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Robert Graves

Geburtstag: 24. Juli 1895
Todesdatum: 7. Dezember 1985

Robert Graves, im deutschen Sprachraum Robert von Ranke-Graves , war ein britischer Schriftsteller und Dichter. Wikipedia

Zitate Robert Graves

„Love, Fear and Hate and Childish Toys
Are here discreetly blent“

—  Robert Graves

Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: Love, Fear and Hate and Childish Toys
Are here discreetly blent;
Admire, you ladies, read, you boys,
My Country Sentiment.

"A First Review".

„I do not love the Sabbath,
The soapsuds and the starch,
The troops of solemn people
Who to Salvation march.“

—  Robert Graves

"The Boy out of Church".
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: I do not love the Sabbath,
The soapsuds and the starch,
The troops of solemn people
Who to Salvation march.
I take my book, I take my stick
On the Sabbath day,
In woody nooks and valleys
I hide myself away.
To ponder there in quiet
God's Universal Plan,
Resolved that church and Sabbath
Were never made for man.

„Where is good English to be found? Not among those who might be expected to write well professionally.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: The Reader Over Your Shoulder (1943), Ch. 3: "Where Is Good English to Be Found?"
Kontext: Where is good English to be found? Not among those who might be expected to write well professionally. Schoolmasters seldom write well: it is difficult for any teacher to avoid either pomposity or, in the effort not to be pompous, a jocular conversational looseness. The clergy suffer from much the same occupational disability: they can seldom decide whether to use "the language of the market-place" or Biblical rhetoric. Men of letters usually feel impelled to cultivate an individual style — less because they feel sure of themselves as individuals than because they wish to carve a niche for themselves in literature; and nowadays an individual style usually means merely a peculiar range of inaccuracies, ambiguities, logical weaknesses and stylistic extravagancies. Trained journalists use a flat, over-simplified style, based on a study of what sells a paper and what does not, which is inadequate for most literary purposes.

„We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.“

—  Robert Graves, buch The White Goddess

"The White Goddess," lines 18–22, from Poems and Satires (1951).
Poems
Kontext: But we are gifted, even in November,
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.

„Having now been in the trenches for five months, I had passed my prime.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch.16 On being in the trenches in France in 1915.
Kontext: Having now been in the trenches for five months, I had passed my prime. For the first three weeks, an officer was of little use in the front line... Between three weeks and four weeks he was at his best, unless he happened to have any particular bad shock or sequence of shocks. Then his usefulness gradually declined as neurasthenia developed. At six months he was still more or less all right; but by nine or ten months, unless he had been given a few weeks' rest on a technical course, or in hospital, he usually became a drag on the other company officers. After a year or fifteen months he was often worse than useless.

„Let statesmen bluster, bark and bray,
And so decide who started
This bloody war, and who's to pay,
But he must be stout-hearted,
Must sit and stake with quiet breath,
Playing at cards with Death.“

—  Robert Graves

"To Lucasta on Going to the War — For the Fourth Time"
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Let statesmen bluster, bark and bray,
And so decide who started
This bloody war, and who's to pay,
But he must be stout-hearted,
Must sit and stake with quiet breath,
Playing at cards with Death.
Don't plume yourself he fights for you;
It is no courage, love, or hate,
But let us do the things we do;
It's pride that makes the heart be great;
It is not anger, no, nor fear —
Lucasta he's a Fusilier,
And his pride keeps him here.

„Men feared, adored, and obeyed the matriarch; the hearth which she tended in a cave or hut being their earliest social centre, and motherhood their prime mystery.“

—  Robert Graves, buch The Greek Myths

Volume 1, Introduction.
The Greek Myths (1955)
Kontext: Ancient Europe had no gods. The Great Goddess was regarded as immortal, changeless, and omnipotent; and the concept of fatherhood had not been introduced into religious thought. She took lovers, but for pleasure, not to provide her children with a father. Men feared, adored, and obeyed the matriarch; the hearth which she tended in a cave or hut being their earliest social centre, and motherhood their prime mystery.

„I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus … this, that and the other“

—  Robert Graves, buch I, Claudius

Quelle: I, Claudius (1934), Ch. 1.
Kontext: I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus … this, that and the other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles), who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as ‘Claudius the Idiot]’, or ‘That Claudius’, or ‘Claudius the Stammerer’, or ‘Clau-Clau-Claudius’, or at best as ‘Poor Uncle Claudius’, am now about to write this [[strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the ‘golden predicament’ from which I have never since become disentangled.

„He was always boasting of his ancestors, as stupid people do who are aware that they have done nothing themselves to boast about.“

—  Robert Graves, buch I, Claudius

Quelle: I, Claudius (1934), Ch. 5.
Kontext: My tutor I have already mentioned, Marcus Porcius Cato who was, in his own estimation at least, a living embodiment of that ancient Roman virtue which his ancestors had one after the other shown. He was always boasting of his ancestors, as stupid people do who are aware that they have done nothing themselves to boast about. He boasted particularly of Cato the Censor, who of all characters in Roman history is to me perhaps the most hateful, as having persistently championed the cause of "ancient virtue" and made it identical in the popular mind with churlishness, pedantry and harshness.

„Cuinchy bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch.14.
Kontext: Cuinchy bred rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welsh, a new officer joined the company... When he turned in that night, he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.

„He is older than the seas,
Older than the plains and hills,
And older than the light that spills
From the sun's hot wheel on these.“

—  Robert Graves

"The God Called Poetry".
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: He is older than the seas,
Older than the plains and hills,
And older than the light that spills
From the sun's hot wheel on these.
He wakes the gale that tears your trees,
He sings to you from window sills.

„He roars in his anger, he scratches, he looks not up.“

—  Robert Graves

"Nebuchadnezzar's Fall"
Country Sentiment (1920)
Kontext: Down on his knees he sinks, the stiff-necked King,
Stoops and kneels and grovels, chin to the mud.
Out from his changed heart flutter on startled wing
The fancy birds of his Pride, Honour, Kinglihood.
He crawls, he grunts, he is beast-like, frogs and snails
His diet, and grass, and water with hand for cup.
He herds with brutes that have hooves and horns and tails,
He roars in his anger, he scratches, he looks not up.

„None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.“

—  Robert Graves

"Babylon"
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Robin, and Red Riding Hood
Take together to the wood,
And Sir Galahad lies hid
In a cave with Captain Kidd.
None of all the magic hosts,
None remain but a few ghosts
Of timorous heart, to linger on
Weeping for lost Babylon.

„Patriotism, in the trenches, was too remote a sentiment, and at once rejected as fit only for civilians, or prisoners.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Goodbye to All That (1929), Ch. 17
Kontext: Patriotism, in the trenches, was too remote a sentiment, and at once rejected as fit only for civilians, or prisoners. A new arrival who talked patriotism would soon be told to cut it out.

„Nobody is familiar with his own profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that one really looks like that to people standing beside one.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: Claudius the God (1935), Ch. 6.
Kontext: Nobody is familiar with his own profile, and it comes as a shock, when one sees it in a portrait, that one really looks like that to people standing beside one. For one's full face, because of the familiarity that mirrors give it, a certain toleration and even affection is felt; but I must say that when I first saw the model of the gold piece that the mint-masters were striking for me I grew angry and asked whether it was intended to be a caricature. My little head with its worried face perched on my long neck, and the Adam's apple standing out almost like a second chin, shocked me. But Messalina said: "No, my dear, that's really what you look like. In fact, it is rather flattering than otherwise."

„The habit of obscurity is partly caused by a settled disinclination among public servants to give a definite refusal even where assent is out of the question; or to convey a vigorous rebuke even where, in private correspondence, any person with self-respect would feel bound to do so.“

—  Robert Graves

Quelle: The Reader Over Your Shoulder (1943), Ch.4: "The Use and Abuse of Official English"
Kontext: The chief trouble with the official style is that it spreads far beyond the formal contexts to which it is suited. Most civil servants, having learned to write in this way, cannot throw off the habit. The obscurity of their public announcements largely accounts for the disrepute into which Departmental activities have fallen: for the public naturally supposes that Departments are as muddled and stodgy as their announcements.
The habit of obscurity is partly caused by a settled disinclination among public servants to give a definite refusal even where assent is out of the question; or to convey a vigorous rebuke even where, in private correspondence, any person with self-respect would feel bound to do so. The mood is conveyed by a polite and emasculated style — polite because, when writing to a member of the public, the public servant is, in theory at least, addressing one of his collective employers; emasculated because, as a cog in the Government machine, he must make his phrases look as mechanical as possible by stripping them of all personal feeling and opinion.

„Jehovah, it seems clear, was once regarded as a devoted son the the Great Goddess, who obeyed her in all things and by her favor swallowed up a number of variously named rival gods and godlings“

—  Robert Graves, buch King Jesus

the Terebinth-god, the Thunder-god, the Pomegranate-god, the Bull-god, the Goat-god, the Antelope-god, the Calf-god, the Porpoise-god, the Ram-god, the Ass-god, the Barley-god, the god of Healing, the Moon-god, the god of the Dog-star, the Sun-god. Later (if it is permitted to write in this style) he did exactly what his Roman counterpart, Capitoline Jove, has done: he formed a supernal Trinity in conjunction with two of the Goddess's three persons, namely, Anatha of the Lions and Ashima of the Doves, the counterparts of Juno and Minerva; the remaining person, a sort of Hecate named Sheol, retiring to rule the infernal regions.
King Jesus (1946)

„Wisdom made him old and wary
Banishing the Lords of Faery.“

—  Robert Graves

"Babylon".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Wisdom made him old and wary
Banishing the Lords of Faery.
Wisdom made a breach and battered
Babylon to bits: she scattered
To the hedges and ditches
All our nursery gnomes and witches.

„Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger, let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay“

—  Robert Graves

"A Pinch of Salt".
Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)
Kontext: Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself and turn away.
Mask your hunger, let it seem
Small matter if he come or stay;
But when he nestles in your hand at last,
Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.

„His wiles were witty and his fame far known,
Every king's daughter sought him for her own,
Yet he was nothing to be won or lost.“

—  Robert Graves

"Ulysses" from Poems 1930-1933 (1933)<!-- li -->
Poems
Kontext: His wiles were witty and his fame far known,
Every king's daughter sought him for her own,
Yet he was nothing to be won or lost.
All lands to him were Ithaca: love-tossed
He loathed the fraud, yet would not bed alone.

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