Getting Real

Sunday, May 29, 2016 – Getting Real

Ostensibly rigorous and realistic, contemporary conservatism is an ideology of denial. Its symbol is a smile button. ~ Christopher Lasch

If someone tells you he is going to make a “realistic decision,” you immediately understand that he has resolved to do something bad. ~ Mary McCarthy

A democracy, the realistic observer is forced to conclude, is likely to be idealistic in its feelings about itself, but imperialistic about its practice. ~ Irving Babbitt

To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey

When you’re young, try to be realistic; as you get older, become idealistic. You’ll live longer. ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

Optimism was for children. Once you reached adulthood then you had to join the rest of the world as a realist – life was a bag of shit you were expected to pay for. ~ N. C. Thomas

It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life. ~ W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

When people have given up on happiness they call themselves “realists.” ~ Marty Rubin

Satire is people as they are; romanticism, people as they would like to be; realism, people as they seem with their insides left out. ~ Dawn Powell

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~ William Arthur Ward

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. ~ Philip K. Dick

Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips. ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation. ~ Aldous Huxley

The subject of a good tragedy must not be realistic. ~ Pierre Corneille

Hysterical optimism will prevail until the world again admits the existence of tragedy, and it cannot admit the existence of tragedy until it again distinguishes between good and evil… Hysterical optimism is a sin against knowledge. ~ Richard M. Weaver

Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real. ~ Federico Fellini

The realistic value of a work is completely independent of its properties in terms of content. ~ Fernand Leger

Realism can break a writer’s heart. ~ Salman Rushdie, Shame

The monster I kill every day is the monster of realism. The monster who attacks me every day is destruction. Out of the duel comes the transformation. I turn destruction into creation over and over again. ~ Anaïs Nin

Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more. ~ Michel Houellebecq

Realism falls short of reality. It shrinks it, attenuates it, falsifies it; it does not take into account our basic truths and our fundamental obsessions: love, death, astonishment. It presents man in a reduced and estranged perspective. Truth is in our dreams, in the imagination. ~ Eugène Ionesco

My foregrounds are imaginary, my backgrounds real. ~ Gustave Flaubert

Even with all the documents, you can never forge nature. ~ Auguste Rodin

True realism consists in revealing the surprising things which habit keeps covered and prevents us from seeing. ~ Jean Cocteau

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. ~ Pablo Picasso

Art finds her own perfection within, and not outside of, herself. She is not to be judged by any external standard of resemblance. ~ Oscar Wilde

Realism is simply Romanticism that has lost its reason… that is its reason for existing. ~ G. K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

One reason we lasted so long is that we usually played two people who were very much in love. As we were realistic actors, we became those two people. So we had a divertissement: I had an affair with him, and he with me. ~ Lynn Fontanne

“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.” ~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Realism is not a matter of any fidelity to an empirical reality, but of the discursive conventions by which and for which a sense of reality is constructed. ~ John Fiske

You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories. ~ Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination. ~ John Lennon

People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like “be realistic.” ~ Dylan Moran

She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable. ~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

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