Monday, February 09, 2009

'In maturity, it is necessary, mankind has discovered, to suppress outbursts of strong emotion - joy, rage, grief - that may, in their irrationality, disturb the general peace. The Greeks came to fear those who threw themselves against the will of the gods. The grave choruses of the tragedies continually warn, caution, and seek to make reasonable the man or woman in the throes of whatever overweening passion; the gods are sure to punish such pride.

Yet is it true, and always has been, that innocence of heart and violence of feeling are necessary in any kind of superior achievement; the arts cannot exist without them.

(It is a rare individual who can) keep hold of these dangerous qualities, in a pure state and to a highly operative degree, into the years when most people have lost them for good.

May Sarton.
Journal of a Solitude.

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