The Beautiful and Damned 8.9分
读书笔记 第24页

P24 I don’t complain of conventional morality. I complain rather of the mediocre heretics who seize upon the findings of sophistication and adopt the pose of moral freedom to which they are by no means entitled by their intelligences. P56 Little men with copy-book ambitions who by mediocrity had thought to emerge from mediocrity into the lustreless and unromantic heaven of a government by the people - and the best, the doze shrewd men at the top, egotistic and cynical, were content to lead this choir of white ties and wire collar buttons in a discordant and amazing hymn, compounded of a vague confusion between wealth as a reward of virtue and wealth as a proof of vice, and continued cheers for God, the Constitution, and the Rocky Mountains! P111 The growth of intimacy is like that. First one gives off his best picture, the bright and finished product mended with bluff and falsehood and humor. Then more details are required and one paints a second portrait, and a third - before long the best lines cancel out - and the secret is exposed at last; the planes of the pictures have intermingled and given us away, and though we paint and paint we can no longer sell a picture. We must be satisfied with hoping that such fatuous account of ourselves as we make to our wives and children and business associates are accepted as true. P189 “Oh, yes; that part about the wise writer writing for the youth of his generation, the critic of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.” P231 To Anthony the notion became appalling. He felt that to succeed here the idea of success must grasp and limit his mind. It seemed to him that the essential element in these men at the top was their faith that their affairs were the very core of life. All other things being equal, self-assurance and opportunism won out over technical knowledge; it was obvious that the more expert work went on near the bottom - so, with appropriate efficiency, the technical experts were kept there. (This is exactly Veblem’s insight in the different between the temperaments of the leisure class and working class. The leisure class appears more atavistic while the working class tries their best to be industrious and efficient.) P255 “For it seemed to me that there was no ultimate goal for man. Man was beginning a grotesque and bewildered fight with nature - nature, that by the divine and magnificent accident had brought us to where we could fly in here face. She had invented ways to rid the race of the inferior and thus give the remainder strength to fill ere higher - or, let us say, her more amusing - though still unconscious and accidental intentions. And, actuated but he highest gifts of the enlightenment, we were seeking to circumvent her. In this republic I saw the black beginning to mingle with the white - in Europe there was taking place an economic catastrophe to save three or four diseased and wretchedly governed races from the one mastery that might organize them for material prosperity.” “We produce a Christ who can raise up the leper - and presently the breed of the leper is the salt of the earth. If any once can find any lesson in that, let him stand forth." “There’s only one lesson to be leaned from life, anyway,” interrupted Gloria, not in contradiction but in a sort of melancholy agreement. “What’s that?” demanded Maury sharply. “That there’s no lesson to be learned from life."

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