Jacques Barzun Quotes

Enjoy the top 123 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Jacques Barzun.

Jacques Barzun Quotes

A culture may be conceived as a network of beliefs and purposes in which any string in the net pulls and is pulled by the others,thus perpetually changing the configuration of the whole. If the cultural element called morals takes on a new shape, we must ask what other strings have pulled it out of line. It cannot be one solitary string, nor even the strings nearby, for the network is three-dimensional at least.
— Jacques Barzun —

No subject of study is more important than reading ... all other intellectual powers depend on it.

— Jacques Barzun

Simple English is no one's mother tongue. It has to be worked for.

— Jacques Barzun

We are thus led to ask what the writer looks for and how he trains himself to look for it. The answer is: he makes himself habitually aware of words, positively self conscience of them about them, careful to follow what they might say and not to jump to what they might mean.

— Jacques Barzun

If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.

— Jacques Barzun

It seems a long time since the morning mail could be called correspondence.

— Jacques Barzun

The ever-present impulse is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in. Thus in practice, every liberation increases the sense of oppression. Nor is the paradox merely in the mind: the laws enacted to secure the rights of every person and group, by creating protective boundaries, create new barriers.

— Jacques Barzun

We may complain and cavil at the anarchy which is the amateurs natural element, but in soberness we must agree that if the amateur did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.

— Jacques Barzun

The eager or dutiful persons who subject themselves to these tidal waves of the classics and the moderns find everything wonderful in an absent-minded way. The wonder washes over them rather than into them, and one of its effects is to make anything shocking or odd suddenly interesting enough to gain a month's celebrity. And so another by-product of our come-one, come-all policy is the tendency to reward cleverness, not art, and to put one more hurdle in the path of the truly original artist.

— Jacques Barzun

Like Rousseau, whom he resembles even more than he resembles Voltaire , Shaw never gave a social form to his assertiveness, never desired to arrive and to assimilate himself, or wield authority as of right.

— Jacques Barzun

The educated man had throughout the ages found a way to covert passionate activity into silent and motionless pleasure. He can sit still in a room and not perish.

— Jacques Barzun

[T]hat is the triumph of history - truth absolute is not at hand; the original with which to match the copy does not exist.

— Jacques Barzun

Look for all fancy wordings and get rid of themAvoid all terms and expressions, old or new, that embody affectation.

— Jacques Barzun

A student under my care owes his first allegiance to himself and not to my specialty; and must not be burdened with my work as if he followed no other and had contracted no obligation under heaven but that of satisfying my requirements.

— Jacques Barzun

The greatest artists have never been men of taste. By never sophisticating their instincts they have never lost the awareness of the great simplicities, which they relish both from appetite and from the challenge these offer to skill in competition with popular art.

— Jacques Barzun

Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing.

— Jacques Barzun

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