John Cowper Powys, was born 8 October 1872 and died 17 June 1963
- To read great books does not mean one becomes ‘bookish’; it means that something of the terrible insight of Dostoyevsky, of the richly-charged imagination of Shakespeare, of the luminous wisdom of Goethe, actually passes into the personality of the reader; so that in contact with the chaos of ordinary life certain free and flowing outlines emerge, like the forms of some classic picture, endowing both people and things with a grandeur beyond what is visible to the superficial glance.
- It seems as if there must be darkness and light, evil and good, in any great human work… Even the most idealistic of great books often dips down into the mud, deep down into that abysmal silt at the bottom of the ocean without which reality would not be reality.
- Whoever touches a book touches not only “a man” but Man. Man is the animal who weeps and laughs–and writes. If the first Prometheus brought fire from heaven in a fennel-stalk, the last will take it back–in a book.
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