Walter Quotes

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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
Tonight, however, Dickens struck him in a different light. Beneath the author's sentimental pity for the weak and helpless, he could discern a revolting pleasure in cruelty and suffering, while the grotesque figures of the people in Cruikshank's illustrations revealed too clearly the hideous distortions of their souls. What had seemed humorous now appeared diabolic, and in disgust at these two favourites he turned to Walter Pater for the repose and dignity of a classic spirit. But presently he wondered if this spirit were not in itself of a marble quality, frigid and lifeless, contrary to the purpose of nature. 'I have often thought', he said to himself, 'that there is something evil in the austere worship of beauty for its own sake.' He had never thought so before, but he liked to think that this impulse of fancy was the result of mature consideration, and with this satisfaction he composed himself for sleep. He woke two or three times in the night, an unusual occurrence, but he was glad of it, for each time he had been dreaming horribly of these blameless Victorian works... It turned out to be the Boy's Gulliver's Travels that Granny had given him, and Dicky had at last to explain his rage with the devil who wrote it to show that men were worse than beasts and the human race a washout. A boy who never had good school reports had no right to be so morbidly sensitive as to penetrate to the underlying cynicism of Swift's delightful fable, and that moreover in the bright and carefully expurgated edition they bring out nowadays. Mr Corbett could not say he had ever noticed the cynicism himself, though he knew from the critical books it must be there, and with some annoyance he advised his son to take out a nice bright modern boy's adventure story that could not depress anybody. Mr Corbett soon found that he too was 'off reading'. Every new book seemed to him weak, tasteless and insipid; while his old and familiar books were depressing or even, in some obscure way, disgusting. Authors must all be filthy-minded; they probably wrote what they dared not express in their lives. Stevenson had said that literature was a morbid secretion; he read Stevenson again to discover his peculiar morbidity, and detected in his essays a self-pity masquerading as courage, and in Treasure Island an invalid's sickly attraction to brutality. This gave him a zest to find out what he disliked so much, and his taste for reading revived as he explored with relish the hidden infirmities of minds that had been valued by fools as great and noble. He saw Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte« as two unpleasant examples of spinsterhood; the one as a prying, sub-acid busybody in everyone else's flirtations, the other as a raving, craving maenad seeking self-immolation on the altar of her frustrated passions. He compared Wordsworth's love of nature to the monstrous egoism of an ancient bellwether, isolated from the flock.

Margaret Irwin
The 1950s and 1960s: philosophy, psychology, myth There was considerable critical interest in Woolf 's life and work in this period, fuelled by the publication of selected extracts from her diaries, in A Writer's Diary (1953), and in part by J. K. Johnstone's The Bloomsbury Group (1954). The main critical impetus was to establish a sense of a unifying aesthetic mode in Woolf 's writing, and in her works as a whole, whether through philosophy, psychoanalysis, formal aesthetics, or mythopoeisis. James Hafley identified a cosmic philosophy in his detailed analysis of her fiction, The Glass Roof: Virginia Woolf as Novelist (1954), and offered a complex account of her symbolism. Woolf featured in the influential The English Novel: A Short Critical History (1954) by Walter Allen who, with antique chauvinism, describes the Woolfian 'moment' in terms of 'short, sharp female gasps of ecstasy, an impression intensified by Mrs Woolf 's use of the semi-colon where the comma is ordinarily enough'. Psychological and Freudian interpretations were also emerging at this time, such as Joseph Blotner's 1956 study of mythic patterns in To the Lighthouse, an essay that draws on Freud, Jung and the myth of Persephone.4 And there were studies of Bergsonian writing that made much of Woolf, such as Shiv Kumar's Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel (1962). The most important work of this period was by the French critic Jean Guiguet. His Virginia Woolf and Her Works (1962); translated by Jean Stewart, 1965) was the first full-length study ofWoolf 's oeuvre, and it stood for a long time as the standard work of critical reference in Woolf studies. Guiguet draws on the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre to put forward a philosophical reading of Woolf; and he also introduces a psychobiographical dimension in the non-self.' This existentialist approach did not foreground Woolf 's feminism, either. his heavy use of extracts from A Writer's Diary. He lays great emphasis on subjectivism in Woolf 's writing, and draws attention to her interest in the subjective experience of 'the moment.' Despite his philosophical apparatus, Guiguet refuses to categorise Woolf in terms of any one school, and insists that Woolf has indeed 'no pretensions to abstract thought: her domain is life, not ideology'. Her avoidance of conventional character makes Woolf for him a 'purely psychological' writer.5 Guiguet set a trend against materialist and historicist readings ofWoolf by his insistence on the primacy of the subjective and the psychological: 'To exist, for Virginia Woolf, meant experiencing that dizziness on the ridge between two abysses of the unknown, the self and

Jane Goldman
Why two (or whole groups) of people can come up with the same story or idea at the same time, even when across the world from each-other: "A field is a region of influence, where a force will influence objects at a distance with nothing in between. We and our universe live in a Quantum sea of light. Scientists have found that the real currency of the universe is an exchange of energy. Life radiates light, even when grown in the dark. Creation takes place amidst a background sea of energy, which metaphysics might call the Force, and scientists call the "Field." (Officially the Zero Point Field) There is no empty space, even the darkest empty space is actually a cauldron of energies. Matter is simply concentrations of this energy (particles are just little knots of energy.) All life is energy (light) interacting. The universe is self-regenreating and eternal, constantly refreshing itself and in touch with every other part of itself instantaneously. Everything in it is giving, exchanging and interacting with energy, coming in and out of existence at every level. The self has a field of influence on the world and visa versa based on this energy. Biology has more and more been determined a quantum process, and consciousness as well, functions at the quantum level (connected to a universe of energy that underlies and connects everything). Scientist Walter Schempp's showed that long and short term memory is stored not in our brain but in this "Field" of energy or light that pervades and creates the universe and world we live in. A number of scientists since him would go on to argue that the brain is simply the retrieval and read-out mechanism of the ultimate storage medium - the Field. Associates from Japan would hypothesize that what we think of as memory is simply a coherent emission of signals from the "Field," and that longer memories are a structured grouping of this wave information. If this were true, it would explain why one tiny association often triggers a riot of sights, sounds and smells. It would also explain why, with long-term memory in particular, recall is instantaneous and doesn't require any scanning mechanism to sift through years and years of memory. If they are correct, our brain is not a storage medium but a receiving mechanism in every sense, and memory is simply a distant cousin of perception. Some scientists went as far as to suggest that all of our higher cognitive processes result from an interaction with the Field. This kind of constant interaction might account for intuition or creativity - and how ideas come to us in bursts of insight, sometimes in fragments but often as a miraculous whole. An intuitive leap might simply be a sudden coalescence of coherence in the Field. The fact that the human body was exchanging information with a mutable field of quantum fluctuation suggested something profound about the world. It hinted at human capabilities for knowledge and communication far deeper and more extended than we presently understand. It also blurred the boundary lines of our individuality - our very sense of separateness. If living things boil down to charged particles interacting with a Field and sending out and receiving quantum information, where did we end and the rest of the world began? Where was consciousness-encased inside our bodies or out there in the Field? Indeed, there was no more 'out there' if we and the rest of the world were so intrinsically interconnected. In ignoring the effect of the "Field" modern physicists set mankind back, by eliminating the possibility of interconnectedness and obscuring a scientific explanation for many kinds of miracles. In re-normalizing their equations (to leave this part out) what they'd been doing was a little like subtracting God.

Lynne McTaggart
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