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“To put it another way: it does not matter a two-penny damn whether you load up your memory with the chronological sequence of what has happened, or the names of protagonists, or authors of books, or generals and leading political spouters, so long as you understand the process now going on, or the processes biological, social, economic now going on, enveloping you as an individual, in a social order, and quite unlikely to be very “new” in themselves however fresh or stale to the participant.”
“I suggest that finer and future critics of art will be able to tell from the quality of a painting the degree of tolerance or intolerance of usury extant in the age and milieu that produced it… That perhaps is the first clue the reader has had that these are notes for a totalitarian treatise and that I am in fact considering the New Learning or the New Paideuma… not simply abridging extant encyclopedias or condensing two dozen more detailed volumes… May I suggest (not to prove anything, but perhaps to open the reader’s thought) that I have a certain real knowledge which wd. enable me to tell a Goya from a Velasquez, a Velasquez from an Ambrogio Praedis, a Praedis from an Ingres or a Moreau…”
"Ideogram is essential to the exposition of certain kinds of thought. Greek philosophy was mostly a mere splitting, an impoverishment of understanding, though it ultimately led to the development of particular sciences. Socrates a distinguished gas-bag in comparison with Confucius and Mencius… At any rate, I need ideogram. I mean I need it for my own job…"
“Usura rusteth the chisel It rusteth the craft and the craftsman It gnaweth the thread in the loom None learneth to weave gold in her pattern; Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered Emerald findeth no Memling… Usura slayeth the child in the womb”
“Dante uses che sanno in his passage on Aristotle in limbo. He uses intendendo for the angels moving the third heaven… Our Teutonic friend, what’s his name (Vossler is it?), talks about schwankenden Terminologie des Cavalcanti’s. I believe because he hasn’t examined it. Till proof to the contrary overwhelms me, I shall hold that our mediaevals took much more care of their terms than the greeks of the decadence.”
“This book is not written for the over-fed. It is written for men who have not been able to afford a university education or for young men, whether or not threatened with universities, who want to know more at the age of fifty than I know today, and whom I might conceivably aid to that object.”