Jacques Barzun

-An artist has every right – one may even say a duty – to exhibit his productions as prominently as he can.

-Art distills sensation and embodies it with enhanced meaning in a memorable form – or else it is not art.

-Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine.

-Idealism springs from deep feelings, but feelings are nothing without the formulated idea that keeps them whole.

-If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.

-In any assembly the simplest way to stop transacting business and split the ranks is to appeal to a principal.

-In producers, loafing is productive; and no creator, of whatever magnitude, has ever been able to skip that stage, any more than a mother can skip gestation.

-In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.

-It seems a long time since the morning mail could be called correspondence.

-Music is intended and designed for sentient beings that have hopes and purposes and emotions.

-Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith.

-Of course, clothing fashions have always been impractical, except in Tahiti.

-Only a great mind that is overthrown yields tragedy.

-Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.

-Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.

-The danger that may really threaten (crime fiction) is that soon there will be more writers than readers.

-The intellectuals’ chief cause of anguish are one another’s works.

-The test and the use of man’s education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind.

-Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game – and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.
Jacques Barzun