Friday, March 24, 2006

Liberal ideas


Whenever I hear people talking about 'liberal ideas' I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfil its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
Goethe

Photograph of Marc Chagall

4 Comments:

Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

I liked this quote very much. I think he's saying that ideas need some discipline and boundaries, a way to be circumscribed so that they have an impact. Whereas emotions should have none of that, and should flow freely. It's interesting that you paired this with Chagall's photo, a person whose emotional visions definitely seem unbounded! How did this all fit in with your day, I'm wondering?

4:14 PM  
Blogger adagio said...

Sigrid: I like your interpretation of Goethe's words. I imagined that he was saying that liberal ideas are often only that, ideas. And that *men* fool themselves into thinking that the idea, in and of iteslf, has inherent worth, simply because of its liberal nature. And that an idea's true worth lies in its ability to be applied and affect change. And I guess, ultimately, it takes more than the utterance of 'empty sounds', as Goethe puts it, to put a good idea to work. To give it life.
Yes, Chagall's art certainly looks to be the work of a man not bound by too many emotional restrictions.
The quote came from The Literature Page site and I liked it. Simple as that.

12:20 PM  
Blogger TDharma said...

beautiful ideas...it is an entreaty to move into action and to stay away from the blah blah blah of never ending talk. Gee, makes me think of all the talking heads on t.v. news....

4:16 AM  
Blogger adagio said...

welcome taradharma: yup, i reckon your 'blah blah blah' equates well with Goethe's 'empty words'. neverending talk can be absolutely exhausting.

cheers!

4:06 PM  

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