Category Archives: Quotes

Quotes, from a variety of sources, related to teaching and learning–somewhat more loosely defined than in other categories on Mark’s Text Terminal.

Rotten Rejections: Zuleika Dobson, by Max Beerbohm

(It’s worth noting here that this novel, a satire of undergraduate life at Oxford, is included in Modern Library’s List of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century in the English Language (it’s number 59). At the time of the list’s publication, I recall many critics remarking that for this type of academic satire, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis or The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy would have been better choices.

“I do not think it would interest us. The author is more highly esteemed by himself than by anyone else, and has never reached any high standard in his literary work.”

Excerpted from: Barnard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

The Devil’s Dictionary: Clairvoyant

Clairvoyant, n. A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron—namely, that he is a blockhead.

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000

 

Edith Hamilton on the Real Aim of Education

“It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up in the world of thought—that is to be educated.”

Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Rotten Reviews: Julius Caesar

”There is not a single sentence uttered by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar that is, I will not say worthy of him, but worthy of an average Tammany boss.”

George Bernard Shaw, Saturday Review

Excerpted from: Barnard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.

Mencken on High School

“It is one of the capital tragedies of youth—and youth is the time of tragedy—that the young are thrown mainly with adults they do not quite respect.”

H.L. Mencken

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

The Devil’s Dictionary: Administration (n.)

Administration, n. An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. A man of straw, proof against bad-egging and dead-catting.

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. David E. Schultz and S.J. Joshi, eds. The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2000.

Emerson Anticipates Freud

“He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind, he has descended into the secrets of all minds.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.