Category Archives: Quotable

” With the public the arguments of L’Etoile have had weight; and that the journal itself is convinced of their importance would appear from the manner in which it commences one of its essays upon the subject—’Several of the morning papers of the day,’ it says, ‘speak of the conclusive article in Monday’s Etoile.’  To me, this article appears conclusive of little beyond the zeal of its inditer.  We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation—to make a point—than to further the cause of truth.  The latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident with the former.  The print which merely falls in with ordinary opinion (however well founded this opinion may be) earns for itself no credit with the mob.  The mass of the people regard as profound only him who suggests pungent contradictions of the general idea.  In ratiocination, not less than in literature, it is the epigram which is the most immediately and the most universally appreciated.  In both, it is of the lowest order of merit.”

—— Edgar Allan Poe (via M August C Dupin) from The Mystery of Marie Rogêt in The Works of Edgar Allan Poe p 181 originally published in 1842-1843

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In explaining his unhappiness he told Gertrude Stein, they talk about the sorrows of great artists. A little artist has all the tragic unhappiness and the sorrows of a great artist and he is not a great artist.

–– Gertrude Stein from The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas (in Stein: Writings 1903-1932) p 777

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