Tag Archives: history

Quotations about history

James Baldwin – To accept one’s past. . .

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James BaldwinTo accept one’s past — one’s history — is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.

James Baldwin   (1924-1987)

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Aristotle – The difference between a historian and a poet

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AristotleThe difference between a historian and a poet is not that one writes in prose and the other in verse — indeed the writings of Herodotus could be put into verse and yet would still be a kind of history, whether written in metre or not. The real difference is this, that one tells what happened and the other what might happen. For this reason poetry is something more scientific and serous than history, because poetry tends to give general truths while history gives particular facts.

Aristotle   (384 BC-322 BC)
The Poetics

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Jane Austen – History, real solemn history

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Jane AustenHistory, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in…. I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all, it is very tiresome; and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention.

Jane Austen   (1775-1817)

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Thomas Carlysle – The soul of past times are in books

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Thomas CarlysleIn books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.

Thomas Carlysle   (1795-1881)

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Owen Feltham – Cannot find a greater wonder than memory

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In all that belongs to man you cannot find a greater wonder than memory. What a treasury of all things! What a record! What a journal of all! As if provident Nature, because she would have man circumspect, had furnished him with an account-book, to carry always with him. Yet it neither burdens nor takes up room.

Owen Feltham  

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