Old European Quotes

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Old European Quotes

I should think the American admiration of five-minute tourists has done more to kill the sacredness of old European beauty and aspiration than multitudes of bombs would have done.
— D.H. Lawrence —

The proud tower built up through the great age of European civilization was an edifice of grandeur and passion, of riches and beauty and dark cellars. Its inhabitants lived, as compared to a later time, with more self-reliance, more confidence, more hope; greater magnificence, extravagance and elegance; more careless ease, more gaiety, more pleasure in each other's company and conversation, more injustice and hypocrisy, more misery and want, more sentiment including false sentiment, less sufferance of mediocrity, more dignity in work, more delight in nature, more zest. The Old World had much that has since been lost, whatever may have been gained. Looking back on it from 1915, Emile Verhaeren, the Belgian Socialist poet, dedicated his pages, With emotion, to the man I used to be.

— Barbara W. Tuchman

God is with the vanquished, not with the victors! At a time when His Holiness, the infallible Pope of Christendom, is concluding a peace agreement, a Concordat, with the enemies of Christ, when the Protestant's are establishing a "German church" and censoring the Bible, we descendants of the old Jews, the forefathers of European culture, are the only legitimate German representatives of that culture. Thanks to inscrutable divine wisdom, we are physically incapable of betraying it to the heathen civilization of poison gases, to the ammonia-breathing, Germanic war god.

— Joseph Roth

I'm surprised you holy people talk to me," Wolfie said suddenly, "after what I done." He swayed there a moment, frowning. "As a Catholic priest, I must accept men's frailty. And as a European I am too old and tired to expend emotion upon matters I can do nothing about.

— Peter Matthiessen

I tell you, the old-fashioned doctor who treated all diseases has completely disappeared, now there are only specialists, and they advertise all the time in the newspapers. If your nose hurts, they send you to Paris: there's a European specialist there, he treats noses. You go to Paris, he examines your nose: I can treat only your right nostril, he says, I don't treat left nostrils, it's not my specialty, but after me, go to Vienna, there's a separate specialist there who will finish treating your left nostril.

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It may not look it, but all the glass on Earth is flowing downwards under the relentless drag of gravity. Remove a pane of really old glass from the window of a European cathedral and it will be noticeably thicker at the bottom than at the top.

— Bill Bryson

I am imprinted with the whole sense of European history, especially German history, going back to World War I, which really destroyed all the old values and culture. My grandparents had been reasonably well-off but they became quite poor, living in an attic apartment.

— Lisel Mueller

Historical grammar is a study of how, say, modern English developed from Middle English, and how that developed from Early and Old English, and how that developed from Germanic, and that developed from what's called Proto-Indo-European, a source system that nobody speaks, so you have to try to reconstruct it.

— Noam Chomsky

My old dance teacher, Jimmy Wilde, a former European ballroom dancing champion, was so sophisticated.

— Anton Du Beke

Once their rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity; but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying-which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one's native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter's weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free;

— Frantz Fanon

In 1917 European history, in the old sense, came to an end. World history began. It was the year of Lenin and Woodrow Wilson, both of whom repudiated the traditional standards of political behaviour. Both preached Utopia, Heaven on Earth. It was the moment of birth for our contemporary world.

— A.J.P. Taylor

But, once again," persisted the European, "what state would you choose?" The Brahmin answered: "The state where only the laws are obeyed." "That is an old answer," said the councillor. "It is none the worse for that," said the Brahmin. "Where is that country?" asked the councillor. "We must look for it," answered the Brahmin.

— Voltaire

European society has always been divided into classes in a way that American society never has been. A European writer considers himself to be part of an old and honorable tradition
of intellectual activity, of letters
and his choice of a vocation does not cause him any uneasy wonder as to whether or not it will cost him all his friends. But this tradition does not exist in America.

— James A. Baldwin

I should think the American admiration of five-minute tourists has done more to kill the sacredness of old European beauty and aspiration than multitudes of bombs would have done.

— D.H. Lawrence

To anybody who can hold the Present at its worth without being inappreciative of the Past, it may be forgiven, if to such an one the solitary old hulk at Portsmouth, Nelson's Victory, seems to float there, not alone as the decaying monument of a fame incorruptible, but also as a poetic approach, softened by its picturesqueness, to the Monitors and yet mightier hulls of the European ironclads.

— Herman Melville

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