Precisely because we do not communicate by singing, a song can be out of place but not out of character; it is just as credible that a stupid person should sing beautifully as that a clever person should do so.
We live in this world like a child who enters a room where a clever person is speaking. The child did not hear the beginning of the speech, and he leaves before the end; and there are certain things which he hears but does not understand
Literary modernism kind of grew out of a sense that, "Oh my god! I'm telling a story! Oh, that can't be the case, because I'm a clever person. I'm a literary person! What am I going to do to distinguish myself? I know! I'll write Ulysses."
The moment in the account of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis is when they realize they're naked and try and cover themselves with fig leaves. That seemed to me a perfect allegory of what happened in the 20th century with regard to literary modernism. Literary modernism grew out of a sense that, “Oh my god! I'm telling a story! Oh, that can't be the case, because I'm a clever person. I'm a literary person! What am I going to do to distinguish myself?...a lot of modernism does seem to come out of a fear of being thought... Read more »
Mr. [Aldous] Huxley has been the alarming young man for a long time, a sort of perpetual clever nephew who can be relied on to flutter the lunch party. Whatever will he say next? How does he think of those things? He has been deplored once or twice, but feeling is in his favor: he is steadily read. He is at once the truly clever person and the stupid person's idea of the clever person; he is expected to be relentless, to administer intellectual shocks.