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In living literature no person is a competent judge but of works written in his own language. I have expressed my opinion concerning a number of English writers; it is very possible that I may be mistaken, that my admiration and my censure may be equally misplaced, and that my conclusions may appear impertinent and ridiculous on the other side of the Channel.
With Lenin it was always a substantial commitment. I always have a certain admiration for people who are aware that somebody has to do the job. What I hate about these liberal, pseudo-left, beautiful soul academics is that they are doing what they are doing fully aware that somebody else will do the job for them.
The idea of Socialism is at once grandiose and simple. . .We may say, in fact, that it is one of the most ambitious creations of the human spirit, . . .so magnificent, so daring, that it has rightly aroused the greatest admiration. If we wish to save the world from barbarism we have to refute Socialism, but we cannot thrust it carelessly aside.
I always felt that my work hadn’t much to do with art; my admirations for other art had very little room to show themselves in my work because I hoped that if I concentrated enough the intensity of scrutiny alone would force life into the pictures. I ignored the fact that art, after all, derives from art. Now I realize that this is the case.
Vanity, or to call it by a gentler name, the desire of admiration and applause, is, perhaps, the most universal principle of humanactions…. Where that desire is wanting, we are apt to be indifferent, listless, indolent, and inert…. I will own to you, under the secrecy of confession, that my vanity has very often made me take great pains to make many a woman in love with me, if I could, for whose person I would not have given a pinch of snuff.
That wealth and greatness are often regarded with the respect and admiration which are due only to wisdom and virtue; and that the contempt, of which vice and folly are the only proper objects, is most often unjustly bestowed upon poverty and weakness, has been the complaint of moralists in all ages.
Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the true worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul… You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.
Human life is fragile: we live in the space between one breath and the next. We often try to maintain an illusion of permanence, through what we do, say, wear, buy, and how we enjoy ourselves and who and how we love. Yet it is an illusion that is constantly being undermined by change and death. We can use diamonds in whatever way we like. They are empty things, pretty as water, yet within them—if we want to see it—there is blood, dust, love, curses, and suffering. There is desire to make someone happy, there is admiration, there is ostentation…and there is a company’s profit curve.
– Might it console you to know that I expect nothing but torture from her return? That I regard you as a bird of paradise? She shook her head. – That my admiration for you is painfully strong? – I want Van – she cried – and not intangible admiration. – Intangible? You goose. You my gauge it, you may brush it once very lightly with the knuckles of you gloved hand. I said knuckles. I said once. That will do. I can’t kiss you. Not even your burning face. Good-bye, pet. Tell Edmond to take a nap after he returns. I shall need him at two in the morning.
The man and the movement seemed ‘reactionary’ in my eyes. My common sense of justice, however, forced me to change this judgment in proportion as I had occasion to become acquainted with the man and his work; and slowly my fair judgment turned to unconcealed admiration. Today, more than ever, I regard this man as the greatest German mayor of all times.
There is no way of influencing men so powerfully as by means of the women. These should therefore be our chief study; we should insinuate ourselves into their good opinion, give them hints of emancipation from the tyranny of public opinion, and of standing up for themselves; it will be an immense relief to their enslaved minds to be freed from any one bond of restraint, and it will fire them the more, and cause them to work for us with zeal, without knowing that they do so; for they will only be indulging their own desire of personal admiration.