Georges Duhamel Quotes
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M. André Mayer … made an astonishing confidence not long ago. The laboratories, he said, are working at this moment with splendid results. In physics and biology, for example, we can predict new and very important discoveries. What is humanity going to do with the power which will soon be put into its hands? Humanity is not yet ready to receive this power. It is not in a state to make good use of it. The events of the moment prove that this power, of which we know very little yet, and which is announced to us with such proper reserve, has little chance of serving the cause of man straight away. It will more probably be employed, or rather confiscated, for the benefit of the ambitious, the impudent, and the reckless.
The instinct to synthesize is a good one so long as it is concerned with elements that are capable of forming a whole. But today the man in the street is fed, morally as well as physically, on a mass of debris which has no resemblance to a nourishing diet. There is no method in this madness, which is the very negation of culture.
… a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries, … a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence,… which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a 'star' in Los Angeles.
In these days, when nothing retains its former semblance, all these men are no longer those you so lately knew. Suffering has roused them from the sleep of gentle life, and every day fills them with a terrible intoxication. They are now something more than themselves; those we loved were merely happy shadows.
One of my friends whom I hold in high esteem admitted to me the other day that when he wants to work nowadays … he has to turn on his radio. The droning of the loudspeaker—so he says—puts him in a favorable frame of mind and ideas pour out. I cannot help but thinking that this is not the act of a true musician. For thought has a rhythm of its own, which must either clash with the rhythm from outside and lose energy, or else submit to the outer impulse in restless slavery.