Wednesday, June 03, 2009

All great literature

".....requires the rare and all but impossible combination of fiery emotion with an intellect capable of viewing it impersonally. Where the latter fails, you get mere Byron; where the former, mere preciosity. It is, I am quite sure, a mistake to suppose that without an intensity of feeling which would crush an ordinary mortal it is impossible to produce Shakespeare, Milton, or Carlyle. But when the feeling has been got, it is necessary to have the strength of a giant, so as to turn it into literature instead of mere lamentation.""""

[Bertrand Russell, reflecting on the work of his amigo Joseph Conrad]

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