Jacques Barzun Quotes

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.

Jacques Barzun

If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.

Jacques Barzun

Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine.

Jacques Barzun

The truth is, when all is said and done, one does not teach a subject, one teaches a student how to learn it.

Jacques Barzun

A man who has both feet planted firmly in the air can be safely called a liberal as opposed to the conservative, who has both feet firmly planted in his mouth

Jacques Barzun

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.

Jacques Barzun

Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine

Jacques Barzun

Except among those whose education has been in the minimalist style, it is understood that hasty moral judgments about the past are a form of injustice.

Jacques Barzun

Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing.

Jacques Barzun

When plugged in, the least elaborate computer can be relied on to work to the fullest extent of its capacity. The greatest mind cannot be relied on for the simplest thing; its variability is its superiority.

Jacques Barzun

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.

Jacques Barzun

Except among those whose education has been in the minimalist style, it is understood that hasty moral judgments about the past are a form of injustice

Jacques Barzun

Only a great mind that is overthrown yields tragedy.

Jacques Barzun

Scholarship has yielded to the irresistible pull that science exerts on our minds by its self-confidence and the promise of certified knowledge. But, to repeat, the objects of culture are not analyzable, not graspable by the geometric mind. Great works of art are great by virtue of being syntheses of the world; they qualify as art by fusing form and contents into an indivisible whole; what they offer is not "discourse about," nor a cipher to be decoded, but a prolonged incitement to finesse. So it is paradoxical that our way of introducing young minds to such works should be the way of scholarship.

Jacques Barzun

The ever-present impulse is to push against restriction and, in so doing, to feel intolerably hemmed in. Thus in practice, every liberation increases the sense of oppression. Nor is the paradox merely in the mind: the laws enacted to secure the rights of every person and group, by creating protective boundaries, create new barriers.

Jacques Barzun

On reflection, moral judgment in the arts appears rather as a tribute to their power to influence emotion and possibly conduct. And reflecting further on what some critics do today, one sees that a good many have merely shifted the ground of their moralism, transferring their impulse of righteousness to politics and social issues.

Jacques Barzun
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