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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„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".

„A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of associations.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: He must be a poor creature that does not often repeat himself. Imagine the author of the excellent piece of advice, "Know thyself," never alluding to that sentiment again during the course of a protracted existence! Why, the truths a man carries about with him are his tools; and do you think a carpenter is bound to use the same plane but once to smooth a knotty board with, or to hang up his hammer after it has driven its first nail? I shall never repeat a conversation, but an idea often. I shall use the same types when I like, but not commonly the same stereotypes. A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of associations.

„Man has his will,—but woman has her way!“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Though fortune scowl, though prudence interfere, One thing is certain: Love will triumph here! Lords of creation, whom your ladies rule,— The world's great masters, when you 're out of school,— Learn the brief moral of our evening's play Man has his will,—but woman has her way!

„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).

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„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.

„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).

„A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.“

— Oliver Wendell Holmes
Context: Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. Ch. X.

„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...

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