Lytton Strachey Quotes


21 Lytton Strachey quotes:



"In France particularly, under the strong and brilliant government of Francis I, there was an outburst of original and vital writing."
"But Racine's extraordinary powers as a writer become still more obvious when we consider that besides being a great poet he is also a great psychologist."
"During this earlier period of his activity Voltaire seems to have been trying - half unconsciously, perhaps - to discover and to express the fundamental quality of his genius."
"English dramatic literature is, of course, dominated by Shakespeare; and it is almost inevitable that an English reader should measure the value of other poetic drama by the standards which Shakespeare has already implanted in his mind."
"Englishmen have always loved Moliere."
"How far the existence of the Academy has influenced French literature, either for good or for evil, is an extremely dubious question."
"Ignorance is the first requisite of the historian - ignorance, which simplifies and clarifies, which selects and omits, with a placid perfection unattainable by the highest art."
"In sheer genius Pascal ranks among the very greatest writers who have lived upon this earth. And his genius was not simply artistic; it displayed itself no less in his character and in the quality of his thought."
"In the literature of France Moliere occupies the same kind of position as Cervantes in that of Spain, Dante in that of Italy, and Shakespeare in that of England. His glory is more than national - it is universal."
"Modern as the style of Pascal's writing is, his thought is deeply impregnated with the spirit of the Middle Ages. He belonged, almost equally, to the future and to the past."
"The amateur is very rare in French literature - as rare as he is common in our own."
"The genius of the French language, descended from its single Latin stock, has triumphed most in the contrary direction - in simplicity, in unity, in clarity, and in restraint."
"The history of the Victorian Age will never be written: we know too much about it."
"There is something dark and wintry about the atmosphere of the later Middle Ages."
"Unlike the majority of the writers of his age, La Rochefoucauld was an aristocrat; and this fact gives a peculiar tone to his work."
"When Louis XIV assumed the reins of government France suddenly and wonderfully came to her maturity; it was as if the whole nation had burst into splendid flower."
"When the French nation gradually came into existence among the ruins of the Roman civilization in Gaul, a new language was at the same time slowly evolved."
"With a very few exceptions, every word in the French vocabulary comes straight from the Latin."
"In pure literature, the writers of the eighteenth century achieved, indeed, many triumphs; but their great, their peculiar, triumphs were in the domain of thought."
"Discretion is not the better part of biography."



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