Randall Jarrell citáty

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Randall Jarrell

Dátum narodenia: 6. máj 1914
Dátum úmrtia: 14. október 1965

Randall Jarrell was an American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, novelist, and the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now bears the title Poet Laureate.

Citáty Randall Jarrell

„It is ugly ducklings, grown either into swans or into remarkably big, remarkably ugly ducks, who are responsible for most works of art; and yet how few of these give a truthful account of what it was like to be an ugly duckling!“

—  Randall Jarrell

it is almost as if the grown, successful swan had repressed most of the memories of the duckling’s miserable, embarrassing, magical beginnings. (The memories are deeply humiliating in two ways: they remind the adult that he was once more ignorant and gullible and emotional than he is; and they remind him that he once was, potentially, far more than he is.)

“An Unread Book”, p. 19
The Third Book of Criticism (1969)

„What we are most anxious about is our anxiety itself: the greatest of all sins, Auden learns from Kafka, is impatience — and he decides that the hero “is, in fact, one who is not anxious.”“

—  Randall Jarrell

But it was inevitable that Auden should arrive at this point. His anxiety is fundamental; and the one thing that anxiety cannot do is to accept itself, to do nothing about itself — consequently it admires more than anything else in the world doing nothing, sitting still, waiting.

“Freud to Paul: The Stages of Auden’s Ideology”, p. 180
The Third Book of Criticism (1969)

„...man is the animal that moralizes. Man is also the animal that complains about being one, and says that there is an animal, a beast inside him — that he is brother to dragons.“

—  Randall Jarrell

He is certainly a brother to wolves, and to pandas too, but he is father to dragons, not brother: they, like many gods and devils, are inventions of his.

“On the Underside of the Stone”, p. 177
Kipling, Auden & Co: Essays and Reviews 1935-1964 (1980)

„I don’t need to praise anything so justly famous as Frost’s observation of and empathy with everything in Nature from a hornet to a hillside; and he has observed his own nature, one person’s random or consequential chains of thoughts and feelings and perceptions, quite as well.“

—  Randall Jarrell

And this person, in the poems, is not the “alienated artist” cut off from everybody who isn’t, yum-yum, another alienated artist; he is someone like normal people only more so — a normal person in the less common and more important sense of normal.
“The Other Frost”, p. 29
Poetry and the Age (1953)

„My destiny is accomplished and I die content.“

—  Randall Jarrell, kniha Pictures from an Institution

How often she made such quotations as these, said or felt or was them! For just as many Americans want art to be Life, so this American novelist wanted life to be Art, not seeing that many of the values—though not, perhaps, the final ones—of life and art are irreconcilable; so that her life looked coldly into the mirror that it held up to itself, and saw that it was full of quotations, of data and analysis and epigrams, of naked and shameful truths, of facts: it saw that it was a novel by Gertrude Johnson.
Zdroj: Pictures from an Institution (1954) [novel], Chapter 5: “Gertrude and Sidney”, p. 214

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„In Stage II guilt is first of all social, liberal, moral guilt—a guilt so general as to seem almost formal. It is we who are responsible, either by commission or—more generally—by omission, for everything from killing off the Tasmanians to burning the books at Alexandria.“

—  Randall Jarrell

You didn’t do it? Then you should have stopped them from doing it. You never heard of it? Ignorant as well as evil, eh? You weren’t born? You’re guilty, I tell you—guilty.
“Freud to Paul: The Stages of Auden’s Ideology”, p. 169
The Third Book of Criticism (1969)

„Sometimes it is hard to criticize, one wants only to chronicle.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"Verse Chronicle," The Nation (23 February 1946); reprinted as "Bad Poets" in Poetry and the Age (1953)
General sources
Kontext: Sometimes it is hard to criticize, one wants only to chronicle. The good and mediocre books come in from week to week, and I put them aside and read them and think of what to say; but the "worthless" books come in day after day, like the cries and truck sounds from the street, and there is nothing that anyone could think of that is good enough for them. In the bad type of thin pamphlets, in hand-set lines on imported paper, people's hard lives and hopeless ambitions have expressed themselves more directly and heartbreakingly than they have ever expressed in any work of art: it is as if the writers had sent you their ripped-out arms and legs, with "This is a poem" scrawled on them in lipstick. After a while one is embarrassed not so much for them as for poetry, which is for these poor poets one more of the openings against which everyone in the end beats his brains out; and one finds it unbearable that poetry should be so hard to write — a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey in which there is for most of the players no tail, no donkey, not even a booby prize.

„The soul has no assignments, neither cooks
Nor referees: it wastes its time.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"A Girl in a Library," lines 32-29
The Seven-League Crutches (1951)
Kontext: The soul has no assignments, neither cooks
Nor referees: it wastes its time. It wastes its time.
Here in this enclave there are centuries
For you to waste: the short and narrow stream
Of life meanders into a thousand valleys
Of all that was, or might have been, or is to be.
The books, just leafed through, whisper endlessly.

„This is the devil. Flesh to flesh, he bleats
The herd back to the pit of being.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"The Knight, Death and the Devil," lines 17-20
The Seven-League Crutches (1951)
Kontext: His eye a ring inside a ring inside a ring
That leers up, joyless, vile, in meek obscenity —
This is the devil. Flesh to flesh, he bleats
The herd back to the pit of being.

„Poetry is a bad medium for philosophy.“

—  Randall Jarrell

“Reflections on Wallace Stevens”, p. 127, originally in Partisan Review, Vol. 18, (May/June 1951)
Poetry and the Age (1953)
Kontext: Poetry is a bad medium for philosophy. Everything in the philosophical poem has to satisfy irreconcilable requirements: for instance, the last demand that we should make of philosophy (that it be interesting) is the first we make of a poem; the philosophical poet has an elevated and methodical, but forlorn and absurd air as he works away at his flying tank, his sewing-machine that also plays the piano.

„I see at last that all the knowledgeI wrung from the darkness — that the darkness flung me —
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"90 North," lines 28-32
Blood for a Stranger (1942)
Kontext: I see at last that all the knowledgeI wrung from the darkness — that the darkness flung me —
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness
And we call it wisdom. It is pain.

„These writers, plainly, lived in different worlds.“

—  Randall Jarrell

“The Obscurity of the Poet”, p. 17
Poetry and the Age (1953)
Kontext: Goethe said, “The author whom a lexicon can keep up with is worth nothing”; Somerset Maugham says that the finest compliment he ever received was a letter in which one of his readers said: “I read your novel without having to look up a single word in the dictionary.” These writers, plainly, lived in different worlds.

„Men wash their hands in blood, as best they can:
I find no fault in this just man.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"Eighth Air Force," lines 16-20
Losses (1948)
Kontext: For this last savior, man,
I have lied as I lie now. But what is lying?
Men wash their hands in blood, as best they can:
I find no fault in this just man.

„The world and its life are her dreams.“

—  Randall Jarrell

"Variations," lines 31-33
Blood for a Stranger (1942)
Kontext: The nurse is the night
To wake to, to die in: and the day I live,
The world and its life are her dreams.

„The author whom a lexicon can keep up with is worth nothing“

—  Randall Jarrell

“The Obscurity of the Poet”, p. 17
Poetry and the Age (1953)
Kontext: Goethe said, “The author whom a lexicon can keep up with is worth nothing”; Somerset Maugham says that the finest compliment he ever received was a letter in which one of his readers said: “I read your novel without having to look up a single word in the dictionary.” These writers, plainly, lived in different worlds.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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