Famous Quotes & Sayings

Guy Davenport Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 41 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Guy Davenport.

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Famous Quotes By Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1895638

In curved Einsteinian space we are at all times, technically, looking at the back of our own head. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2161376

The poet and poetess have always had a rough time of it in the Republic. It has ever been their endemic luck to starve, become a Harvard professor, commit suicide, lose their reading glasses before an audience of sophomores, go upon the people a la Barnum, and serve as homework in state universities, where they could in nowise get a position and where their presence usually scatters the English faculty like a truant officer among the Amish. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2027901

Art is the attention we pay to the wholeness of the world. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1262533

I was thought to be retarded as a child, and all the evidence indicates that I was. — Guy Davenport

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Unless the work of art has wholly exhausted its maker's attention, it fails. This is why works of great significance are demanding and why they are infinitely rewarding. — Guy Davenport

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I've carved the puppet, and I manipulate the strings, but while it's on stage, the show belongs to the puppet. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1869851

Olson's Maximus and Zukofsky's 'A' are too symbolically and verbally complex, respectively, to command large audiences especially in an age when a college degree is becoming a certificate of illiteracy. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 188318

Something of the previous state, however, survives every change. This is called in the language of cybernetics (which took it form the language of machines) feedback, the advantages of learning from experience and of having developed reflexes. — Guy Davenport

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There's nothing like being a soldier for confidence or learning your limits or enduring utter humiliation. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1966211

A boar is a very special kind of animal whose bristling is a thing unto itself, and his nape, like a snake's neck, is more a word than a reality. — Guy Davenport

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Fiction's essential activity is to imagine how others feel, what a Saturday afternoon in an Italian town in the 2nd Century looked like. My ambition is solely to get some effect, as of light on stone in a forest on a September day. — Guy Davenport

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The birds suffer their suffering each in a lifetime, forgetting it as they go. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2001116

Lives do not have plots, only biographies do. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2008441

A pettos speckled with gold ajiggle with a fremitus from the heart touches me like Athena's hoolet mewing in uncertain dark. So much is nature, whereon we build our particulars fastidious and critical. Your every arrow O Eros has hit me, as the song goes. O girls, girls. This arrow is Timo's curls, this is Heliodora's shoes, this the smell of quinces that blows from Demo's door, flowers plaited into Dorothea's hair and ox-eyed Antikleia's smile that is music from the islands, summer's stars. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2027927

Avoid the suave flow of prose that's the trademark of the glib writer. An easy and smooth style is all very well, but it takes no chances and has no seductive wrinkles, no pauses for thought. — Guy Davenport

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Art is always the replacement of indifference by attention. — Guy Davenport

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I am not writing for scholars or fellow critics, but for people who like to read, to look at pictures, and to know things. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1803739

We will always return to the private and inviolable act of reading as our culture's way of developing an individual. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 1602519

Of the autistically interior, dreaming, reading, erotic, self-sufficient child in Balthus' painting we have practically no image at all. Balthus' children are not being driven to succeed where their parents failed, or to be popular, adjusted, or a somebody. — Guy Davenport

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How can I shake and dispel the awful reputation of being an "erudite" writer? I'm about as erudite as a traffic cop. I like to know things; what's so two-headed peculiar about that? — Guy Davenport

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Sometimes when reading Goethe I have a paralyzing suspicion that he is trying to be funny. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 2227233

I like to believe that I don't think of myself as a writer. I am an amateur. Back when I was teaching, I wrote when I could. Weekends were good typewriter time. Now, it's whenever I feel there's something to be put on paper. I don't care what time it is, though I always write in the notebooks at night. — Guy Davenport

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The meaning of the world, said Wittgenstein, is outside the world. Events and values are distinguishable only in relation to others. A totality of events and values, the world itself, requires another. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 728494

When Heraclitus said that everything passes steadily along, he was not inciting us to make the best of the moment, an idea unseemly to his placid mind, but to pay attention to the pace of things. Each has its own rhythm: the nap of a dog, the procession of the equinoxes, the dances of Lydia, the majestically slow beat of the drums at Dodona, the swift runners at Olympia. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 183853

My view, as one who taught it, is that the whole purpose of a literary education should be to tell people that these things exist. I don't think any teacher should try to 'teach an author,' but rather simply describe what the author has written. And this is what I tried to do. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 192429

I God, a very Gomorry on wheels! You lead the most exciting life I know of, and complain more about it than any two well-off bastards in the running. I am glad to hear you sound like your old self, though I never hearn of no Jonathan with two Davids.
Top of this letter is an allusion to that wonderful novel, The SotWeed Factor, in which Ebenezer Cooke, "poet and virgin," is about to be raped by a buncher sailors (they have him tied across a table in the fo'c'sle; he is saved by a raiding party of pirates, one of whom strides into the scene and says, "I God, this here ship's a very floatin' Gomorry!"
Have come down with the flu since inditing the above. [ ... ]. The mail yestiddy brought a letter from Sam Beckett! asked to see Sappho and Arky. I sag with fatigue. Blessings.
Guy — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 216886

A work of art is a form that articulates forces, making them intelligible. — Guy Davenport

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Nothing now exists that is so valuable as whatever theoretically might replace it. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 423741

The real use of imaginative reading is precisely to suspend one's mind in the workings of another sensibility. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 431120

Reality is the most effective mask of reality. Our fondest wish, attained, ceases to be our fondest wish. Success is the greatest of disappointments. The spirit is most alive when it is lost. Anxiety was Kafka's composure, as despair was Kierkegaard's happiness. Kafka said impatience is our greatest fault. The man at the gate of the Law waited there all of his life. — Guy Davenport

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Art knows neither doctrine nor idea; its nature is to show. — Guy Davenport

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It is worthwhile adding that the power of the poem to teach not only sensibilities and the subtle movements of the spirit but knowledge, real lasting felt knowledge, is going mostly unnoticed among our scholars. The body of knowledge locked into and releasable from poetry can replace practically any university in the Republic. First things first, then: the primal importance of a poem is what it can add to the individual mind.
Poetry is the voice of a poet at its birth, and the voice of a people in its ultimate fulfillment as a successful and useful work of art. — Guy Davenport

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Bonnie Jean (who thinks all philosophers are idiots) has this quarrel with Wittgenstein, who in several places says that reddish green is inconceivable. Yet every summer, when our peppers are drying from green to red, one can see an intermediate stage that is precisely reddish green. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 733967

Imagination is like the drunk man who lost his watch and must get drunk again to find it. — Guy Davenport

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As long as you have ideas, you can keep going. That's why writing fiction is so much fun: because you're moving people about, and making settings for them to move in, so there's always something there to keep working on. — Guy Davenport

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Poetry and fiction have grieved for a century now over the loss of some vitality which they think they see in a past from which we are by now irrevocably alienated. — Guy Davenport

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The poet is at the edge of our consciousness of the world, finding beyond the suspected nothingness which we imagine limits our perception another acre or so of being worth our venturing upon. — Guy Davenport

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There are many objects of desire, and therefore many desires. Some are born with us, hunger, yearning, and pride of place, and some are the foolishness of the world, such as the desire to eat off silver plates. Desire is a wild horse to be tamed. Virtue is a habit long continued. The taming of desire is like the training of the athlete. Discipline is not the restraint but the use of energy ... When I forbid myself what I may have, no person is going to tempt me with what is truly forbidden. — Guy Davenport

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I never intended to be a teacher. I just like going to school and learning things. — Guy Davenport

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Originality houses many rooms, and the views from the windows are all different. — Guy Davenport

Guy Davenport Quotes 100973

The difference between the Parthenon and the World Trade Center, between a French wine glass and a German beer mug, between Bach and John Philip Sousa, between Sophocles and Shakespeare, between a bicycle and a horse, though explicable by historical moment, necessity, and destiny, is before all a difference of imagination. — Guy Davenport