Herman Melville citátov

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Herman Melville

Dátum narodenia: 1. august 1819
Dátum úmrtia: 28. september 1891

Reklama

Herman Melville bol americký prozaik, básnik a esejista, autor Bielej veľryby.

Jeho prínosom do literatúry boli diela ako Biela veľryba , Bartleby the Scrivener , Benito Cereno , Billy Budd, tento román však zostal nedokončený a bol vydaný až v roku 1924.

Keď mal okolo 20 rokov, stal sa učiteľom a neskôr námorníkom. Jeho prvá plavba viedla na Markézske ostrovy, kde aj krátku dobu žil. Prvou knihou, ktorá zobrazovala jeho vtedajší život bola kniha Taipi Omu. Táto kniha sa stala "bestsellerom" a Melville sa preslávil ako "muž, ktorý žil medzi kanibalmi". Po literárnom úspechu koncom devätnásteho storočia, prišiel neúspech v podobe diela Biela veľryba čo viedlo ku koncu jeho slávnej literárnej kariéry. Počas ďalších desaťročí Melville vydal niekoľko básnických diel, ktoré sa však preslávili až po jeho smrti. Keď v roku 1891 zomrel, Melville sa takmer úplne stratil z povedomia ľudí. Jeho návrat prišiel na začiatku dvadsiateho storočia, keď získal ocenenie za jeho tvorbu, najmä za dielo Moby Dick, ktoré bolo od vtedy vyhlásené za veľdielo, či už americkej alebo svetovej literatúry.

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Citáty Herman Melville

„The worst of our evils we blindly inflict upon ourselves; our officers cannot remove them, even if they would.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: The worst of our evils we blindly inflict upon ourselves; our officers cannot remove them, even if they would. From the last ills no being can save another; therein each man must be his own saviour. For the rest, whatever befall us, let us never train our murderous guns inboard; let us not mutiny with bloody pikes in our hands. Our Lord High Admiral will yet interpose; and though long ages should elapse, and leave our wrongs unredressed, yet, shipmates and world-mates! let us never forget, that, Whoever afflict us, whatever surround, Life is a voyage that's homeward-bound! Ch. 93

Reklama

„It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. Context: It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers, — it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small. Let us believe it, then, once for all, that there is no hope for us in these smooth pleasing writers that know their powers.

„A smile is the chosen vehicle of all ambiguities.“

—  Herman Melville, Pierre: or, the Ambiguities
Bk. IV, ch. 5

„We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and along these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.“

—  Herman Melville
Though this statement and a few other variants of it have been widely attributed to Herman Melville, it is actually a paraphrase of one found in a sermon of Henry Melvill, "Partaking in Other Men's Sins", St. Margaret's Church, Lothbury, England (12 June 1855), printed in Golden Lectures (1855) :

Reklama

„In the light of that martial code whereby it was formally to be judged, innocence and guilt personified in Claggart and Budd in effect changed places.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: In the light of that martial code whereby it was formally to be judged, innocence and guilt personified in Claggart and Budd in effect changed places. In a legal view the apparent victim of the tragedy was he who had sought to victimize a man blameless; and the indisputable deed of the latter, navally regarded, constituted the most heinous of military crimes. Ch. 21

„In me divine magnanimities are spontaneous and instantaneous — catch them while you can.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: In me divine magnanimities are spontaneous and instantaneous — catch them while you can. The world goes round, and the other side comes up. So now I can't write what I felt. But I felt pantheistic then—your heart beat in my ribs and mine in yours, and both in God's. A sense of unspeakable security is in me this moment, on account of your having understood the book. I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb. Ineffable socialities are in me. I would sit down and dine with you and all the Gods in old Rome's Pantheon. It is a strange feeling — no hopelessness is in it, no despair. Content — that is it; and irresponsibility; but without licentious inclination. I speak now of my profoundest sense of being, not of an incidental feeling. Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 1851); published in Memories of Hawthorne (1897) by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, p. 157

„It will be a strange sort of book“

—  Herman Melville
Context: It will be a strange sort of book, tho', I fear; blubber is blubber you know; tho' you may get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree; — & to cook the thing up, one must needs throw in a little fancy, which from the nature of the thing, must be ungainly as the gambols of the whales themselves. Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, spite of this. On Moby-Dick, in a letter to Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1 May 1850)

„Would that all excellent books were foundlings, without father or mother, that so it might be, we could glorify them, without including their ostensible authors.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: Would that all excellent books were foundlings, without father or mother, that so it might be, we could glorify them, without including their ostensible authors. Nor would any true man take exception to this; — least of all, he who writes, — "When the Artist rises high enough to achieve the Beautiful, the symbol by which he makes it perceptible to mortal senses becomes of little value in his eyes, while his spirit possesses itself in the enjoyment of the reality." The last sentence is a quotation of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Reklama

„It is a strange feeling — no hopelessness is in it, no despair. Content — that is it; and irresponsibility; but without licentious inclination. I speak now of my profoundest sense of being, not of an incidental feeling.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: In me divine magnanimities are spontaneous and instantaneous — catch them while you can. The world goes round, and the other side comes up. So now I can't write what I felt. But I felt pantheistic then—your heart beat in my ribs and mine in yours, and both in God's. A sense of unspeakable security is in me this moment, on account of your having understood the book. I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb. Ineffable socialities are in me. I would sit down and dine with you and all the Gods in old Rome's Pantheon. It is a strange feeling — no hopelessness is in it, no despair. Content — that is it; and irresponsibility; but without licentious inclination. I speak now of my profoundest sense of being, not of an incidental feeling. Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 1851); published in Memories of Hawthorne (1897) by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, p. 157

„Bluntly put, a chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving in the host of the God of War — Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why then is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: Marvel not that having been made acquainted with the young sailor's essential innocence (an irruption of heretic thought hard to suppress) the worthy man lifted not a finger to avert the doom of such a martyr to martial discipline. So to do would not only have been as idle as invoking the desert, but would also have been an audacious transgression of the bounds of his function, one as exactly prescribed to him by military law as that of the boatswain or any other naval officer. Bluntly put, a chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace serving in the host of the God of War — Mars. As such, he is as incongruous as a musket would be on the altar at Christmas. Why then is he there? Because he indirectly subserves the purpose attested by the cannon; because too he lends the sanction of the religion of the meek to that which practically is the abrogation of everything but brute Force. Ch. 24

„Who knows that, when men-of-war shall be no more, "White-Jacket" may not be quoted to show to the people in the Millennium what a man-of-war was? God hasten the time!“

—  Herman Melville
Context: I let nothing slip, however small; and feel myself actuated by the same motive which has prompted many worthy old chroniclers, to set down the merest trifles concerning things that are destined to pass away entirely from the earth, and which, if not preserved in the nick of time, must infallibly perish from the memories of man. Who knows that this humble narrative may not hereafter prove the history of an obsolete barbarism? Who knows that, when men-of-war shall be no more, "White-Jacket" may not be quoted to show to the people in the Millennium what a man-of-war was? God hasten the time! Ch. 68

„These men are all cracked right across the brow. And never will the pullers-down be able to cope with the builders-up.“

—  Herman Melville
Context: I do not oscillate in Emerson's rainbow, but prefer rather to hang myself in mine own halter than swing in any other man's swing. Yet I think Emerson is more than a brilliant fellow. Be his stuff begged, borrowed, or stolen, or of his own domestic manufacture he is an uncommon man. Swear he is a humbug — then is he no common humbug. Lay it down that had not Sir Thomas Browne lived, Emerson would not have mystified — I will answer, that had not Old Zack's father begot him, old Zack would never have been the hero of Palo Alto. The truth is that we are all sons, grandsons, or nephews or great-nephews of those who go before us. No one is his own sire. — I was very agreeably disappointed in Mr Emerson. I had heard of him as full of transcendentalisms, myths & oracular gibberish; I had only glanced at a book of his once in Putnam's store — that was all I knew of him, till I heard him lecture. — To my surprise, I found him quite intelligible, tho' to say truth, they told me that that night he was unusually plain. — Now, there is a something about every man elevated above mediocrity, which is, for the most part, instinctuly perceptible. This I see in Mr Emerson. And, frankly, for the sake of the argument, let us call him a fool; — then had I rather be a fool than a wise man. —I love all men who dive. Any fish can swim near the surface, but it takes a great whale to go down stairs five miles or more; & if he don't attain the bottom, why, all the lead in Galena can't fashion the plumet that will. I'm not talking of Mr Emerson now — but of the whole corps of thought-divers, that have been diving & coming up again with bloodshot eyes since the world began. I could readily see in Emerson, notwithstanding his merit, a gaping flaw. It was, the insinuation, that had he lived in those days when the world was made, he might have offered some valuable suggestions. These men are all cracked right across the brow. And never will the pullers-down be able to cope with the builders-up. And this pulling down is easy enough — a keg of powder blew up Block's Monument — but the man who applied the match, could not, alone, build such a pile to save his soul from the shark-maw of the Devil. But enough of this Plato who talks thro' his nose. Letter to Evert Augustus Duyckinck (3 March 1849); published in The Letters of Herman Melville (1960) edited by Merrell R. Davis and William H. Gilman, p. 78; a portion of this is sometimes modernized in two ways:

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