Modern novels have become part of the do-it-yourself business, and they come in a very small number of standard kits. (...) In this wilderness cries the voice of Patrick White, Australian extraordinary, who has quite other, more austere and indeed prophetic ambitions. (...) (H)is failures are certainly the equivalent, and perhaps the measure, of other men's success.
As I made my way through 'On Line,' the austere, stridently dogmatic, sometimes revelatory exhibition 'about line' at MoMA, I found myself thinking, 'Someone please wake me when the seventies are over!' In the empire of curators, the sun never sets on the seventies. It is the undead decade.
Other than his ex-wife and despite appearances with a series of cultivated blondes, Edward de Bono has never publicly aligned himself with a woman. 'I’m looking for a fat, cross-eyed hunchback,' he explains, stifling a giggle. 'A prosthetic hump would do.' His delight evaporates when asked about his three grandchildren. 'Am I a doting grandfather?' He pauses. 'I’m a … something grandfather, yes.' The fact that De Bono remains unperturbed by this lack betrays an emotionally austere childhood, and his passions for play, toys, and bad jokes tell of the same deprivation.
Clio may be the most austere and chaste of the Muses, but she has been known to come down informally from Mount Helicon in a mood so raffish that there are those who claim to have seen her with her slip showing.
My wife and I took a sabbatical and we went from Europe to India, where we lived in an ashram for six months and did meditation and yoga vigorously, like from 5:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the night in very austere circumstances. I think then my practice became less superficial, more like the traditional definition of what meditation was: to truly find oneness.
Everyone says Oscar Wilde was a dandy, but he wasn't, he was an aesthete. He took pleasure in food and stuff like that. Dandyism is much more austere-much more Calvinistic, more neurotic - it oscillates between narcissism and neurosis.
If we would succeed in works of the imagination, we must offer a mild morality in the midst of rigid manners; but where the manners are corrupt, we must consistently hold up to view an austere morality.
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the georgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.