The Letters of William James, Volume 2

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Little, Brown, 1920 - American letters - 732 pages
 

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Page 147 - I think that yesterday was a crisis in my life. I finished the first part of Renouvier's second 'Essais' and see no reason why his definition of Free Will — 'the sustaining of a thought because I choose to when I might have other thoughts' — need be the definition of an illusion.
Page 125 - They parted - ne'er to meet again! But never either found another To free the hollow heart from paining They stood aloof, the scars remaining, Like cliffs, which had been rent asunder; A dreary sea now flows between; But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, Shall wholly do away, I ween, The marks of that which once hath been.
Page 199 - I have often thought that the best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says:
Page 27 - To-day the United States is practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.
Page 260 - Scoundrelly, as you say," but understandable, "from the point of view of parties interested" — but understandable in onlooking citizens only as a symptom of the moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That — with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success — is our national disease.
Page 225 - This new tinge to modern minds is a vehement and passionate interest in the relation of general principles to irreducible and stubborn facts.
Page 147 - In general, I dreaded to be left alone. I remember wondering how other people could live, how I myself had ever lived, so unconscious of that pit of insecurity beneath the surface of life. My mother, in particular, a very cheerful person, seemed to me a perfect paradox in her unconsciousness of danger, which you may well believe I was very careful not to disturb by revelations of my own state of mind. I have always thought that this experience of melancholia of mine had a religious bearing ... I...
Page 39 - in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise; 'but it isn't reason that will ever do it. Impulse without reason is enough, and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift. I take it that no man is educated who has never dallied with the thought of suicide.
Page 77 - It was one of the happiest lonesome nights of my existence, and I understand now what a poet is. He is a person who can feel the immense complexity of influences that I felt, and make some partial tracks in them for verbal statement. In point of fact, I can't find a single word for all that significance, and don't know what it was significant of, so there it remains, a mere boulder of impression.
Page 277 - You know how opposed your whole "third manner" of execution is to the literary ideals which animate my crude and Orson-like breast, mine being to say a thing in one sentence as straight and explicit as it can be made, and then to drop it forever...

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