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Wyndham Lewis quotes (showing 1-18 of 18)

“Contradict yourself. In order to live, you must remain broken up.”
Wyndham Lewis
“Instead of the vast organization to exploit the weakness of the Many, should we not possess one for the exploitation of the intelligence of the Few? ”
Wyndham Lewis, The Art Of Being Ruled
“Many great writers address audiences who do not exist; to address passionately and sometimes with very great wisdom people who do not exist has this advantage—that there will always be a group of people who, seeing a man shouting apparently at somebody or other, and seeing nobody else in sight, will think it is they who are being addressed.”
Wyndham Lewis
“Artists put as much vitality and delight into their saintliness and escape out as most men do their escapes into similar places from respectable existence.”
Wyndham Lewis
“But let me have silence always, in the centre of the shouting—that is essential! Let me have silence so that no pin may drop and not be heard, and not a whisper escape us for all our spouting, nor the needle's scratching upon this gramophone of a circular cosmic spot. Hear me! Mark me! Learn me! Throw the mind's ear open—shut up the mind's eye—all will be music!”
Wyndham Lewis
tags: music
“What is the good of being an island, if you are not a volcanic island?”
Wyndham Lewis, Letters
“The intelligence suffers today automatically in consequence of the attack on all authority, advantage, or privilege. These things are not done away with, it is needless to say, but numerous scapegoats are made of the less politically powerful, to satisfy the egalitarian rage awakened.”
Wyndham Lewis, The Art of Being Ruled
“One night Death left his card. I was not familiar with the name he chose: but the black edge was deep. I flung it back. A thousand awakenings of violence.”
Wyndham Lewis
“Art is the expression of an enormous preference.”
Wyndham Lewis
“The English certainly and fiercely pride themselves in never praising
themselves.”
Wyndham Lewis
“People ought to be allowed to drop to pieces in any way they choose. I even disapprove of propping them up. Let nations, like men, die in peace. I rather feel as if I had been delivering pep talks to men dying of cancer.”
Wyndham Lewis
“In a period of such obsessing political controversy as the present, I believe that I am that strange animal, the individual without any politics at all.”
Wyndham Lewis
“An uncomfortable thing happened now. He realised suddenly all the possibilities of this chance acquaintanceship, plainly and cinematographically. He was seized with panic. He must make a good impression. From that moment he ran the risk of doing the reverse. For he was unaccustomed to act with calculation. There he was like some individual who had gone nonchalantly into the presence of a prince; who—just in the middle of the audience—when he would have been getting over his first embarrassment —is overcome with a tardy confusion, the imagination in some way giving a jump. It is the imagination, repressed and as it were slighted, revenging itself. Casting about desperately for means of handling the situation, he remembered she had spoken of getting a dog to guide her. What had she meant? Anyway, he grasped at the dog. He could regain possession of himself in romantic stimulus of this figure. He would be her dog! Lie at her feet! He would fill with a merely animal warmth and vivacity the void that must exist in her spirit. His imagination, flattered, came in as ally. This, too, exempted him from the necessity of being victorious. All he asked was to be her dog! Only wished to impress her as a dog! Even if she did not feel much sympathy for him now, no matter. He would humbly follow her up, put himself at her disposition, not be exigent. It was a role difficult to refuse him. Sense of security the humility of this resolution brought about, caused him to regain a self-possession. Only it imposed the condition, naturally, of remaining a dog.”
Wyndham Lewis, Tarr
“There is nothing contemptible about an intoxicated man (if it is nothing more than a bookful of words or a roomful of notes that he has got drunk on). ”
Wyndham Lewis
“The art of advertisement, after the American manner, has introduced into all our life such a lavish use of superlatives, that no standard of value whatever is intact.”
Wyndham Lewis, Doom Of Youth
“You're a terrible feller,” said Butcher. “If you had your way, you'd leave us stark naked. We should all be standing on our little island in the savage state of the Ancient Britons; figuratively.” He hiccuped. “Yes, figuratively. But in reality the country would be armed better than it ever had been before. And by the sacrifice of these famous 'national characteristics' we cling to sentimentally, and which are merely the accident of a time, we should lay a soil and foundation of unspecific force on which new and realler 'national flavours' would very soon sprout.” “I quite agree,” Butcher jerked out energetically. He ordered another Laager. “I agree with what you say. If we don't give up dreaming, we shall get spanked. I have given up my gypsies. That was very public-spirited of me?” He looked coaxingly. "If every one would give up their gypsies, their jokes and their gentlemen—. 'Gentlemen' are worse than gypsies.”
Wyndham Lewis, Tarr
“We are against the glorification of “the People,” as we are against snobbery. It is not necessary to be an outcast bohemian, to be unkempt or poor, any more than it is necessary to be rich or handsome, to be an artist. Art is nothing to do with the coat you wear. A top-hat can well hold the Sixtine. A cheap cap could hide the image of Kephren.”
Wyndham Lewis, Blast #1
“The War went on far too long... It was too vast for its meaning, like a giant with the brain of a midge. Its epic proportions were grotesquely out of scale, seeing what it was fought to settle. It was far too indecisive. It settled nothing, as it meant nothing. Indeed, it was impossible to escape the feeling that it was not meant to settle anything - that could have any meaning, or be of any advantage, to the general run of men.”
Wyndham Lewis, Blasting and Bombardiering


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