Frases de Kenneth Rexroth

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Kenneth Rexroth

Data de nascimento: 22. Dezembro 1905
Data de falecimento: 6. Junho 1982

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Kenneth Rexroth foi um poeta, tradutor e ensaísta crítico norte-americano. Foi um dos primeiros poetas norte-americanos a explorar em seu trabalho formas tradicionais da poesia japonesa. É considerado uma das figuras centrais do chamado Renascença de São Francisco, e um dos pais da Geração Beat. Serviu de inspiração à personagem Rheinhold Cacoethes de Os Vagabundos Iluminados ou Os Vagabundos do Dharma ou Os Vagabundos da verdade , romance de Jack Kerouac.

Citações Kenneth Rexroth

„You can’t become a saint by taking dope, stealing your friends’ typewriters, giving girls chancres, not supporting your wife and children, and then reading St. John of the Cross.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: You can’t become a saint by taking dope, stealing your friends’ typewriters, giving girls chancres, not supporting your wife and children, and then reading St. John of the Cross. All of that, when it’s happened before, has typified the collapse of civilization … and today the social fabric is falling apart so fast, it makes your head swim.

„Each of us is a specific individual, that one and no other, out of billions.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Each of us is a specific individual, that one and no other, out of billions. I think each of us knows his own mystery with a knowing that precedes the origins of all knowledge. None of us ever gives it away. No one can. We envelop it with talk and hide it with deeds. Yet we always hope that somehow the others will know it is there, that a mystery in the other we cannot know will respond to a mystery in the self we cannot understand. The only full satisfaction life offers us is this sense of communion. We seek it constantly. Sometimes we find it. As we grow older we learn that it is never complete and sometimes it is entirely illusory. "Introduction"

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„The influence of Meister Eckhart is stronger today than it has been in hundreds of years. Eckhart met the problems of contingency and omnipotence, creator-and-creature-from-nothing by making God the only reality and the presence or imprint of God upon nothing, the source of reality in the creature.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: The influence of Meister Eckhart is stronger today than it has been in hundreds of years. Eckhart met the problems of contingency and omnipotence, creator-and-creature-from-nothing by making God the only reality and the presence or imprint of God upon nothing, the source of reality in the creature. Reality in other words was a hierarchically structured participation of the creature in the creator. From the point of view of the creature this process could be reversed. If creatureliness is real, God becomes the Divine Nothing. God is not, as in scholasticism, the final subject of all predicates. He is being as unpredicable. The existence of the creature, in so far as it exists, is the existence of God, and the creature’s experience of God is therefore in the final analysis equally unpredicable. Neither can even be described; both can only be indicated. We can only point at reality, our own or God’s. The soul comes to the realization of God by knowledge, not as in the older Christian mysticism by love. Love is the garment of knowledge. The soul first trains itself by systematic unknowing until at last it confronts the only reality, the only knowledge, God manifest in itself. The soul can say nothing about this experience in the sense of defining it. It can only reveal it to others. "Eckhart, Brethren of the Free Spirit," from Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century (1974), ch. 4

„Nothing looks funnier than an otter having a good time, unless it’s a sea otter, which looks even more cherubic.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: I remember the first time I ever saw otter play and slide down a slippery bank into the water. Old Billy knew where they were and took me to them. We sat down silently behind some bushes on the bank of an Indiana stream and pretty soon out came a family of otter and climbed up on the bank and slid down the mud slide over and over again like little children. Nothing looks funnier than an otter having a good time, unless it’s a sea otter, which looks even more cherubic. "Home Schooling and Indian Lore"

„She was almost the perfectly typical passionate, revolutionary, intellectual woman — a frailer, even more highly strung Rosa Luxemburg. … She made up her own revolution out of her vitals, like a spider or silkworm.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Simone Weil was one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth, or indeed of any other century. I have great sympathy for her, but sympathy is not necessarily congeniality. It would be easier to write of her if I liked what she had to say, which I strongly do not. …I think Simone Weil had both over- and under-equipped herself for the crisis which overwhelmed her — along, we forget, immersed in her tragedy, with all the rest of us. She was almost the perfectly typical passionate, revolutionary, intellectual woman — a frailer, even more highly strung Rosa Luxemburg. … She made up her own revolution out of her vitals, like a spider or silkworm. She could introject all the ill of the world into her own heart, but she could not project herself in sympathy to others. Her letters read like the more distraught signals of John of the Cross in the dark night. "Simone Weil" in The Nation (12 January 1957) http://www.cddc.vt.edu/bps/rexroth/essays/simone-weil.htm

„St. Francis is not only the most attractive of all the Christian saints, he is the most attractive of Christians, admired by Buddhists, atheists, completely secular, modern people, Communists, to whom the figure of Christ himself is at best unattractive.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: St. Francis is not only the most attractive of all the Christian saints, he is the most attractive of Christians, admired by Buddhists, atheists, completely secular, modern people, Communists, to whom the figure of Christ himself is at best unattractive. Partly this is due to the sentimentalization of the legend of his life and that of his companions in the early days of the order. Many people today who put his statue in their gardens know nothing about him except that he preached a sermon to the birds, wrote a hymn to the sun, and called the donkey his brother. These bits of information are important because they are signs of a revolution of the sensibility — which incidentally was a metaphysical revolution of which certainly St. Francis himself was quite unaware. They stand for a mystical and emotional immediate realization of the unity of being, a notion foreign, in fact antagonistic, to the main Judeo-Christian tradition. “I am that I am” — the God of Judaism is the only self-sufficient being. All the reality that we can know is contingent, created out of nothing, and hence of an inferior order of reality. Faced with the “utterly other,” the contingent soul can finally only respond with fear and trembling. "Eckhart, Brethren of the Free Spirit" http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/communalism2.htm from Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century (1974), ch. 4

„Today these ideas are more influential than they ever have been.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: People who believe in libertarian communism can be grouped roughly under three general theories, each with its old masters, theoreticians, leaders, organizations, and literature. First there are the anarchists in a rather limited variety: communist-anarchists, mutualists, anarcho-syndicalists, individual anarchists, and a few minor groups and combinations. Second, the members of intentional communities, usually but by no means always religious in inspiration. The words “communalism” and “communalist” seem to have died out and it would be good to appropriate them to this group, although the by now too confusing word “communist” actually fits them best of all. Third, there are the Left Marxists, who prior to 1918 had become a widespread movement challenging the Social Democratic Second International. It was to them the Bolsheviks appealed for support in the early days of their revolution. Lenin’s The State and Revolution is an authoritarian parody of their ideas. They in turn have called it “the greatest pre-election pamphlet ever written: ‘Elect us and we will wither away’.” Against them Lenin wrote Leftism: An Infantile Disorder. There is a story that, when the Communist International was formed, a delegate objected to the name. Referring to all these groups he said: “But there are already communists.” Lenin answered: “Nobody ever heard of them, and when we get through with them nobody ever will.” Today these ideas are more influential than they ever have been. Introduction : The Libertarian Tradition

„Simone Weil was one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth, or indeed of any other century.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Simone Weil was one of the most remarkable women of the twentieth, or indeed of any other century. I have great sympathy for her, but sympathy is not necessarily congeniality. It would be easier to write of her if I liked what she had to say, which I strongly do not. …I think Simone Weil had both over- and under-equipped herself for the crisis which overwhelmed her — along, we forget, immersed in her tragedy, with all the rest of us. She was almost the perfectly typical passionate, revolutionary, intellectual woman — a frailer, even more highly strung Rosa Luxemburg. … She made up her own revolution out of her vitals, like a spider or silkworm. She could introject all the ill of the world into her own heart, but she could not project herself in sympathy to others. Her letters read like the more distraught signals of John of the Cross in the dark night. "Simone Weil" in The Nation (12 January 1957) http://www.cddc.vt.edu/bps/rexroth/essays/simone-weil.htm

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„Prior to 1918 the word “communism” did not mean Left Social Democracy of the sort represented by the Russian Bolsheviks, a radical, revolutionary form of State socialism. Quite the contrary, it was used of those who wished in one way or another to abolish the State, who believed that socialism was not a matter of seizing power, but of doing away with power and returning society to an organic community of non-coercive human relations.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Prior to 1918 the word “communism” did not mean Left Social Democracy of the sort represented by the Russian Bolsheviks, a radical, revolutionary form of State socialism. Quite the contrary, it was used of those who wished in one way or another to abolish the State, who believed that socialism was not a matter of seizing power, but of doing away with power and returning society to an organic community of non-coercive human relations. They believed that this was what society was naturally, and that the State was only a morbid growth on the normal body of oeconomia, the housekeeping of the human family, grouped in voluntary association. Even the word “socialism” itself was originally applied to the free communist communities which were so common in America in the nineteenth century. Introduction : The Libertarian Tradition http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/communalism1.htm

„Mark Twain is far more at odds with the values of his society than Stendhal, Baudelaire or Flaubert, and yet he is far more a part of it.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Huckleberry Finn sets the tone and pattern for hundreds of American novels after it. No other civilization in history has been so totally rejected by its literary artists. Mark Twain is far more at odds with the values of his society than Stendhal, Baudelaire or Flaubert, and yet he is far more a part of it. In many ways he was the typical educated — self-educated, usually — American male of his day. He was also enormously successful, one of the most popular American writers who has ever lived. Significantly, his hack work was less popular than Huckleberry, and even his blackest, bitterest books sold very well — and still do. Perhaps the typical American male is secretly far less the optimist than he would have the world believe; but the lies he rejects and myths he believes are still those whose contradictions tortured Mark Twain. Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn (p. 206)

„The accusers were right. This is a new religion which bears scant resemblance to the old.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: No one was required to believe in the gods as Christians believe in their creeds. Socrates had always been scrupulous in observance of every accepted principle and practice of community life. However, from his questioning he had developed a civic and personal morality founded on reason rather than custom. He envisioned it as subject to continuous criticism and revaluation in terms of the ever-expanding freedom of morally autonomous but cooperating persons, who together made up a community whose characteristic aim was an organically growing depth, breadth, intensity of experience — experience finally of that ultimate reality characterized by Socrates as good, true and beautiful. The accusers were right. This is a new religion which bears scant resemblance to the old. Civic piety is founded on the recognition of ignorance and the nurture of the soil until it becomes capable of true knowledge — which is a state of being, a moral condition called freedom. The Greek city-state, not to speak of the tribal community, knew nothing of freedom in this sense, but only the liberty that distinguished the free man from the slave. Plato: The Trial and Death of Socrates (pp. 50-51)

„I write for one and only one purpose, to overcome the invincible ignorance of the traduced heart. My poems are acts of force and violence directed against the evil which murders us all.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: I write for one and only one purpose, to overcome the invincible ignorance of the traduced heart. My poems are acts of force and violence directed against the evil which murders us all. If you like, they are designed not just to overthrow the present State, economic system, and Church, but all prevailing systems of human collectivity altogether... I wish to speak to and for all those who have had enough of the Social Lie, the Economics of Mass Murder, the Sexual Hoax, and the Domestication of Conspicuous Consumption. Preface to the second edition (1953) of The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1949)

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„For one heart beat the
Heart was free and moved itself. O love,
I who am lost and damned with words,
Whose words are a business and an art,
I have no words. These words, this poem, this
Is all confusion and ignorance.
But I know that coached by your sweet heart,
My heart beat one free beat and sent
Through all my flesh the blood of truth.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Now I know surely and forever, However much I have blotted our Waking love, its memory is still there. And I know the web, the net, The blind and crippled bird. For then, for One brief instant it was not blind, nor Trapped, not crippled. For one heart beat the Heart was free and moved itself. O love, I who am lost and damned with words, Whose words are a business and an art, I have no words. These words, this poem, this Is all confusion and ignorance. But I know that coached by your sweet heart, My heart beat one free beat and sent Through all my flesh the blood of truth.

„What happened instead of apocalypse and judgment was a long-drawn-out apocalypse of counterrevolution against the promise and potential of a humane civilization.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: The classics of Socialist and Anarchist literature seem at mid-century to speak a foolish and naïve language to minds hardened by two generations of realpolitik. It was not just the sophisticates and the reformers who had no belief in the validity or endurance of the system. Everybody in what they used to call the master class, from the Pope to William Howard Taft, believed in his bones that the days of his kind were strictly numbered and found wanting. What happened instead of apocalypse and judgment was a long-drawn-out apocalypse of counterrevolution against the promise and potential of a humane civilization. It began with the world economic crisis of 1912, and the First and Second World Wars and the Bolshevik Revolution have been episodes, always increasing in violence and plain immorality, in the struggle of our civilization to suppress its own potential. "Introduction"

„Any talented decadent can make unreality believable. To make reality convincing is another matter, a matter for only the greatest masters.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Any talented decadent can make unreality believable. To make reality convincing is another matter, a matter for only the greatest masters. Tolstoy: War and Peace (p. 192)

„Today we hear a great deal about Organizational Men, Mass Culture, Conformity, the Lonely Crowd, the Power Elite and its Conspiracy of Mediocrity. We forget that the very volume of this criticism is an indication that our society is still radically pluralistic.“

—  Kenneth Rexroth
Context: Today we hear a great deal about Organizational Men, Mass Culture, Conformity, the Lonely Crowd, the Power Elite and its Conspiracy of Mediocrity. We forget that the very volume of this criticism is an indication that our society is still radically pluralistic. Not only are there plenty of exceptionalists who take exception to the stereotyping of the mass culture — but that very string of epithets comes from a series of books that have been recent best-sellers, symptoms of a popular, living tradition of dissent from things as they are. "Introduction"

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