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Батлер, Сэмюел

Дата рождения: 4. Декабрь 1835
Дата смерти: 18. Июнь 1902

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Сэмюел Батлер — английский писатель, художник, переводчик, один из классиков викторианской литературы.

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Цитаты Батлер, Сэмюел

„Animals and plants cannot understand our business, so we have denied that they can understand their own.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Animals and plants cannot understand our business, so we have denied that they can understand their own. What we call inorganic matter cannot understand the animals’ and plants’ business, we have therefore denied that it can understand anything whatever. Organic and Inorganic

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„An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better. Incoherency of New Ideas

„I do not like having to try to make myself like things; I like things that make me like them at once and no trying at all.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: I should like to like Schumann’s music better than I do; I dare say I could make myself like it better if I tried; but I do not like having to try to make myself like things; I like things that make me like them at once and no trying at all. On Knowing what Gives us Pleasure, ii

„Genius...has been defined as a supreme capacity for taking trouble...It might be more fitly described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds and keeping them therein so long as the genius remains.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Genius... has been defined as a supreme capacity for taking trouble... It might be more fitly described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds and keeping them therein so long as the genius remains. Genius, i

„Propositions prey upon and are grounded upon one another just like living forms.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Propositions prey upon and are grounded upon one another just like living forms. They support one another as plants and animals do; they are based ultimately on credit, or faith, rather than the cash of irrefragable conviction. The whole universe is carried on on the credit system, and if the mutual confidence on which it is based were to collapse, it must itself collapse immediately. Just or unjust, it lives by faith; it is based on vague and impalpable opinion that by some inscrutable process passes into will and action, and is made manifest in matter and in flesh; it is meteoric — suspended in mid-air; it is the baseless fabric of a vision to vast, so vivid, and so gorgeous that no base can seem more broad than such stupendous baselessness, and yet any man can bring it about his ears by being over-curious; when faith fails, a system based on faith fails also.

„The written law is binding, but the unwritten law is much more so.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: The written law is binding, but the unwritten law is much more so. You may break the written law at a pinch and on the sly if you can, but the unwritten law — which often comprises the written — must not be broken. Not being written, it is not always easy to know what it is, but this has got to be done. The Law

„We can no longer separate things as we once could: everything tends towards unity; one thing, one action, in one place, at one time.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: We can no longer separate things as we once could: everything tends towards unity; one thing, one action, in one place, at one time. On the other hand, we can no longer unify things as we once could; we are driven to ultimate atoms, each one of which is an individuality. So that we have an infinite multitude of things doing an infinite multitude of actions in infinite time and space; and yet they are not many things, but one thing. Unity and Multitude

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„If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: It is the manner of gods and prophets to begin: "Thou shalt have none other God or Prophet but me." If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God. Thou shalt worship any d_____d thing thou likest except me." This should be my first and great commandment, and my second should be like unto it. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1912) self censored "d_____d" in original publication

„I find the nicest and best people generally profess no religion at all, but are ready to like the best men of all religions.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Is there any religion whose followers can be pointed to as distinctly more amiable and trustworthy than those of any other? If so, this should be enough. I find the nicest and best people generally profess no religion at all, but are ready to like the best men of all religions. Religion

„To think of a thing they must be got rid of: they are the clothes that thoughts wear—only the clothes. I say this over and over again, for there is nothing of more importance.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: "Words, words, words," he writes, "are the stumbling-blocks in the way of truth. Until you think of things as they are, and not of the words that misrepresent them, you cannot think rightly. Words produce the appearance of hard and fast lines where there are none. Words divide; thus we call this a man, that an ape, that a monkey, while they are all only differentiations of the same thing. To think of a thing they must be got rid of: they are the clothes that thoughts wear—only the clothes. I say this over and over again, for there is nothing of more importance. Other men's words will stop you at the beginning of an investigation. A man may play with words all his life, arranging them and rearranging them like dominoes. If I could think to you without words you would understand me better." Life and Habit http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/lfhb10h.htm, ch. 5 (1877)

„There is an eternal antagonism of interest between the individual and the world at large.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: There is an eternal antagonism of interest between the individual and the world at large. The individual will not so much care how much he may suffer in this world provided he can live in men’s good thoughts long after he has left it. The world at large does not so much care how much suffering the individual may either endure or cause in this life, provided he will take himself clean away out of men’s thoughts, whether for good or ill, when he has left it. The Individual and the World

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„Ideas and opinions, like living organisms, have a normal rate of growth which cannot be either checked or forced beyond a certain point.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Ideas and opinions, like living organisms, have a normal rate of growth which cannot be either checked or forced beyond a certain point. They can be held in check more safely than they can be hurried. They can also be killed; and one of the surest ways to kill them is to try to hurry them. The Art of Propagating Opinion

„As a general rule philosophy is like stirring mud or not letting a sleeping dog lie.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: As a general rule philosophy is like stirring mud or not letting a sleeping dog lie. It is an attempt to deny, circumvent or otherwise escape from the consequences of the interlacing of the roots of things with one another. Philosophy

„It is love that alone gives life, and the truest life is that which we live not in ourselves but vicariously in others, and with which we have no concern. Our concern is so to order ourselves that we may be of the number of them that enter into life — although we know it not.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: All we know is, that even the humblest dead may live along after all trace of the body has disappeared; we see them doing it in the bodies and memories of these that come after them; and not a few live so much longer and more effectually than is desirable, that it has been necessary to get rid of them by Act of Parliament. It is love that alone gives life, and the truest life is that which we live not in ourselves but vicariously in others, and with which we have no concern. Our concern is so to order ourselves that we may be of the number of them that enter into life — although we know it not.

„Critics generally come to be critics by reason not of their fitness for this but of their unfitness for anything else.“

— Samuel Butler
Context: Critics generally come to be critics by reason not of their fitness for this but of their unfitness for anything else. Books should be tried by a judge and jury as though they were crimes, and counsel should be heard on both sides. Criticism

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