You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies - though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet [God's] beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade
When I read 'Dream of Red Mansions,' I was really struck by the fact that it was built differently from a lot of genre works. Specifically, a lot of the events that should have taken centre-stage - wars, social upheavals - were seen entirely through the eyes of the women of a Chinese household.
Aliette de Bodard
Each of us, even the lowliest and most insignificant among us, was uprooted from his innermost existence by the almost constant volcanic upheavals visited upon our European soil and, as one of countless human beings, I can't claim any special place for myself except that, as an Austrian, a Jew, writer, humanist and pacifist, I have always been precisely in those places where the effects of the thrusts were most violent.
he saw in Populism the first glimmerings of some of the great intellectual upheavals of the twentieth century-naturalism, muckraking, and hard-hitting social satire-which would eventually topple the genteel tradition of the nineteenth century. In a peculiar way, Parrington seemed to think, Kansas was one of the birthplaces of literary modernism.
Faith is harder to shake than knowledge, love succumbs less to change than respect, hate is more enduring than aversion, and the impetus to the mightiest upheavals on this earth has at all times consisted less in a scientific knowledge dominating the masses than in a fanaticism which inspired them and sometimes in a hysteria which drove them forward.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have been overshadowed by the upheavals in the region. I have followed events there for almost 40 years. I am convinced that what is needed for a solution is not only the willingness to negotiate in good faith but also to take into account the needs and sensibility of the negotiating partner. I, for one, just cannot believe that the value of settlements for Israel is bigger than the damage these settlements do as an obstacle to peace.
There will be a shifting of the poles. There will be upheavals in the Arctic and the Antarctic that will make fotr the eruption of volcanos in the Torrid areas... The upper portion of Europe will be changed in the blink of an eye. The earth will be broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea.
It is the same India which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. It is the same land which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country.
The upheavals of adolescence silenced 'A Christmas Carol' for a few years. I became a firebrand atheist. Christmas - humbug! Too commercial! Then I became an agnostic. Christmas was a pro-forma affair, basically a chore. Buy mother a book, dad a new tie, my brother and sister small gifts. Pretend thanks for the fountain pens and shirts I received.
For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals. You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?
You think the end justifies the means, however vile. I tell you: the end is the means by which you achieve it. Today's step is tomorrow's life. Great ends cannot be attained by base means. You've proved that in all your social upheavals. The meanness and inhumanity of the means make you mean and inhuman and make the end unattainable.
If being an anti-art artist is difficult, being an anti-art art historian is a hard position indeed. His doctrinal revolutionism brings forth nothing new in art but reenacts upheavals on the symbolic plane of language. It provides the consoling belief that overthrows are occurring as in the past, that barriers to creation are being surmounted, and that art is pursuing a radical purpose, even if it is only the purpose of doing away with itself.
The old dead trees are the most fascinating - the countless trees lying in the gullies and up the hills that fell perhaps a century ago, pulling up their roots from the earth as they toppled. The great upheavals left rocks in their huge tentacles and, as they slowly rot, the trunks are home to populations of creatures, from goannas to wild pigs. As grey as tombstones in a cemetery they lie there, having outlasted generations of farmers, as they'll outlast me. In their own way they are as beautiful, more beautiful, than living trees.
No single man makes history. History cannot be seen, just as one cannot see grass growing. Wars and revolutions, kings and Robespierres, are history's organic agents, its yeast. But revolutions are made by fanatical men of action with one-track mind, geniuses in their ability to confine themselves to a limited field. They overturn the old order in a few hours or days, the whole upheaval takes a few weeks or at most years, but the fanatical spirit that inspired the upheavals is worshiped for decades thereafter, for centuries.
American Christianity is a story of perpetual upheavals in churches and individual lives. Starting with the extraordinary conversion experience, our lives are motivated by a constant expectation for the Next Big Thing. We're growing bored with the ordinary means of God's grace, attending church week in and week out. Doctrines and disciplines that have shaped faithful Christian witness in the past are often marginalized or substituted with newer fashions or methods. The new and improved may dazzle us for a moment, but soon they have become "so last year". Michael Horton, Ordinary, 16
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness , dear, my happiness will remain, in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal's black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.
In our vital need... science has nothing to say to us. It excludes in principle precisely the question which man, given over in our unhappy times to the most portentous upheavals, finds the most burning: questions about the meaning or meaninglessness of this whole human existence. Do not these questions, universal and necessary for all men, demand universal reflections and answers based on rational insight? In the final analysis they concern man as a free, self-determining being in his behaviour toward the human and extrahuman surrounding world and free in regard to his capacities for rationally shaping himself himself and his surrounding world.
We want not only life but an intense awareness of being alive. The large tendency of our mechanical and standardized civilization is to blunt that awareness by surrounding us with ideas and forms that require the lowest degree of consciousness. One lives in it less by reflection than by reflex. The effect of the uniform blows with which the environment strikes us is to make us insensitive to any but the most violent stimuli; two-thirds of life ceases to exist for us because the valves of attention require cataclysmic upheavals before they will open. Lacking the capacity to be excited by any but the most gross and violent stimuli, we spend our lives in a frantic race with boredom.
There is no small irony here: An administration which flaunted its intellectual superiority and its superior academic credentials made the most critical of decisions with virtually no input from anyone who had any expertise on the recent history of that part of the world, and it in no way factored in the entire experience of the French Indochina War. Part of the reason for this were the upheavals of the McCarthy period, but in part it was also the arrogance of men of the Atlantic; it was as if these men did not need to know about such a distant and somewhat less worthy part of the world. Lesser parts of the world attracted lesser men; years later I came upon a story which illustrated this theory perfectly. Jack Langguth, a writer and college classmate of mine, mentioned to a member of that Administration that he was thinking of going on to study Latin American history. The man had turned to him, his contempt barely concealed, and said, 'Second-rate parts of the world for second-rate minds.
Now Miss Mapp's social dictatorship among the ladies of Tilling had long been paramount, but every now and then signs of rebellious upheavals showed themselves. By virtue of her commanding personality these had never assumed really serious proportions, for Diva, who was generally the leader in these uprisings, had not the same moral massiveness. But now when Elizabeth was so exceedingly superior, the fumes of Bolshevism mounted swiftly to Diva's head. Moreover, the sight of this puzzling male impersonator, old, wrinkled, and moustached, had kindled to a greater heat her desire to know her and learn what it felt like to be Romeo on the music-hall stage and, after years of that delirious existence, to subside into a bath-chair and Suntrap and Tilling. What a wonderful life!... And behind all this there was a vague notion that Elizabeth had got her information in some clandestine manner and had muddled it. For all her clear-headedness and force Elizabeth did sometimes make a muddle and it would be sweeter than honey and the honeycomb to catch her out. So in a state of brooding resentment Diva went home to lunch and concentrated on how to get even with Elizabeth.
Dryden was a highly prolific literary figure, a professional writer who was at the centre of all the greatest debates of his time: the end of the Commonwealth, the return of the monarch, the political and religious upheavals of the 1680s, and the specifically literary questions of neoclassicism opposed to more modern trends. He was Poet Laureate from 1668, but lost this position in 1688 on the overthrow of James II. Dryden had become Catholic in 1685, and his allegorical poem The Hind and the Panther (1687) discusses the complex issues of religion and politics in an attempt to reconcile bitterly opposed factions. This contains a well-known line which anticipates Wordsworth more than a century later: 'By education most have been misled ... / And thus the child imposes on the man'. The poem shows an awareness of change as one grows older, and the impossibility of holding one view for a lifetime: My thoughtless youth was winged with vain desires, My manhood, long misled by wandering fires, Followed false lights... After 1688, Dryden returned to the theatre, which had given him many of his early successes in tragedy, tragi-comedy, and comedy, as well as with adaptations of Shakespeare... Dryden was an innovator, leading the move from heroic couplets to blank verse in drama, and at the centre of the intellectual debates of the Augustan age. He experimented with verse forms throughout his writing life until Fables Ancient and Modern (1700), which brings together critical, translated, and original works, in a fitting conclusion to a varied career.
The Restoration did not so much restore as replace. In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, it replaced Cromwell's Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France. It replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system - which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories - with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition. Above all, in systems of thought, the Restoration replaced the probing, exploring, risk-taking intellectual values of the Renaissance. It relied on reason and on facts rather than on speculation. So, in the decades between 1660 and 1700, the basis was set for the growth of a new kind of society. This society was Protestant (apart from the brief reign of the Catholic King James II, 1685-88), middle class, and unthreatened by any repetition of the huge and traumatic upheavals of the first part of the seventeenth century. It is symptomatic that the overthrow of James II in 1688 was called The 'Glorious' or 'Bloodless' Revolution. The 'fever in the blood' which the Renaissance had allowed was now to be contained, subject to reason, and kept under control. With only the brief outburst of Jacobin revolutionary sentiment at the time of the Romantic poets, this was to be the political context in the United Kingdom for two centuries or more. In this context, the concentration of society was on commerce, on respectability, and on institutions. The 'genius of the nation' led to the founding of the Royal Society in 1662 - 'for the improving of Natural Knowledge'. The Royal Society represents the trend towards the institutionalisation of scientific investigation and research in this period. The other highly significant institution, one which was to have considerably more importance in the future, was the Bank of England, founded in 1694.