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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„You can never be too cautious in your prognosis, in the view of the great uncertainty of the course of any disease not long watched, and the many unexpected turns it may take.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: You can never be too cautious in your prognosis, in the view of the great uncertainty of the course of any disease not long watched, and the many unexpected turns it may take. I think I am not the first to utter the following caution : — Beware how you take away hope from any human being. Nothing is clearer than that the merciful Creator intends to blind most people as they pass down into the dark valley. Without very good reasons, temporal or spiritual, we should not interfere with his kind arrangements. It is the height of cruelty and the extreme of impertinence to tell your patient he must die, except you are sure that he wishes to know it, or that there is some particular cause for his knowing it. I should be especially unwilling to tell a child that it could not recover; if the theologians think it necessary, let them take the responsibility. God leads it by the hand to the edge of the precipice in happy unconsciousness, and I would not open its eyes to what he wisely conceals. Valedictory Address to medical graduates at Harvard University (10 March 1858), published in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal Vol. LVIII, No. 8 (25 March 1858), p. 158; this has also been paraphrased "Beware how you take away hope from another human being".

„I should be especially unwilling to tell a child that it could not recover; if the theologians think it necessary, let them take the responsibility. God leads it by the hand to the edge of the precipice in happy unconsciousness, and I would not open its eyes to what he wisely conceals.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: You can never be too cautious in your prognosis, in the view of the great uncertainty of the course of any disease not long watched, and the many unexpected turns it may take. I think I am not the first to utter the following caution : — Beware how you take away hope from any human being. Nothing is clearer than that the merciful Creator intends to blind most people as they pass down into the dark valley. Without very good reasons, temporal or spiritual, we should not interfere with his kind arrangements. It is the height of cruelty and the extreme of impertinence to tell your patient he must die, except you are sure that he wishes to know it, or that there is some particular cause for his knowing it. I should be especially unwilling to tell a child that it could not recover; if the theologians think it necessary, let them take the responsibility. God leads it by the hand to the edge of the precipice in happy unconsciousness, and I would not open its eyes to what he wisely conceals. Valedictory Address to medical graduates at Harvard University (10 March 1858), published in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal Vol. LVIII, No. 8 (25 March 1858), p. 158; this has also been paraphrased "Beware how you take away hope from another human being".

„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).

„Be polite and generous, but don't undervalue yourself.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Be polite and generous, but don't undervalue yourself. You will be useful, at any rate; you may just as well be happy, while you are about it.

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„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.

„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.“

— 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.

„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.'.

„We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were early implanted in his imagination; no matter how utterly his reason may reject them, he will still feel as the famous woman did about ghosts, Je n'y crois pas, mais je les crains,—"I don't believe in them, but I am afraid of them, nevertheless".

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