Frankness Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Making another effort to be paradoxical, Williams decides to identify Orwell as an instance of 'the paradox of the exile'. This, which he also identified with D. H. Lawrence, constituted an actual 'tradition', which, in England: attracts to itself many of the liberal virtues: empiricism, a certain integrity, frankness. It has also, as the normally contingent virtue of exile, certain qualities of perception: in particular, the ability to distinguish inadequacies in the groups which have been rejected. It gives, also, an appearance of strength, although this is largely illusory. The qualities, though salutary, are largely negative; there is an appearance of hardness (the austere criticism of hypocrisy, complacency, self-deceit), but this is usually brittle, and at times hysterical: the substance of community is lacking, and the tension, in men of high quality, is very great. This is quite a fine passage, even when Williams is engaged in giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Orwell's working title for Nineteen Eighty-Four was 'The Last Man in Europe, ' and there are traces of a kind of solipsistic nobility elsewhere in his work, the attitude of the flinty and solitary loner. May he not be valued, however, as the outstanding English example of the dissident intellectual who preferred above all other allegiances the loyalty to truth? Self-evidently, Williams does not believe this and the clue is in the one word, so seemingly innocuous in itself, 'community.

Christopher Hitchens
It was unearthly, and the men were-No, they were not inhuman. Well, you know, that was the worst of it-this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled, and leaped, and spun, and made horrid faces; but what thrilled you was just the thought of their humanity-like yours-the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough; but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you-you so remote from the night of first ages-could comprehend. And why not? The mind of man is capable of anything-because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, valor, rage-who can tell?-but truth-truth stripped of its cloak of time. Let the fool gape and shudder-the man knows, and can look on without a wink. But he must at least be as much of a man as these on the shore. He must meet that truth with his own true stuff-with his own inborn strength. Principles? Principles won't do. Acquisitions, clothes, pretty rags-rags that would fly off at the first good shake. No; you want a deliberate belief. An appeal to me in this fiendish row-is there? Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced. Of course, a fool, what with sheer fright and fine sentiments, is always safe. Who's that grunting? You wonder I didn't go ashore for a howl and a dance? Well, no-I didn't. Fine sentiments, you say? Fine sentiments, be hanged! I had no time. I had to mess about with white-lead and strips of woolen blanket helping to put bandages on those leaky steam-pipes-I tell you.

Joseph Conrad