Frasi di Robertson Davies

Robertson Davies photo
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Robertson Davies

Data di nascita: 28. Agosto 1913
Data di morte: 2. Dicembre 1995

Robertson Davies è stato uno scrittore canadese, prolifico autore di teatro e di narrativa, nel quale lo stile satirico si unisce all'indagine psicologica per fornire una caratteristica rappresentazione della società.

Frasi Robertson Davies

„Gli scrittori amano i gatti perché sono creature tranquille, amabili e sagge, e i gatti amano gli scrittori per le stesse ragioni.“

—  Robertson Davies

Origine: Citato in Alice Ki, Il gatto: se lo conosci lo educhi, Newton Compton editori, Roma, 2013, p. 158 http://books.google.it/books?id=Ncg-AQAAQBAJ&pg=PT158.

„It is a powerful god indeed but it is what the students of ancient gods called a shape-shifter, and sometimes a trickster.“

—  Robertson Davies

Can a Doctor Be a Humanist? (1984).
Contesto: "To which god must I sacrifice in order to heal?" To which of the warring serpents should I turn with the problem that now faces me?
It is easy, and tempting, to choose the god of Science. Now I would not for a moment have you suppose that I am one of those idiots who scorns Science, merely because it is always twisting and turning, and sometimes shedding its skin, like the serpent that is its symbol. It is a powerful god indeed but it is what the students of ancient gods called a shape-shifter, and sometimes a trickster.

„I do not care about "weeks", and every week is a cat week with me.“

—  Robertson Davies

mehitabel (1959).
Contesto: The first week of this month was International Cat Week, and as the cat is, above all animals, the writer's pet, I suppose I should have written something about it. But I do not care about "weeks", and every week is a cat week with me.

„If I am a moralist — and I suppose I am — I am certainly not a gloomy moralist, and if humour finds its way into my work it is because I cannot help it.“

—  Robertson Davies

Ham and Tongue.
Contesto: I have never consciously "used" humour in my life. Such humour as I may have is one of the elements in which I live. I cannot recall a time when I was not conscious of the deep, heaving, rolling ocean of hilarity that lies so very near the surface of life in most of its aspects. If I am a moralist — and I suppose I am — I am certainly not a gloomy moralist, and if humour finds its way into my work it is because I cannot help it.

„I am constantly astonished by the people, otherwise intelligent, who think that anything so complex and delicate as a marriage can be left to take care of itself.“

—  Robertson Davies

The Pleasures of Love
Contesto: I am constantly astonished by the people, otherwise intelligent, who think that anything so complex and delicate as a marriage can be left to take care of itself. One sees them fussing about all sorts of lesser concerns, apparently unaware that side by side with them — often in the same bed — a human creature is perishing from lack of affection, of emotional malnutrition.

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„Emotional chaos is not pleasant; distillation of that chaos afterward may perhaps be pleasant in some of its aspects, and undoubtedly gives pleasure to others.“

—  Robertson Davies, libro A Voice from the Attic

A Voice from the Attic (1960)
Contesto: Complementary to his is Thurber's remark that "humour is a kind of emotional chaos, told about quietly and calmly in retrospect". Emotional chaos is not pleasant; distillation of that chaos afterward may perhaps be pleasant in some of its aspects, and undoubtedly gives pleasure to others.

„Much like ourselves, in fact, though rather dirtier.“

—  Robertson Davies

The Girl with the Swansdown Seat/Abode of Love/1848 (1956).
Contesto: The Victorians have been immoderately praised, and immoderately blamed, and surely it is time we formed some reasonable picture of them? There was their courageous, intellectually adventurous side, their greedy and inhuman side, their superbly poetic side, their morally pretentious side, their tea and buttered toast side, and their champagne and Skittles side. Much like ourselves, in fact, though rather dirtier.

„I think possibly the final sophistication is the recovery of innocence. Where you really get where you take things rather simply.“

—  Robertson Davies

"Conversations with Gordon Roper".
Contesto: I think possibly the final sophistication is the recovery of innocence. Where you really get where you take things rather simply. You can't have the innocence of peasants; you are not a peasant; you can't be one of them. But you have to work awfully hard to recover that with a few additional hot licks, by getting smart, wise. I think the final gift of sophistication would be a kind of innocent, clean view of things — which doesn't mean a simple, dumb view.

„Again he struck the harp and began the jig. But this time it was such music as never came from a harp.“

—  Robertson Davies

Harper of the Stones (1986).
Contesto: Again he struck the harp and began the jig. But this time it was such music as never came from a harp. It was the wildest, strangest music you ever heard, full of the sound of birds and the cries of animals and the wind and the rain, and the thunder and the lightning, and the dashing of huge waves against the shores of a great cold ocean that was formed from ice that had made its way slowly down from Ultima Thule. It was the sound of a world before mankind. It was the sound of the great merriment God must have known during the long days of Creation.

„They live and laugh who know the better part —
Count length of pleasure not by dial or glass
But by the heart“

—  Robertson Davies

The Golden Ass (1999)
Contesto: They live and laugh who know the better part —
Count length of pleasure not by dial or glass
But by the heart;
What are our fears
When Time's slow footfall, fall, fall
Falling
Turns lovers' hours to years?

„The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior.“

—  Robertson Davies, libro A Voice from the Attic

A Voice from the Attic (1960)
Contesto: The climate of his mind is so salubrious, so invigorating, that dull thoughts and heavy cares are dispelled by contact with it.
And is not this the true end of scholarship? It is to make us wise, of course, but what is the use of being wise if we are not sometimes merry? The merriment of wise men is not the uninformed, gross fun of ignorant men, but it has more kinship with that than the pinched, frightened fun of those who are neither learned nor ignorant, gentle nor simple, bound nor free. The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior.

„I literally never meet anybody who ever talks about God as something other than a kind of big man. I think God is a wondrous spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, but only interested in men as part of a giant creation which is pulsing with life.“

—  Robertson Davies

Judith Grant interview (1999)
Contesto: I literally never meet anybody who ever talks about God as something other than a kind of big man. I think God is a wondrous spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, but only interested in men as part of a giant creation which is pulsing with life.
People say, when a relative dies: "Oh, how could God have taken her away so young and with so much before her?" God doesn't give a bugger about how young she is. He probably isn't noticing particularly. That's just the way a lot of things happen. A lot gets spilled, you know, in nature. When you look at what's going on out there now, those trees are dropping seeds by literally the hundreds of thousands and millions, and one or two of them may take on. I think that that is the way that God functions. He doesn't care nearly as much about individuals and individual fates as we would like to suppose. But by trying to ally ourselves with the totality of things, we may get into Tao as they say in the East and be part of it, really take part in it, and not just regard ourselves as a kind of miraculous creation and the rest just sort of stage scenery against which we perform.

„Nabokov is more like a master swordsmith making a fine blade; nothing is amiss, nothing is too much, there is no fuss, and the finished product must be handled with great care, or it will cut you badly.“

—  Robertson Davies

Review of Nabokov's Lolita (1958).
Contesto: Many authors write like amateur blacksmiths making their first horseshoe; the clank of the anvil, the stench of the scorched leather apron, the sparks and the cursing are palpable, and this appeals to those who rank "sincerity" very high. Nabokov is more like a master swordsmith making a fine blade; nothing is amiss, nothing is too much, there is no fuss, and the finished product must be handled with great care, or it will cut you badly.

„One might think, to hear some people talk, that this had been a particularly fine summer. From their point of view, I suppose, it has.“

—  Robertson Davies

Three Worlds, Three Summers — But Not the Summer Just Past (1949).
Contesto: One might think, to hear some people talk, that this had been a particularly fine summer. From their point of view, I suppose, it has. They have rushed about the lakes in noisy little boats; they have permitted themselves to be dragged behind other little boats, standing more or less upright on ironing boards; they have immersed themselves in lakes into which countless summer cottage privies drain; they have laboriously pursued summer flirtations, and some of them have achieved gritty conquests on the sands; they have sat in hot little boats waiting to catch fish which they have then had to eat; they have passed many hours changing their skins from pinkish-drab to brown, erroneously believing that they are "storing up sunshine" against the winter months; they have motored penitential distances; they have taken thousands of feet of film of people whose names they will not be able to remember in November. They have amused themselves after their fashion, and I have no quarrel with them.

„Once or twice I have tried to talk to film people about my ugly heroine.“

—  Robertson Davies

Writing (1990).
Contesto: Once or twice I have tried to talk to film people about my ugly heroine. I explain to them the extraordinary psychological fascination of the medieval legend of the Loathly Damsel, whose splendour of spirit is confined within a hideous body, and she becomes beautiful only when she is understood and loved. I advise you not to talk to resolutely Hollywood minds about the Loathly Damsel. Their eyes glaze, and their cigars go out, and behind the lenses of their horn-rimmed spectacles I see the dominating symbol of their inner life: it is a dollar sign.

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

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