Van Wyck Brooks
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"Van Wyck Brooks" was an United States/American literary criticism/literary critic, biography/biographer, and historian.

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As against having beautiful workshops, studios, etc., one writes best in a cellar on a rainy day.

If men were basically evil, who would bother to improve the world instead of giving it up as a bad job at the outset?

There is no stopping the world's tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few.

Genius and virtue are to be more often found clothed in gray than in peacock bright.

A man who has the courage of his platitudes is always a successful man. The instructed man is ashamed to pronounce in an orphic manner what everybody knows, and because he is silent people think he is making fun of them. They like a man who expresses their own superficial thoughts in a manner that appears to be profound. This enables them to feel that they are themselves profound.

Nothing is so soothing to our self esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.

It is not that the French are not profound, but they all express themselves so well that we are led to take their geese for swans.

Nothing is sadder than having worldly standards without worldly means.

Magnanimous people have no vanity, they have no jealousy, and they feed on the true and the solid wherever they find it. And, what is more, they find it everywhere.