488: Symbolical Radicalism.

Symbolical radicalism results from unrest and disequilibrium when the attention is transferred from impeded interests to radical movements or “causes.” It is not essential that the movements to which the energy is transferred should be such as would, if carried through to success, remove the specific obstructions to the balked desire. The repressed energy may be placed to the service of the first radical movement which claims attention. All radical social movements aim at thorough-going change of social organization or relations in some one or more particular, and the motive to the desired change is the removal of obstruction of some kind. Hence any radical movement may take on, for the individual in question, a symbolical character. Since one cannot satisfy the original desire, although it is felt to be entirely normal and legitimate, since one realizes also that the seat of the obstruction is somewhere in the existing social status quo, and also perhaps believes that the specific obstacle cannot be removed, attention and energy are turned to some other type of obstruction or to generalized revolt against all and any of the elements of control in the present social system. […]

Symbolical radicalism, due to more or less unconscious transference of the energy of balked or repressed interests, may be found in the intellectual type of mind, but is more prevalent in emotional types. Such radicalism is likely to be superficial, emotional, lacking in settled principle, and unstable in its aim or object of attack. There may be a sort of serial transference. When one line of attack or radical project encounters difficulties and does not move rapidly toward consummation, it is given up (a wish easily balked) and the attention turned to some other project which for a time elicits equally emotional enthusiasm and serves as another temporary outlet for the energy of the balked or repressed desire. There may thus develop radical fashions and fads and a kind of lo here! lo there! radicalism, which never “stays put” long enough on one thing to accomplish any thorough-going objective change in social organization.

(A.B. Wolfe, “The Motivation of Radicalism,” The Psycological Review, Vol. XXVIII, 1921, pp. 293–294).

488: Symbolical Radicalism.

487: Virgin Eyes.

In a year or two after the cessation of the Tatler [i.e. in 1833], my collected verses were published by subscription; and as a reaction by this time had taken place in favour of political and other progress, and the honest portion of its opponents had not been unwilling to discover the honesty of those with whom they differed, a very handsome list of subscribers appeared in the Times newspaper, comprising names of all shades of opinion, some of my sharpest personal antagonists not excepted.

In this edition of my Poetical Works is to be found the only printed copy of a poem, the title of which (The Gentle Armour) has been a puzzle for guessers. It originated in curious notions of delicacy. The poem is founded on one of the French fabliaux, Les Trois Chevaliers et la Chemise. It is the story of a knight, who, to free himself from the imputation of cowardice, fights against three other knights in no stouter armour than a lady’s garment thus indicated. The late Mr. Way, who first introduced the story to the British public, and who was as respectable and conventional a gentleman, I believe, in every point of view, as could be desired, had no hesitation, some years ago, in rendering the French title of the poem by its (then) corresponding English words, The Three Knights and the Smock; but so rapid are the changes that take place in people’s notions of what is decorous, that not only has the word “smock” (of which it was impossible to see the indelicacy, till people were determined to find it) been displaced since that time by the word “shift;” but even that harmless expression for the act of changing one garment for another, has been set aside in favour of the French word “chemise;” and at length not even this word, it seems, is to be mentioned, nor the garment itself alluded to, by any decent writer! Such, at least, appears to have been the dictum of some customer, or customers, of the bookseller who published the poem. The title was altered to please these gentlemen; and in a subsequent edition of the Works, the poem itself was withdrawn from their virgin eyes.

(Leigh Hunt, Autobiography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1906, pp. 375–376).

487: Virgin Eyes.

486: Estranho Fenômeno.

A partir de 1880 e mais acentuadamente a partir de 1900 o ensino humanístico na Alemanha cedeu cada vez mais ao ensino técnico-profissional. Começou com isso o esplendor industrial e a decadência espiritual da nação, envolvendo enfim a decadência moral, produzindo-se o estranho fenômeno do mais eficiente progresso material ligado ao desprezo completo dos conceitos caros a Dewey e seus discípulos. Conhecem o fim: prêmios Nobel em quantidade, e quantidade maior de campos de extermínio.

(Otto Maria Carpeaux, “O Ensino do Latim: Uma Decisão Política“, Vida Política, Ano 3, No. 105, 25 de Dezembro de 1949).

486: Estranho Fenômeno.

485: Want of Judgment.

A critic is never too severe when he only detects the faults of an author. But he is worse than too severe when, in consequence of this detection, he presumes to place himself on a level with genius. A rat or a serpent can find a hole in the strongest castle; but they could about as much construct it as he could construct the harmonious period or “the lofty rhyme.” Severity lies in rash exaggeration and impudent exposure. Such as fall into it cut their own fingers, and tie them up so clumsily as to make them useless. He who exults over light faults betrays a more notable want of judgment than he censures.

(Walter Savage Landor, Aphorisms. London: George Allen, 1897, p. 162).

485: Want of Judgment.

483: Choose Your Man.

I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, nor how lowly the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you. There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks. Pass your eye down their files. Choose your man.

(Arthur Conan Doyle, Through the Magic Door. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1907, p. 1).

483: Choose Your Man.

482: A Chance?

There are books that are at once excellent and boring. Those that at once leap to the mind are Thoreau’s Walden, Emerson’s Essays, George Eliot’s Adam Bede and Landor’s Dialogues. Is it a chance that they belong very much to the same period?

(W. Somerset Maugham, A Writer’s Notebook. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1949, p. 264).

482: A Chance?