Frasi di John Buchan

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John Buchan

Data di nascita: 26. Agosto 1875
Data di morte: 11. Febbraio 1940
Altri nomi: Barone John Buchan

John Buchan, I barone Tweedsmuir , è stato un romanziere e politico scozzese.

Ricevette numerose onorificenze, oltre a diventare governatore generale del Canada, tra cui l'ordine dei Santi Michele e Giorgio e il Royal Victorian Order.

Frasi John Buchan

„Un ateo è un uomo che non ha mezzi invisibili di sostentamento.“

—  John Buchan

parlando al Law Society of Upper Canada, 21 febbraio 1936; pubblicato in Canadian Occasions, 1940, p. 201

„We think our castles of sand are the ramparts of the universe.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"
Contesto: When all is said, we are ruled by the amateurs and the second-rate. The methods of our departments would bring any private firm to bankruptcy. The methods of Parliament — pardon me — would disgrace any board of directors. Our rulers pretend to buy expert knowledge, but they never pay the price for it that a business man would pay, and if they get it they have not the courage to use it. Where is the inducement for a man of genius to sell his brains to our insipid governors?
And yet knowledge is the only power — now as ever. A little mechanical device will wreck your navies. A new chemical combination will upset every rule of war. It is the same with our commerce. One or two minute changes might sink Britain to the level of Ecuador, or give China the key of the world's wealth. And yet we never dream that these things are possible. We think our castles of sand are the ramparts of the universe.

„Leithen's story had bored and puzzled me at the start, but now it had somehow gripped my fancy. Space a domain of endless corridors and Presences moving in them! The world was not quite the same as an hour ago.“

—  John Buchan

Space (1912)
Contesto: Leithen's story had bored and puzzled me at the start, but now it had somehow gripped my fancy. Space a domain of endless corridors and Presences moving in them! The world was not quite the same as an hour ago. It was the hour, as the French say, "between dog and wolf," when the mind is disposed to marvels.

„How if Space is really full of things we cannot see and as yet do not know? How if all animals and some savages have a cell in their brain or a nerve which responds to the invisible world? How if all Space be full of these landmarks, not material in our sense, but quite real?“

—  John Buchan

Space (1912)
Contesto: How if Space is really full of things we cannot see and as yet do not know? How if all animals and some savages have a cell in their brain or a nerve which responds to the invisible world? How if all Space be full of these landmarks, not material in our sense, but quite real? A dog barks at nothing, a wild beast makes an aimless circuit. Why? Perhaps because Space is made up of corridors and alleys, ways to travel and things to shun? For all we know, to a greater intelligence than ours the top of Mont Blanc may be as crowded as Piccadilly Circus.

„The true achievement of Augustus is that he saved the world from disintegration.“

—  John Buchan

Augustus (1937)
Contesto: The true achievement of Augustus is that he saved the world from disintegration. Without him Rome must have lost her conquests one by one, and seen them relapse into barbarism or degenerate into petty satrapies. The wild peoples of the East and North would have ante-dated their invasions by centuries.

„I venerate the intellect of man. I believe in its undreamed-of possibilities, when it grows free like an oak in the forest and is not dwarfed in a flower-pot. From that allegiance I have never wavered. That is the God I have never forsworn.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 8 "The Power-House"
Contesto: I am a sceptic about most things... but, believe me, I have my own worship. I venerate the intellect of man. I believe in its undreamed-of possibilities, when it grows free like an oak in the forest and is not dwarfed in a flower-pot. From that allegiance I have never wavered. That is the God I have never forsworn.

„All that is needed is direction, which could be given by men of far lower gifts than a Bonaparte. In a word, you want a Power-House, and then the age of miracles will begin“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"
Contesto: "It would scarcely be destruction," he replied gently. "Let us call it iconoclasm, the swallowing of formulas, which has always had its full retinue of idealists. And you do not want a Napoleon. All that is needed is direction, which could be given by men of far lower gifts than a Bonaparte. In a word, you want a Power-House, and then the age of miracles will begin."

„Though nature is wasteful of material things, there is no waste of spirit. And then after long years there comes, unheralded and unlooked-for, the day of the Appointed Time…“

—  John Buchan, libro The Path of the King

Prologue
The Path of the King (1921)
Contesto: Generations follow, oblivious of the high beginnings, but there is that in the stock which is fated to endure. The sons and daughters blunder and sin and perish, but the race goes on, for there is a fierce stuff of life in it. It sinks and rises again and blossoms at haphazard into virtue or vice, since the ordinary moral laws do not concern its mission. Some rags of greatness always cling to it, the dumb faith that sometime and somehow that blood drawn from kings it never knew will be royal again. Though nature is wasteful of material things, there is no waste of spirit. And then after long years there comes, unheralded and unlooked-for, the day of the Appointed Time...

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„To-day we have fewer dogmas, but I think that we have stronger principles.“

—  John Buchan

"A University's Bequest to Youth" (10 October 1936)
Canadian Occasions (1940)
Contesto: To-day we have fewer dogmas, but I think that we have stronger principles. By a dogma I mean a deduction from facts which is only valid under certain conditions, and which becomes untrue if those conditions change. By a principle I mean something that is an eternal and universal truth.

„Civilisation needs more than the law to hold it together.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"
Contesto: Civilisation needs more than the law to hold it together. You see, all mankind are not equally willing to accept as divine justice what is called human law.

„And the joke of it was that the man who went out to look for adventure only saw a bit of the game, and I who sat in my chambers saw it all and pulled the strings. 'They also serve who only stand and wait,' you know.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Preface
The Power-House (1916)
Contesto: I once played the chief part in a rather exciting business without ever once budging from London. And the joke of it was that the man who went out to look for adventure only saw a bit of the game, and I who sat in my chambers saw it all and pulled the strings. 'They also serve who only stand and wait,' you know.

„If his "magna imago" could return to earth, he would be puzzled at some of our experiments in empire, and might well complain that the imperfections of his work were taken as its virtues, and that so many truths had gone silently out of mind. He had prided himself on having given the world peace, and he would be amazed by the loud praise of war as a natural and wholesome concomitant of a nation's life.“

—  John Buchan

Augustus (1937)
Contesto: If his "magna imago" could return to earth, he would be puzzled at some of our experiments in empire, and might well complain that the imperfections of his work were taken as its virtues, and that so many truths had gone silently out of mind. He had prided himself on having given the world peace, and he would be amazed by the loud praise of war as a natural and wholesome concomitant of a nation's life. Wars he had fought from an anxious desire to safeguard his people, as the shepherd builds the defences of his sheepfold; but he hated the thing, because he knew well the deadly "disordering," which the Greek historian noted as the consequence of the most triumphant campaign. He would marvel, too, at the current talk of racial purity, the exaltation of one breed of men as the chosen favourites of the gods. That would seem to him not only a defiance of the new Christian creed, but of the Stoicism which he had sincerely professed.

„When all is said, we are ruled by the amateurs and the second-rate.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"
Contesto: When all is said, we are ruled by the amateurs and the second-rate. The methods of our departments would bring any private firm to bankruptcy. The methods of Parliament — pardon me — would disgrace any board of directors. Our rulers pretend to buy expert knowledge, but they never pay the price for it that a business man would pay, and if they get it they have not the courage to use it. Where is the inducement for a man of genius to sell his brains to our insipid governors?
And yet knowledge is the only power — now as ever. A little mechanical device will wreck your navies. A new chemical combination will upset every rule of war. It is the same with our commerce. One or two minute changes might sink Britain to the level of Ecuador, or give China the key of the world's wealth. And yet we never dream that these things are possible. We think our castles of sand are the ramparts of the universe.

„This crowded world of Space was perfectly real to him. How he had got to it I do not know.“

—  John Buchan

Space (1912)
Contesto: This crowded world of Space was perfectly real to him. How he had got to it I do not know. Perhaps his mind, dwelling constantly on the problem, had unsealed some atrophied cell and restored the old instinct. Anyhow, he was living his daily life with a foot in each world.

„I gathered from Hollond that he was always conscious of corridors and halls and alleys in Space, shifting, but shifting according to inexorable laws.“

—  John Buchan

Space (1912)
Contesto: I gathered from Hollond that he was always conscious of corridors and halls and alleys in Space, shifting, but shifting according to inexorable laws. I never could get quite clear as to what this consciousness was like. When I asked he used to look puzzled and worried and helpless.

„Generations follow, oblivious of the high beginnings, but there is that in the stock which is fated to endure. The sons and daughters blunder and sin and perish, but the race goes on, for there is a fierce stuff of life in it.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Path of the King

Prologue
The Path of the King (1921)
Contesto: Generations follow, oblivious of the high beginnings, but there is that in the stock which is fated to endure. The sons and daughters blunder and sin and perish, but the race goes on, for there is a fierce stuff of life in it. It sinks and rises again and blossoms at haphazard into virtue or vice, since the ordinary moral laws do not concern its mission. Some rags of greatness always cling to it, the dumb faith that sometime and somehow that blood drawn from kings it never knew will be royal again. Though nature is wasteful of material things, there is no waste of spirit. And then after long years there comes, unheralded and unlooked-for, the day of the Appointed Time...

„Supposing you knew — not by sight or by instinct, but by sheer intellectual knowledge, as I know the truth of a mathematical proposition — that what we call empty space was full, crammed.“

—  John Buchan

Space (1912)
Contesto: Supposing you knew — not by sight or by instinct, but by sheer intellectual knowledge, as I know the truth of a mathematical proposition — that what we call empty space was full, crammed. Not with lumps of what we call matter like hills and houses, but with things as real — as real to the mind.

„That kind of man is not the danger. He is a bit of the machine, a party to the compact. It is the men who stand outside it that are to be reckoned with, the artists in discovery who will never use their knowledge till they can use it with full effect.“

—  John Buchan, libro The Power-House

Origine: The Power-House (1916), Ch. 3 "Tells of a Midsummer Night"
Contesto: I read now and then in the papers that some eminent scientist had made a great discovery. He reads a paper before some Academy of Science, and there are leading articles on it, and his photograph adorns the magazines. That kind of man is not the danger. He is a bit of the machine, a party to the compact. It is the men who stand outside it that are to be reckoned with, the artists in discovery who will never use their knowledge till they can use it with full effect.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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