I pass this thread every day. Like a beggar with his bowl, I pass him by on my way to something else. Too busy to find a coin for him; too busy to stop and break the boredom of his day with a kind word.
Well today I decided it was going to be different. I'm posting for you Balthasar! I've no idea who you are, but I'm doing it anyway. It's about time you were recognised as the...whatever you were, that you were.
I have a small question though? Apart from "Who the hell is this guy?" (I can look that up). No. My question is this: Why is this bloke's section first in the authors section? Shouldn't he be down in the G's somewhere? I think we deserve to be told!
Has anybody read him btw? What did you think of his work? Let's get a movement going people!
He was recently added to the site, probably just a blip in Admin doing so that he is at the top of alphabetical list
Gracian was a bit of a rebel. He produced a number of works during his lifetime, and was given to fairly dramatic preaching style which won him wide appeal in his day, but his Jesuit superiors often censored him, or he wrote under pseudonym to avoid such.
I don't know why he's not more widely `known'. He wrote The Art of Worldly Wisdom in 1637 which consists of 300 `maxims' on everyday life, philosophical mostly.
It is said that he was a great influence to Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer (among others), authors who either expanded on or streamlined thoughts he had already set into action. Perhaps because the use of conceits evolving into euphemistic epression is one reason his works are not taken as seriously anymore.
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◕‿◕ currently reading Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark, Bill Dedman (2013)
✿ "the dogs bark but the caravan moves on" --Arab proverb
Now he's finally where he belongs in line.
I have read Balthasar Gracian and I very much appreciate and admire his book on Worldly Wisdom. He was a person who suffered indeed for his outspokeness and views and I believe he was stripped of his priesthood for a while and shipped away as punishment. Later on he was reinstated. He would have smiled to think that you thought him a beggar, he was no such thing either in life situation or thought. I have used many of his quotes for my life.
this is one of my favorite of his quotes:
Water shares the good or bad qualities of the strata through which it flows, and man those of the climate in which he is born. Some owe more than others to their native land, because there is a more favourable sky in the zenith. There is not a nation even among the most civilised that has not some fault peculiar to itself which other nations blame by way of boast or as a warning. ’Tis a triumph of cleverness to correct in oneself such national failings, or even to hide them: you get great credit for being unique among yourfellows, and as it is less expected of you it is esteemed the more. There are also family failings as well as faults of position, of office or of age. If these all meet in one person and are not carefully guarded against, they make an intolerable monster.
Last edited by rachel; 05-22-2006 at 08:25 PM.
Reason: more added