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Posts Tagged ‘André Maurois’

One Thing

Smile, for everyone lacks self-confidence and more than any other one thing a smile reassures them.
    —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2013 More Is Less
2012 The Screw-Up Gene

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Days Are Passing

The aspiring author, whether genius or not, should never let a day pass without writing at least a few lines.
    —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2013 Opportunity
2012 Appropriate Qualities
2011 A Place To Hang My Hat

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It is better to teach a few things perfectly than many things indifferently, and an overloaded curriculum is useless.  The object of instruction is not to produce technicians, but good active minds.
    —   André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Telling Her
2011 On Torture

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Reading, like all work, has its rules.  A perfect knowledge of a few writers and a few subjects is more valuable than a superficial one of a great many.  The fine points of a piece of writing are seldom apparent at first reading.  In youth, one should search among books as one searches the world for friends, and once these friends are found, chosen, and adopted, one must go into retirement with them.  Intimacy with Montaigne, Saint Simon, Retz, Balzac, or Proust would be enough to enrich one’s whole life.
    —    André Maurois
[Of course there can never be anything approaching “a perfect knowledge” of anything and I could easily argue there is a time and place for the generalist as well as for the expert.  Be that as it may, I completely agree that an author’s works can come to seem like a friendship we can carry within ourselves forever and seek to revisit frequently.   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Cadet Prayer
2011 Easy To Tell
2010 A NEW Lion In The Senate (Channeling Mr. Smith)
Inception Redux
A Quick Hit Of Stats

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Conquest brings no lasting happiness unless the person conquered was possessed of free will.  Only then can there be doubt and anxiety and those continual victories over habit and boredom which produce the keenest pleasures of all.  The comely inmates of the harem are rarely loved, for they are prisoners.  Inversely, the far too accessible ladies of present-day seaside resorts almost never inspire love, because they are emancipated.  Where is love’s victory when there is neither veil, modesty, nor self-respect to check its progress?  Excessive freedom raises up the transparent walls of an invisible seraglio to surround these easily acquired ladies.  Romantic love requires women, not that they should be inaccessible, but that their lives should be lived within the rather narrow limits of religion and convention.  These conditions, admirably observed in the Middle-Ages, produced the courtly love of that time.  The honoured mistress of the château remained within its walls while the knight set out for the Crusades and thought about his lady.  In those days a man scarcely ever tried to arouse love in the object of his passion.  He resigned himself to loving in silence, or at least without hope.  Such frustrated passions are considered by some to be naive and unreal, but to certain sensitive souls this kind of remote admiration is extremely pleasurable, because, being quite subjective, it is better protected against deception and disillusion.
    —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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Hil & me on our wedding day at City Hall in San Francisco, CA (3 Dec 1984)

Hil & me on our wedding day at City Hall in San Francisco, CA (3 Dec 1984)

A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.
     —  André Maurois
[Happy Anniversary, Hil
You are still the greatest daily joy in my life!
Love Always,
Your Kev
XXX
OO
X]
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On This Day In:
2012 Hammer ‘N Roses
Happy Anniversary
2011 I Can Hear It Now

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It is unprecedented for the men who made a revolution to remain in power after it is over.  Yet one still finds revolutionaries: that proves how badly history is taught.
    —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Between Two Worlds
2011 Common Humanity
2010 The Last Two Olympians

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The degree of our worthiness to become a free people shall be determined by our ability to respect a lawful leader, to agree to the existence of an opposition, to listen to its arguments, and especially to put the nation’s good above all party prejudices and private interest.  Liberty is not one of man’s inalienable rights’.  It is a desirable but difficult acquisition, and must be contended for constantly.
   —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Journalism And Fantasy
Known Knowns
Jerk, n.
2011 Love Questions

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What shall we know of our death?  Either the soul is immortal and we shall not die, or it perishes with the flesh and we shall not know that we are dead.  Live, then, as if you were eternal, and do not believe that your life has changed merely because it seems proved that the Earth is empty.  You do not live in the Earth, you live in yourself.
   —  André Maurois
Quoted by Will Durant
From his book: “On the Meaning of Life
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On This Day In:
2012 Still Trying
2011 Not Deserving

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He who has not spent hours, days, or years with someone he loves cannot know what happiness is, for he is unable to imagine a protracted miracle like this – one which makes out of ordinary sights and events the most enchanted existence.
    —     André Maurois
Photo of Hil and Kev 29 October 1984

Hil’s Birthday 1984 and our Pre-engagement Photo (Hil in her little black dress)

[I don’t believe the above quote is an absolute, but I do feel it would be fairly difficult to imagine such a miracle without having shared such a “protracted” period.  As of today, my wife Hilary will have spent over half of her life with me passionately in love with her.
On this date, in 1984, on bended knee, Hil sitting at a candle lit table, in a (not too) crowded restaurant, I proposed.  —  And she said, “Yes.”
Happy Birthday, Hil!!
All my love,
Always,
Your Kev
   —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 In Kev Are In Hil
2011 No Game, Didn’t Really Happen
A Good Post

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Character is of the first importance, but intelligence is nevertheless essential.  It is desirable for a leader to have a broad education.  History and poetry increase his knowledge of human passions.  Culture offers the man of action opportunities now and then to capture his serenity; it puts at his disposal models of order and clarity.  It is, in a sense, a work of art to reconstruct a country or to lead an army, and the man who has acquired a sense of beauty from his studies will be the more successful for it.
    —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Above The Vaulted Sky
2011 Active Learning

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As far as possible the duty of a leader is to foresee dissatisfaction and to remedy injustice before complaints are made.  To accomplish this he must maintain close contact with the men he controls.  Let him go into the trenches if he is a general; let him arrive at the factory with his workmen now and then if he is the manager.  He must have some imagination; an understanding of other men’s lives is necessary to him, so that he may be able to protect those under him from unnecessary suffering.  The secret of gaining their affection is to feel affection for them and to be able to do their jobs as well as they do them themselves.  Men endure taking orders, and even like it, if the orders are given intelligently.
   —   André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Legacy Of Star Trek (TOS)
2011 Tolerating The Intolerant
Passionate Germs
2010 Giants Win Game 1 In Philly (4 to 3)!!

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There is much to be said concerning retirement.  Some men cannot survive it because they have not prepared themselves for it.  For the man who has retained his curiosity, retirement in old age can be the most enjoyable period of his life; but he must be aware of the emptiness of public renown and desire the peace of obscurity; he must still have the wish to learn and understand; in his village, his garden, or his house, he must have some restricted personal occupation.  The wise man, after having given all his time to his public activities, now devotes himself entirely to his personal affairs and development; and this will be easier for him if he has been able to interest himself in poetry and the beauties of nature, even during his busiest years.  For myself, I cannot imagine a pleasanter old age than one spent in the not too remote country where I could reread and annotate my favorite books.  “The mind,” says Montaigne, “must thrive upon old age as the mistletoe upon a dead oak.”
   —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 And When I’m Gone…
2011 Complete Conviction

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There must be no premature renunciation, physical or emotional.  The heart, like the body, needs exercise.  Naturally there can be no deliberate stirring up of emotion, but why, merely for reasons of age, should one deny oneself those that can be genuinely experienced?  Because old men in love are ridiculous?  They are ridiculous only if they forget that they are old men.  There is nothing ridiculous about two old people really in love.  Each still finds in the other those qualities which were admired in youth.  Tender consideration, affection, and admiration have no age.  In fact, it often happens that, when youth and its passions have vanished, love takes on an asceticism which is delightful.  Sensual misunderstandings disappear with physical desire and jealousy with youth; impetuosity wanes with the body’s strength.  From the remnants of a stormy youth may be created an agreeable old age.  Thus the existence of a couple resembles a river which leaps dangerously over jagged rocks near its source, but whose clear waters flow more slowly as it approaches the sea, its broad surface reflecting the poplars along its banks and the stars at night.
   —    André Maurois
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On This Day In:
2012 Keeping Faith
2011 Summon Us, Don’t Criticize Us
2010 Obama’s Wars – Book Review
Game Two – Hearbreaking Loss

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Marriage is not at all
what romantic lovers imagine it to be;
it is an institution
founded upon an instinct;
to be successful,
it requires not only physical attraction,
but will-power,
patience,
and the always difficult
acceptance of “the other”;
finally,
if these conditions are fulfilled,
a beautiful and lasting affection can be established
– a unique and,
to those who have never known it,
incomprehensible mingling
of love,
friendship,
sensuality,
and respect,
without which
there is no true marriage.
    —    André Maurois
[Once again, I’ve taken the liberty to re-format a quote (in this case, a single sentence) to match imagined poetry.  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Error Is Tolerated Here (So Far)
2011 In Defense Of Pain

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