Zitate von W. H. Auden

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W. H. Auden

Geburtstag: 21. Februar 1907
Todesdatum: 29. September 1973
Andere Namen: W.H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden war ein englischer und seit 1946 ein amerikanischer Schriftsteller.

Zitate W. H. Auden

„Wir fürchten uns wohl vor dem Schmerz, // Mehr aber vor der Stille, denn kein grausamer Alpdruck // Könnte furchtbarer sein als diese Öde. // Dies ist die Verdammnis. Dies ist der Zorn Gottes.“

—  W. H. Auden

Weihnachtsoratorium. Zitiert in: Adalbert Schmidt. Literaturgeschichte. Wege und Wandlungen moderner Dichtung. Salzburg Stuttgart, Das Bergland-Buch, 1957. S. 397 books.google http://books.google.de/books?id=hTFKAAAAMAAJ&q=alpdruck, s.a. http://books.google.de/books?id=E4M9AQAAIAAJ&q=alpdruck und http://books.google.de/books?id=AfonAAAAMAAJ&q=alpdruck
Original englisch: "We are afraid // Of pain but more afraid of silence; for no nightmare // Of hostile objects could be as terrible as this Void. // This is the Abomination. This is the wrath of God." - For The Time Being. A Christmas Oratorio. Zitiert in TIME Magazin 11. September 1944 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,775266-2,00.html
Weihnachtsoratorium

„Vergnügen ist keineswegs ein unfehlbarer kritischer Leitfaden, doch ist es der am wenigsten fehlbare.“

—  W. H. Auden

Des Färbers Hand und andere Essays. Deutsch von Fritz Lorch. Gütersloh Sigbert Mohn ohne Jahr (1962?), Prolog. Lesen. S. 17
Original englisch: "Pleasure is by no means an infallible critical guide, but it is the least fallible" - The Dyer's Hand, and other essays. New York Random House 1962. Prologue. Reading. p. 5
Des Färbers Hand und andere Essays

„Manche Bücher geraten unverdient in Vergessenheit; unverdient ins Gedächtnis zurückgerufen wird keines.“

—  W. H. Auden

Des Färbers Hand und andere Essays. Deutsch von Fritz Lorch. Gütersloh Sigbert Mohn ohne Jahr (1962?), Prolog. Lesen. S. 23
Original englisch: "Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered." - The Dyer's Hand, and other essays. New York Random House 1962. Prologue. Reading. p. 10
Des Färbers Hand und andere Essays

„We are all on earth to help others. What on earth the others are here for, I can't imagine.“

—  W. H. Auden

Often cited as by Auden without attribution, this quotation has been traced to John Foster Hall (1867-1945), an English comedian known as the Reverend Vivian Foster, Vicar of Mirth. Full history with sound recording http://audensociety.org/vivianfoster.html
Misattributed

„The idea of a sacrificial victim is not new; but that it should be the victim who chooses to be sacrificed, and the sacrificers who deny that any sacrifice has been made, is very new.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

Assessing St. Augustine's perspectives in "Augustus to Augustine", p. 37
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: Man … always acts either self-loving, just for the hell of it, or God-loving, just for the heaven of it; his reasons, his appetites are secondary motivations. Man chooses either life or death, but he chooses; everything he does, from going to the toilet to mathematical speculation, is an act of religious worship, either of God or of himself.
Lastly by the classical apotheosis of Man-God, Augustine opposes the Christian belief in Jesus Christ, the God-Man. The former is a Hercules who compels recognition by the great deeds he does in establishing for the common people in the law, order and prosperity they cannot establish for themselves, by his manifestation of superior power; the latter reveals to fallen man that God is love by suffering, i. e. by refusing to compel recognition, choosing instead to be a victim of man's self-love. The idea of a sacrificial victim is not new; but that it should be the victim who chooses to be sacrificed, and the sacrificers who deny that any sacrifice has been made, is very new.

„What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch The Dyer's Hand

"The Poet & The City", p. 83
The Dyer's Hand, and Other Essays (1962)
Kontext: What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs.

„Man … always acts either self-loving, just for the hell of it, or God-loving, just for the heaven of it; his reasons, his appetites are secondary motivations.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

Assessing St. Augustine's perspectives in "Augustus to Augustine", p. 37
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: Man … always acts either self-loving, just for the hell of it, or God-loving, just for the heaven of it; his reasons, his appetites are secondary motivations. Man chooses either life or death, but he chooses; everything he does, from going to the toilet to mathematical speculation, is an act of religious worship, either of God or of himself.
Lastly by the classical apotheosis of Man-God, Augustine opposes the Christian belief in Jesus Christ, the God-Man. The former is a Hercules who compels recognition by the great deeds he does in establishing for the common people in the law, order and prosperity they cannot establish for themselves, by his manifestation of superior power; the latter reveals to fallen man that God is love by suffering, i. e. by refusing to compel recognition, choosing instead to be a victim of man's self-love. The idea of a sacrificial victim is not new; but that it should be the victim who chooses to be sacrificed, and the sacrificers who deny that any sacrifice has been made, is very new.

„Money is the necessity that frees us from necessity.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"A Poet of the Actual", p. 266
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: Money is the necessity that frees us from necessity. Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money. Compared with him even Balzac is a romantic.

„In most poetic expressions of patriotism, it is impossible to distinguish what is one of the greatest human virtues from the worst human vice, collective egotism.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"C.P. Cavafy", p. 341
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: In most poetic expressions of patriotism, it is impossible to distinguish what is one of the greatest human virtues from the worst human vice, collective egotism.
The virtue of patriotism has been extolled most loudly and publicly by nations that are in the process of conquering others, by the Roman, for example, in the first century B. C., the French in the 1790s, the English in the nineteenth century, and the Germans in the first half of the twentieth. To such people, love of one's country involves denying the right of others, of the Gauls, the Italians, the Indians, the Poles, to love theirs.

„He suffers from one great literary defect, which is often found in lonely geniuses: he never knows when to stop.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

On Søren Kierkegaard, in "A Knight of Doleful Countenance", p. 192
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: He suffers from one great literary defect, which is often found in lonely geniuses: he never knows when to stop. Lonely people are apt to fall in love with the sound of their own voice, as Narcissus fell in love with his reflection, not out of conceit but out of despair of finding another who will listen and respond.

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„Machines have no political opinions, but they have profound political effects. They demand a strict regimentation of time, and, by abolishing the need for manual skill, have transformed the majority of the population from workers into laborers.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"A Russian Aesthete", p. 279
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: Machines have no political opinions, but they have profound political effects. They demand a strict regimentation of time, and, by abolishing the need for manual skill, have transformed the majority of the population from workers into laborers. There are, that is to say, fewer and fewer jobs which a man can find a pride and satisfaction in doing well, more and more which have no interest in themselves and can be valued only for the money they provide.

„I do not believe an artist's life throws much light upon his works. I do believe, however, that, more often than most people realize, his works may throw light upon his life.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"The Greatest of the Monsters", p. 247
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: I said earlier that I do not believe an artist's life throws much light upon his works. I do believe, however, that, more often than most people realize, his works may throw light upon his life. An artist with certain imaginative ideas in his head may then involve himself in relationships which are congenial to them.

„The mystics themselves do not seem to have believed their physical and mental sufferings to be a sign of grace, but it is unfortunate that it is precisely physical manifestations which appeal most to the religiosity of the mob.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"The Protestant Mystics", p. 72
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: The mystics themselves do not seem to have believed their physical and mental sufferings to be a sign of grace, but it is unfortunate that it is precisely physical manifestations which appeal most to the religiosity of the mob. A woman might spend twenty years nursing lepers without having any notice taken of her, but let her once exhibit the stigmata or live for long periods on nothing but the Host and water, and in no time the crowd will be clamoring for her beatification.

„A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it.“

—  W. H. Auden, buch Forewords and Afterwords

"A Poet of the Actual", p. 265
Forewords and Afterwords (1973)
Kontext: A craftsman knows in advance what the finished result will be, while the artist knows only what it will be when he has finished it. But it is unbecoming in an artist to talk about inspiration; that is the reader's business.

„Minus times minus equals plus,
The reason for this we need not discuss.“

—  W. H. Auden

As stated in "The Poet Himself" http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F01E6D81539F937A35753C1A967948260 by Paul Fussell, in The New York Times (4 October 1981), these lines were a "math mnemonic" which Auden "had to memorize as a child."
Misattributed

„All wishes, whatever their apparent content, have the same and unvarying meaning: "I refuse to be what I am."“

—  W. H. Auden, buch The Dyer's Hand

"Interlude: West's Disease", p. 241
The Dyer's Hand, and Other Essays (1962)

„Acts of injustice done
Between the setting and the rising sun
In history lie like bones, each one.“

—  W. H. Auden, The Ascent of F6

The Ascent of F6, written with Christopher Isherwood, Act II, Scene V; quoted by Richard Adams in his novel Watership Down. (1936)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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