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Quotes of the day: Edmund Wilson

Published Thursday, May 07, 2015 @ 5:45 PM EDT
May 07 2015

Edmund Wilson (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, literary and social critic, and man of letters. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All Hollywood corrupts; and absolute Hollywood corrupts absolutely.

At 60 the sexual preoccupation, when it hits you, seems sometimes sharper, as if it were an elderly malady, like gout.

Education, the last hope of the liberal in all periods.

He believes, but he does not believe: the impossibility of believing is the impossibility which he accepts most reluctantly, but still it is there with the other impossibilities of this world which is too full of weeping for a child to understand.

I have learned to read the papers calmly and not to hate the fools I read about.

If I could only remember that the days were, not bricks to be laid row on row, to be built into a solid house, where one might dwell in safety and peace, but only food for the fires of the heart.

It may be that there is nothing more demoralizing than a small but adequate income.

Marxism is the opium of the intellectuals.

No two persons ever read the same book.

Real genius of moral insight is a motor which will start any engine.

She was one of those women whose features are not perfect and who in their moments of dimness may not seem even pretty, but who, excited by the blood or the spirit, become almost supernaturally beautiful.

The cruelest thing that has happened to Lincoln since being shot by Booth was to have fallen into the hands of Carl Sandburg.

The experience of mankind on the earth is always changing as man develops and has to deal with new combinations of elements; and the writer who is to be anything more than an echo of his predecessors must always find expression for something which has never yet been expressed, must master a new set of phenomena... With each such victory of the human intellect, whether in history, in philosophy or in poetry, we experience a deep satisfaction: we have been cured of some ache of disorder, relieved of some oppressive burden of uncomprehended events.

The human imagination has already come to conceive the possibility of recreating human society.

The product of the scientific imagination is a new vision of relations- like that of artistic imagination.

While the romantic individualist deludes himself with unrealizable fantasies, in the attempt to evade bourgeois society, and only succeeds in destroying himself, he lets humanity fall a victim to the industrial-commercial processes, which, unimpeded by his dreaming, go on with their deadly work.


(May 8 is also the birthday of Harry S. Truman and Fulton J. Sheen.)

Categories: Edmund Wilson, Quotes of the day


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