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Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture by Johan Huizinga
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Homo Ludens Quotes Showing 1-25 of 25
“If a serious statement is defined as one that may be made in terms of waking life, poetry will never rise to the level of seriousness. It lies beyond seriousness, on that more primitive and original level where the child, the animal, the savage, and the seer belong, in the region of dream, enchantment, ecstasy, laughter. To understand poetry we must be capable of donning the child's soul like a magic cloak and of forsaking man's wisdom for the child's.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“All play means something.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“Our point of departure must be the conception of an almost childlike play-sense expressing itself in various play-forms, some serious, some playful, but all rooted in ritual and productive of culture by allowing the innate human need of rhythm, harmony, change, alternation, contrast and climax, etc., to unfold in full richness.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“The eternal gulf between being and idea can only be bridged by the rainbow of imagination.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“To fill in all the gaps in my knowledge beforehand was out of the question for me. I had to write now, or not at all. And I wanted to write.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“For us the chief point of interest is the place where the game is played. Generatly it is a simple circle, dyutamandalam, drawn on the ground. The circle as such, however, has a magic significance. It is drawn with great care, all sorts of precautions being taken against cheating. The players are not allowed to leave the ring until they have discharged their obligations. But, sometimes a special hall is provisionally erected for the game, and this hall is holy ground. The Mahabharata devotes a whole chapter to the erection of the dicing hall - sabha - where the Pandavas are to meet their prtners. Games, of chance, therefore, have their serious side. They are included in ritual.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“The outlaw, the revolutionary, the cabbalist or member of a secret society, indeed heretics of all kinds are of a highly associative if not sociable disposition, and a certain element of play is prominent in all their doings.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“In play there is something “at play” which transcends the immediate needs of life and imparts meaning to the action. All play means something. If we call the active principle that makes up the essence of play, “instinct”, we explain nothing; if we call it “mind” or “will” we say too much. However we may regard it, the very fact that play has a meaning implies a non-materialistic quality in the nature of the thing itself.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“The word "school" has a curious history behind it. Meaning originally "leisure" it has now acquired precisely the opposite sense of systematic work and training, as civilization restricted the free disposal of the young man's time more and more and herded larger and larger classes of the young to a daily life of severe application from childhood onwards.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“I had to write now, or not at all. And I wanted to write.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“Play is battle and battle is play.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“You can deny, if you like, nearly all abstractions: justice, beauty, truth, goodness, mind, God. You can deny seriousness, but not play.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“Life must be lived as play, playing certain games, making sacrifices, singing and dancing, and then a man will be able to propitiate the gods, and defend himself against his enemies, and win in the contest”. Thus”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“The whole functioning of the mediaeval University was profoundly agonistic and ludic. The everlasting disputations which took the place of our learned discussions in periodicals, etc., the solemn ceremonial which is still such a marked feature of University life, the grouping of scholars into nationes, the divisions and subdivisions, the schisms, the unbridgeable gulfs—all these are phenomena belonging to the sphere of competition and play-rules. Erasmus”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“For us the chief point of interest is the place where the game is played. Generally it is a simple circle, dyutamandalam, drawn on the ground. The circle as such, however, has a magic significance. It is drawn with great care, all sorts of precautions being taken against cheating. The players are not allowed to leave the ring until they have discharged their obligations. But, sometimes a special hall is provisionally erected for the game, and this hall is holy ground. The Mahabharata devotes a whole chapter to the erection of the dicing hall - sabha - where the Pandavas are to meet their prtners. Games, of chance, therefore, have their serious side. They are included in ritual.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“Here the bewildering antithesis of play and seriousness presents itself once more. We have gradually become convinced that civilization is rooted in noble play and that, if it is to unfold in full dignity and style, it cannot afford to neglect the play-element. The observance of play-rules is nowhere more imperative than in the relations between countries and States. Once they are broken, society falls into barbarism and chaos. On the other hand we cannot deny that modern warfare has lapsed into the old agonistic attitude of playing at war for the sake of prestige and glory. Now this is our difficulty: modern warfare has, on the face of it, lost all contact with play.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“There is no more striking symptom of the decline of the play-factor than the disappearance of everything imaginative, fanciful, fantastic from men’s dress after the French Revolution. Long”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“For many years the conviction has grown upon me that civilization arises and unfolds in and as play.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“But in acknowledging play you acknowledge mind, for whatever else play is, it is not matter. Even in the animal world it bursts the bounds of the physically existent. From the point of view of a world wholly determined by the operation of blind forces, play would be altogether superfluous. Play only becomes possible, thinkable and understandable when an influx of mind breaks down the absolute determinism of the cosmos. The very existence of play continually confirms the supra-logical nature of the human situation. Animals play, so they must be more than merely mechanical things. We play and know that we play, so we must be more than merely rational beings, for play is irrational.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“real civilization cannot exist in the absence of a certain play-element, for civilization presupposes limitation and mastery of the self, the ability not to confuse its own tendencies with the ultimate and highest goal, but to understand that it is enclosed within certain bounds freely accepted.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“Si se considera que lo serio es aquello que se expresa de manera consecuente en las palabras de la vida alerta, entonces la poesía nunca será algo serio. Se halla más allá de lo serio, en aquel recinto, más antiguo, donde habitan el niño, el animal, el salvaje y el vidente, en el campo del sueño, del encanto, de la embriaguez y de la risa. Para comprender la poesía hay que ser capaz de aniñarse el alma, de investirse el alma del niño como una camisa mágica y de preferir su sabiduría a la del adulto.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture
“In few human activities is competition more ingrained than in music, and has been so ever since the battle between Marsyas and Apollo. Wagner has immortalized these vocal battles in his Meistersinger. As instances from periods following that of the Meistersinger themselves we may cite the contest between Handel and Scarlatti got up by Cardinal Ottoboni in the year 1709, the chosen weapons being harpsichord and organ. In 1717 Augustus the Strong, King of Saxony and Poland, wanted to organize a contest between J. S. Bach and a certain Marchand, but the latter failed to appear. In 1726 all London society was in an uproar because of the competition between the two Italian singers Faustina and Cuzzoni: there were fisticuffs and catcalls. Factions and cliques develop with astonishing ease in musical life. The 18th century is full of these musical coteries—Bononcini versus Handel, Gluck versus Piccini, the Parisian “Bouffons” versus the Opera. The musical squabble sometimes took on the character of a lasting and embittered feud, such as that between the Wagnerians and the Brahmsians.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“This levelling down and democratization of men’s fashions is far from unimportant. The whole transformation of mind and society since the French Revolution is expressed in it.”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“The supersession of the round dance, choral and figure dances by dancing à deux, whether this take the form of gyrating as in the waltz or polka or the slitherings and slidings and even acrobatics of contemporary dancing, is probably to be regarded as a symptom of declining culture. There”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture
“The Japanese samurai held the view that what was serious for the common man was but a game for the valiant. Noble”
Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture