Oliver Wendell Holmes cytaty

Oliver Wendell Holmes Fotografia
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Oliver Wendell Holmes

Data urodzenia: 29. Sierpień 1809
Data zgonu: 7. Październik 1894

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. – amerykański pisarz, z zawodu lekarz. Pisał dzieła medyczne, filozoficzne, powieści i poezje humorystyczne. Jego twórczość charakteryzowała się precyzyjną formą, była utrzymana w nurcie neoklasycystycznym. W esejach swych opisywał z humorem życie elity bostońskiej. Jego powieści to tzw. „medyczne alegoria”. Napisał 3 powieści oparte na doświadczeniach praktyki lekarskiej. Wraz z Jamesem Russellem Lowellem wydawał czasopismo „The Atlantic Monthly”, które publikowało jego eseje i wiersze, wydane później w zbiorze: „The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table“ . Jego poemat: „The Deacons Masterpiece” , atakuje z pozycji racjonalistycznej dogmatyzm kalwiński. Dużą popularnością cieszyły się okolicznościowe wiersze pełne humoru i sentymentu.

Znany autor pełnych humoru rozmów filozoficznych: „The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table“ i „Over the Tea–Cups“ . Jego powieści: „Elsie Venner“ i i. wyprzedzają swój czas ujęciem zagadnienia dziedziczności i analizą psychologiczną. Z licznych poezji, przeważnie okolicznościowych, najlepsze „The Last Leaf“ i „The Chambered Nautilus“ . „Works“ 1892. 13 t. i później.

W latach Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. był profesorem anatomii i fizjologii na Harvardzie. Odkrył, że gorączka połogowa jest zakaźna.

Poza medycyną i literaturą Holmes zajmował się także stereoskopią. Skonstruowany przez niego model taniego stereoskopu soczewkowego oraz ustalony przez niego standardowy format obrazów stereoskopowych 3,5x7 cali przyczyniły się do powstania mody na fotografię stereoskopową. Stereoskopy Holmesa stały się powszechnym wyposażeniem salonów końca XIX w., a kopiarnie produkowały miliony obrazków stereoskopowych o różnorodnej tematyce. Holmes nie opatentował swoich wynalazków i nie odniósł z tego tytułu żadnych korzyści materialnych.

Jego syn Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. był znanym prawnikiem amerykańskim.

Cytaty Oliver Wendell Holmes

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„Umysł rozciągnięty nową ideą nigdy nie powraca do swych pierwotnych wymiarów.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Źródło: Gordon Dryden, Jeanette Vos, Rewolucja w uczeniu, wyd. Moderski i S-ka, Poznań 2000, tłum. Bożena Jóźwiak, s. 186.

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„Death only grasps; to live is to pursue, —
Dream on! there 's nothing but illusion true!“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Dream on! Though Heaven may woo our open eyes, Through their closed lids we look on fairer skies; Truth is for other worlds, and hope for this; The cheating future lends the present's bliss; Life is a running shade, with fettered hands, That chases phantoms over shifting sands; Death a still spectre on a marble seat, With ever clutching palms and shackled feet; The airy shapes that mock life's slender chain, The flying joys he strives to clasp in vain, Death only grasps; to live is to pursue, — Dream on! there 's nothing but illusion true! "The Old Player" (1861), in Songs in Many Keys (1862).

„Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: I do not know in what shape the practical question may present itself to you; but I will tell you my rule in life, and I think you will find it a good one. Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane. They are in-sane, out of health, morally. Reason, which is food to sound minds, is not tolerated, still less assimilated, unless administered with the greatest caution; perhaps, not at all. Avoid collision with them, so far as you honorably can; keep your temper, if you can,—for one angry man is as good as another; restrain them from violence, promptly, completely, and with the least possible injury, just as in the case of maniacs,—and when you have got rid of them, or got them tied hand and foot so that they can do no mischief, sit down and contemplate them charitably...

„It will take you a hundred or two more years to get decently humanized, after so many centuries of de-humanizing celibacy.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: You inherit your notions from a set of priests that had no wives and no children, or none to speak of, and so let their humanity die out of them. It didn't seem much to them to condemn a few thousand millions of people to purgatory or worse for a mistake of judgment. They didn't know what it was to have a child look up in their faces and say 'Father!' It will take you a hundred or two more years to get decently humanized, after so many centuries of de-humanizing celibacy.

„If a man has a genuine, sincere, hearty wish to get rid of his liberty, if he is really bent upon becoming a slave, nothing can stop him.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: If a man has a genuine, sincere, hearty wish to get rid of his liberty, if he is really bent upon becoming a slave, nothing can stop him. And the temptation is to some natures a very great one. Liberty is often a heavy burden on a man. It involves that necessity for perpetual choice which is the kind of labor men have always dreaded. In common life we shirk it by forming habits, which take the place of self-determination. In politics party-organization saves us the pains of much thinking before deciding how to cast our vote.

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„Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way, — and the fools know it.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Do you think I don't understand what my friend, the Professor, long ago called the hydrostatic paradox of controversy? Don't know what it means? - Well, I will tell you. You know, that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way, — and the fools know it.

„There isn't a text in the Bible better worth keeping always in mind than that one, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: There isn't a text in the Bible better worth keeping always in mind than that one, 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'.

„The god looked out upon the troubled deep
Waked into tumult from its placid sleep“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: The god looked out upon the troubled deep Waked into tumult from its placid sleep; The flame of anger kindles in his eye As the wild waves ascend the lowering sky; He lifts his head above their awful height And to the distant fleet directs his sight. "Translation From The Æneid, Book I" written while at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts (c. 1824).

„Call him not old whose visionary brain
Holds o’er the post its undivided reign“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Call him not old whose visionary brain Holds o’er the post its undivided reign, For him in vain the envious seasons roll, Who bears eternal summer in this soul. "The Old Player" (1861), in Songs in Many Keys (1862).

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