Frasi di William Hazlitt

William Hazlitt photo
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William Hazlitt

Data di nascita: 10. Aprile 1778
Data di morte: 18. Settembre 1830
Altri nomi: 威廉·赫茲利特

William Hazlitt fu uno scrittore inglese, ricordato per la sua attività di saggista umanistico e di critico letterario, nonché come grammatico, filosofo e pittore.

È considerato uno dei sommi critici e saggisti in lingua inglese, assieme a Samuel Johnson e George Orwell. Tuttavia la sua opera è attualmente poco letta e per la maggior parte fuori stampa. Dandy irriverente e spassoso, nei suoi pamphlet al vetriolo se la prendeva spesso con gli intellettuali. Fu amico di molte persone che fanno ora parte del canone letterario del XIX secolo, tra le quali figurano Charles e Mary Lamb, Stendhal, Samuel Taylor Coleridge e William Wordsworth e John Keats. Wikipedia

Foto: John Hazlitt, Art UK / Public domain

„Quasi ogni setta del cristianesimo rappresenta una perversione della sua essenza in un compromesso con i pregiudizi del mondo.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Da Round Table, "On the Causes of Methodism".

„La rabbia si alimenta con ogni genere di cibo.“

—  William Hazlitt

"On Wit and Humour"
Sketches and Essays

„È impossibile odiare qualcuno che conosciamo.“

—  William Hazlitt

"On Criticism"
Table Talk: Essays On Men And Manners
Origine: Citato in Dizionario delle citazioni, a cura di Italo Sordi, BUR, 1992. ISBN 14603-X

„Quelli per cui il vestito è la parte più importante della persona finiscono in generale per valere tanto quanto il loro vestito.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Da On the Clerical Character, in Political Essays; citato in Dizionario delle citazioni.

„Non credo che si possa trovare niente che meriti il nome di società fuori di Londra.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Citato in Giorgio Porro, Qui Londra.

„L'arte di riuscire simpatico consiste nel trovare simpatici gli altri.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Da Dei bei modi.

„La moda è la raffinatezza che corre davanti alla volgarità e teme di essere sorpassata.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Da Conversations of James Northcole, 1830; citato in Dizionario delle citazioni.

„Antipatie violente sono sempre sospette, e tradiscono una affinità segreta.“

—  William Hazlitt

Origine: Da Sketches and Essays, On Vulgarity and Affectation.

„We are very much what others think of us.“

—  William Hazlitt

The reception our observations meet with gives us courage to proceed, or damps our efforts.
No. 364
Characteristics, in the manner of Rochefoucauld's Maxims (1823)

„There is a natural tendency in sects to narrow the mind.“

—  William Hazlitt, libro The Round Table

"On the Tendency of Sects"
The Round Table (1815-1817)
Contesto: There is a natural tendency in sects to narrow the mind.
The extreme stress laid upon difierences of minor importance, to the neglect of more general truths and broader views of things, gives an inverted bias to the understanding; and this bias is continually increased by the eagerness of controversy, and captious hostility to the prevailing system. A party-feeling of this kind once formed will insensibly communicate itself to other topics; and will be too apt to lead its votaries to a contempt for the opinions of others, a jealousy of every difference of sentiment, and a disposition to arrogate all sound principle as well as understanding to themselves, and those who think with them. We can readily conceive how such persons, from fixing too high a value on the practical pledge which they have given of the independence and sincerity of their opinions, come at last to entertain a suspicion of every one else as acting under the shackles of prejudice or the mask of hypocrisy. All those who have not given in their unqualified protest against received doctrines and established authority, are supposed to labour under an acknowledged incapacity to form a rational determination on any subject whatever. Any argument, not having the presumption of singularity in its favour, is immediately set aside as nugatory. There is, however, no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice. For this last implies not only the practical conviction that it is right, but the theoretical assumption that it cannot be wrong. From considering all objections as in this manner "null and void,” the mind becomes so thoroughly satisfied with its own conclusions, as to render any farther examination of them superfluous, and confounds its exclusive pretensions to reason with the absolute possession of it.

„He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.“

—  William Hazlitt

Lectures on the English Poets http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16209/16209.txt (1818), Lecture I, "On Poetry in General"
Contesto: Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.

„A party-feeling of this kind once formed will insensibly communicate itself to other topics; and will be too apt to lead its votaries to a contempt for the opinions of others, a jealousy of every difference of sentiment, and a disposition to arrogate all sound principle as well as understanding to themselves, and those who think with them.“

—  William Hazlitt, libro The Round Table

"On the Tendency of Sects"
The Round Table (1815-1817)
Contesto: There is a natural tendency in sects to narrow the mind.
The extreme stress laid upon difierences of minor importance, to the neglect of more general truths and broader views of things, gives an inverted bias to the understanding; and this bias is continually increased by the eagerness of controversy, and captious hostility to the prevailing system. A party-feeling of this kind once formed will insensibly communicate itself to other topics; and will be too apt to lead its votaries to a contempt for the opinions of others, a jealousy of every difference of sentiment, and a disposition to arrogate all sound principle as well as understanding to themselves, and those who think with them. We can readily conceive how such persons, from fixing too high a value on the practical pledge which they have given of the independence and sincerity of their opinions, come at last to entertain a suspicion of every one else as acting under the shackles of prejudice or the mask of hypocrisy. All those who have not given in their unqualified protest against received doctrines and established authority, are supposed to labour under an acknowledged incapacity to form a rational determination on any subject whatever. Any argument, not having the presumption of singularity in its favour, is immediately set aside as nugatory. There is, however, no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice. For this last implies not only the practical conviction that it is right, but the theoretical assumption that it cannot be wrong. From considering all objections as in this manner "null and void,” the mind becomes so thoroughly satisfied with its own conclusions, as to render any farther examination of them superfluous, and confounds its exclusive pretensions to reason with the absolute possession of it.

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