Top Oral Literature Quotes

Browse top 18 famous quotes and sayings about Oral Literature by most favorite authors.

Favorite Oral Literature Quotes

1. "I have the better right to indulgence herein, because my devotion to letters strengthens my oratorical powers, and these, such as they are, have never failed my friends in their hour of peril. Yet insignificant though these powers may seem to be, I fully realize from what source I draw all that is highest in them. Had I not persuaded myself from my youth up, thanks to the moral lessons derived from a wide reading, that nothing is to be greatly sought after in this life save glory and honour, and that in their quest all bodily pains and all dangers of death or exile should be lightly accounted, I should never have borne for the safety of you all the burnt of many a bitter encounter, or bared my breast to the daily onsets of abandoned persons. All literature, all philosophy, all history, abounds with incentives to noble action, incentives which would be buried in black darkness were the light of the written word not flashed upon them."
Author: Cicero
2. "The idea that reading is a moral quality has unhappily led many conscientious persons to renounce their innocuous dalliance with light literature for more strenuous intercourse. These are the persons who "make it a rule to read."
Author: Edith Wharton
3. "Literature deals with morality but does not necessarily, does not, qua literature, help you to be more moral, either by precept or example. It makes you more aware. Which is to say that it makes you more human by making life more, not less, difficult. When you become more aware, the area of moral choice is widened. You can be a better man; you can also be a worse. Literature will not determine which. It is the equivalent of neither grace nor good works."
Author: Eric Bentley
4. "To provoke dreams of terror in the slumber of prosperity has become the moral duty of literature."
Author: Ernst Fischer
5. "These studies are the result of my attempt to extract the essence of literature. Literature is either the essential or nothing. I believe that the Evil—an acute form of Evil—which it expresses, has a sovereign value for us. But this concept does not exclude morality: on the contrary, it demands a 'hypermorality.'Literature is communication. Communication requires loyalty. A rigorous morality results from complicity in the knowledge of Evil, which is the basis of intense communication.—Literature and Evil"
Author: Georges Bataille
6. "The morality of art consists, for everyone, in the side that flatters its own interests. People do not like literature."
Author: Gustave Flaubert
7. "Kessler depicts his developing intimacy with a handful of dairy goats and offers an enviable glimpse of the pastoral good life. Yet he also cautions, "Wherever the notion of paradise exists, so does the idea that it was lost. Paradise is always in the past." The title Goat Song is a literal rendering of the Greek word traghoudhia, tragedy. Reading it, I was reminded of Leo Marx's analysis of Thoreau's Walden. In The Machine in the Garden, Marx names Thoreau a tragic, if complex pastoralist. After failing to make an agrarian living raising beans for commercial trade (although his intent was always more allegorical than pecuniary), Thoreau ends Walden by replacing the pastoral idea where it originated: in literature. Paradise, Marx concludes, is not ultimately to be found at Walden Pond; it is to be found in the pages of Walden."
Author: Heather Paxson
8. "Even those novelists most commonly deemed "philosophical" have sometimes answered with an emphatic no. Iris Murdoch, the longtime Oxford philosopher and author of some two dozen novels treating highbrow themes like consciousness and morality, argued that philosophy and literature were contrary pursuits. Philosophy calls on the analytical mind to solve conceptual problems in an "austere, unselfish, candid" prose, she said in a BBC interview broadcast in 1978, while literature looks to the imagination to show us something "mysterious, ambiguous, particular" about the world. Any appearance of philosophical ideas in her own novels was an inconsequential reflection of what she happened to know. "If I knew about sailing ships I would put in sailing ships," she said. "And in a way, as a novelist, I would rather know about sailing ships than about philosophy."
Author: Iris Murdoch
9. "Flaubert teaches you to gave upon the truth and not blink from its consequences; he teaches you, with Montaigne, to sleep on the pillow of doubt; he teaches you to dissect out the constituent parts of reality, and to observe the Nature is always a mixture of genres; he teaches you the most exact use of language; he teaches you not to approach a book in search of moral or social pills -- literature is not a pharmacopoeia; he teaches the pre-eminence of Truth, Beauty, Feeling and Style. And if you study his private life, he teaches courage, stoicism, friendship; the importance of intelligence, skepticism and wit; the folly of cheap patriotism; the virtue of being able to remain by yourself in your own room; the hatred of hypocrisy; distrust of the doctrinaire; the need for plain speaking."
Author: Julian Barnes
10. "At one time, a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conceptions of religion, law and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed... In the old days, you see, if a man - a Frenchman, for instance- wished to get an education, he would have set to work to study the classics, the theologians, the tragedians, historians and philosophers- and you can realize all the intellectual labour involved. But nowadays he goes straight for the literature of negation, rapidly assimilates the essence of the science of negation, and thinks he's finished."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
11. "I see no reason in morality, why literature should not have as one of its intentions the arousing of thoughts of lust. It is one of the effects, perhaps one of the functions of literature to arouse desire, and I can discover no grounds for saying that sexual pleasure should not be among the objects of desire which literature presents to us, along with heroism, virtue, peace, death, food, wisdom, God, etc."
Author: Lionel Trilling
12. "The writer's job is to write with rigor, with commitment, to defend what they believe with all the talent they have. I think that's part of the moral obligation of a writer, which cannot be only purely artistic. I think a writer has some kind of responsibility at least to participate in the civic debate. I think literature is impoverished, if it becomes cut from the main agenda of people, of society, of life."
Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
13. "We do literature a real disservice if we reduce it to knowledge or to use, to a problem to be solved. If literature solves problems, it does so by its own inexhaustibility, and by its ultimate refusal to be applied or used, even for moral good. This refusal, indeed, is literature's most moral act. At a time when meanings are manifold, disparate, and always changing, the rich possibility of interpretation--the happy resistance of the text to ever be fully known and mastered--is one of the most exhilarating products of human culture."
Author: Marjorie Garber
14. "Literature is an ethical leap. It is a moral decision. A perilous exercise in constant failure. Literature should have grievances, because there are so many grievances in the world."
Author: Miguel Syjuco
15. "For the various spiritual forms of the imagination have a natural affinity with certain sensuous forms of art - and to discern the qualities of each art, to intensify as well its limitations as its powers of expression, is one of the aims that culture sets before us. It is not an increased moral sense, an increased moral supervision that your literature needs. Indeed, one should never talk of a moral or an immoral poem - poems are either well written or badly written, that is all. And, indeed, any element of morals or implied reference to a standard of good or evil in art is often a sign of a certain incompleteness of vision, often a note of discord in the harmony of an imaginative creation; for all good work aims at a purely artistic effect. ‘We must be careful,' said Goethe, ‘not to be always looking for culture merely in what is obviously moral. Everything that is great promotes civilisation as soon as we are aware of it."
Author: Oscar Wilde
16. "To be a Jew is to belong to an old harmless race that has lived in every country in the world; and that has enriched every country it has lived in."It is to be strong with a strength that has outlived persecutions. It is to be wise against ignorance, honest against piracy, harmless against evil, industrious against idleness, kind against cruelty! It is to belong to a race that has given Europe its religion; its moral law; and much of its science-perhaps even more of its genius-in art, literature and music."This is to be a Jew; and you know now what is required of you! You have no country but the world; and you inherit nothing but wisdom and brotherhood. I do not say there are no bad Jews-userers; cowards; corrupt and unjust persons-but such people are also to be found among Christians. I only say to you this is to be a good Jew. Every Jew has this aim brought before him in his youth. He refuses it at his peril; and at his peril he accepts it."
Author: Phyllis Bottome
17. "There are gentle souls who would pronounce Lolita meaningless because it does not teach them anything. I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction, and, despite John Ray's assertion, Lolita has no moral in tow. For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books. All the rest is either topical trash or what some call the Literature of Ideas, which very often is topical trash coming in huge blocks of plaster that are carefully transmitted from age to age until somebody comes along with a hammer and takes a good crack at Balzac, at Gorki, at Mann."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
18. "The moral backbone of literature is about that whole question of memory. To my mind it seems clear that those who have no memory have the much greater chance to lead happy lives."
Author: W. G. Sebald

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No tricks, Syn," Ryder growled from where he stood a few feet away."Tricks are for kids, silly rabbit," I said"
Author: Amelia Hutchins

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