — is the modern version of the torture of Tantalus. Catastrophes we will deal with like heroes, but the bottle top that defies us saps our morale, like the tiny arrows of the Lilliputians that maddened Gulliver and set his strength at naught.

„Shaw does not merely decorate a proposition, but makes his way from point to point through new and difficult territory.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), II
Kontext: Shaw does not merely decorate a proposition, but makes his way from point to point through new and difficult territory.
This explains why Shaw must either be taken whole or left alone. He must be disassembled and put together again with nothing left out, under pain of incomprehension; for his politics, his art, and his religion — to say nothing of the shape of his sentences — are unique expressions of this enormously enlarged and yet concentrated consciousness.

„He never invested his whole moral capital in a man, a book, or a cause, but treasured up wisdom wherever it could be picked up, always with scrupulous acknowledgment“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), IV
Kontext: He never invested his whole moral capital in a man, a book, or a cause, but treasured up wisdom wherever it could be picked up, always with scrupulous acknowledgment … His eclecticism saving him from the cycle of hope-disillusion-despair, his highest effectiveness was as a skirmisher in the daily battle for light and justice, as a critic of new doctrine and a refurbisher of old, as a voice of warning and encouragement. That his action has not been in vain, we can measure by how little Shaw's iconoclasm stirs our blood; we no longer remember what he destroyed that was blocking our view.

„Philosophers no longer write for the intelligent, only for their fellow professionals.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"Culture High and Dry" (1984), p. 9
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: Philosophers no longer write for the intelligent, only for their fellow professionals. The few thousand academic philosophers in the world do not stint themselves: they maintain more than seventy learned journals. But in the handful that cover more than one subdivision of philosophy, any given philosopher can hardly follow more than one or two articles in each issue. This hermetic condition is attributed to "technical problems" in the subject. Since William James, Russell, and Whitehead, philosophy, like history, has been confiscated by scholarship and locked away from the contamination of general use.

„That his action has not been in vain, we can measure by how little Shaw's iconoclasm stirs our blood; we no longer remember what he destroyed that was blocking our view.“

—  Jacques Barzun

Quelle: Bernard Shaw in Twilight (1943), IV
Kontext: He never invested his whole moral capital in a man, a book, or a cause, but treasured up wisdom wherever it could be picked up, always with scrupulous acknowledgment … His eclecticism saving him from the cycle of hope-disillusion-despair, his highest effectiveness was as a skirmisher in the daily battle for light and justice, as a critic of new doctrine and a refurbisher of old, as a voice of warning and encouragement. That his action has not been in vain, we can measure by how little Shaw's iconoclasm stirs our blood; we no longer remember what he destroyed that was blocking our view.

„But this nationalism differs from the old in two remarkable ways: it is not patriotic and it does not want to absorb and assimilate. On the contrary, it wants to shrink and secede, to limit its control to its one small group of like-minded-we-ourselves-alone. It is in that sense racist, particularist, sectarian, minority-inspired.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"Towards the Twenty-First Century" (1972), p. 169
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: The only political ism surviving in full strength from the past is nationalism. This was partly to be expected from the liberation of so many colonies simultaneously, beginning in the 1920s. But this nationalism differs from the old in two remarkable ways: it is not patriotic and it does not want to absorb and assimilate. On the contrary, it wants to shrink and secede, to limit its control to its one small group of like-minded-we-ourselves-alone. It is in that sense racist, particularist, sectarian, minority-inspired.

„To say this is also to say that the age of ready reference is one in which knowledge inevitably declines into information. The master of so much packaged stuff has less need to grasp context or meaning than his forbears: he can always look it up.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"Look It Up! Check It Out!" (1986), p. 39
The Culture We Deserve (1989)
Kontext: We seem to live mainly in order to see how we live, and this habit brings on what might be called the externalizing of knowledge; with every new manual there is less need for its internal, visceral presence. The owner or user feels confident that he possesses its contents — there they are, in handy form on the handy shelf. And with their imminent transfer to a computer, that sense of possession will presumably attach itself to the hard disk or the phone number of the data bank.
To say this is also to say that the age of ready reference is one in which knowledge inevitably declines into information. The master of so much packaged stuff has less need to grasp context or meaning than his forbears: he can always look it up. His active memory is otherwise engaged anyway, full of the arbitrary names, initials, and code figures essential to carrying on daily life. He can be vague about the rest: he can always check it out.

„History, like a vast river, propels logs, vegetation, rafts, and debris; it is full of live and dead things, some destined for resurrection; it mingles many waters and holds in solution invisible substances stolen from distant soils.“

—  Jacques Barzun

"History as Counter-Method and Anti-Abstraction," Clio and the Doctors (1974)
Kontext: History, like a vast river, propels logs, vegetation, rafts, and debris; it is full of live and dead things, some destined for resurrection; it mingles many waters and holds in solution invisible substances stolen from distant soils. Anything may become part of it; that is why it can be an image of the continuity of mankind. And it is also why some of its freight turns up again in the social sciences: they were constructed out of the contents of history in the same way as houses in medieval Rome were made out of stones taken from the Coliseum. But the special sciences based on sorted facts cannot be mistaken for rivers flowing in time and full of persons and events. They are systems fashioned with concepts, numbers, and abstract relations. For history, the reward of eluding method is to escape abstraction.

„A student under my care owes his first allegiance to himself and not to my specialty“

—  Jacques Barzun

"A Loyalty Oath for Scholars," The American Scholar (Summer 1951)
Kontext: A student under my care owes his first allegiance to himself and not to my specialty; and must not be burdened with my work as if he followed no other and had contracted no obligation under heaven but that of satisfying my requirements.

Ähnliche Autoren

Stephen R. Covey Foto
Stephen R. Covey13
US-amerikanischer Bestseller-Autor
David Foster Wallace Foto
David Foster Wallace10
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Kurt Vonnegut Foto
Kurt Vonnegut4
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Allen Ginsberg Foto
Allen Ginsberg9
US-amerikanischer Dichter
Truman Capote Foto
Truman Capote74
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Eleanor Roosevelt Foto
Eleanor Roosevelt83
US-amerikanische Menschenrechtsaktivistin
Henry Miller Foto
Henry Miller11
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Maler
Norman Vincent Peale Foto
Norman Vincent Peale7
US-amerikanischer Pfarrer und Autor
Malcolm X Foto
Malcolm X77
US-amerikanischer Führer der Bürgerrechtsbewegung
Jerome David Salinger Foto
Jerome David Salinger6
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Heutige Jubiläen
Ralph Waldo Emerson Foto
Ralph Waldo Emerson101
US-amerikanischer Philosoph und Schriftsteller 1803 - 1882
Carlos Castaneda Foto
Carlos Castaneda34
US-amerikanischer Anthropologe und Schriftsteller 1925 - 1998
Antonio Gramsci Foto
Antonio Gramsci11
italienischer Schriftsteller, Politiker und Philosoph sowie… 1891 - 1937
Hans Bemmann Foto
Hans Bemmann20
österreichischer Schriftsteller 1922 - 2003
Weitere 56 heutige Jubiläen
Ähnliche Autoren
Stephen R. Covey Foto
Stephen R. Covey13
US-amerikanischer Bestseller-Autor
David Foster Wallace Foto
David Foster Wallace10
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Kurt Vonnegut Foto
Kurt Vonnegut4
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller
Allen Ginsberg Foto
Allen Ginsberg9
US-amerikanischer Dichter
Truman Capote Foto
Truman Capote74
US-amerikanischer Schriftsteller