Quotations From JOSÉ ORTEGA Y GASSET

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  • Were art to redeem man, it could do so only by saving him from the seriousness of life and restoring him to an unexpected boyishness.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. "Art a Thing of No Consequence," The Dehumanization of Art (1925).

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  • Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. "Decline of the Novel," Notes on the Novel (1925).

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  • Being an artist means ceasing to take seriously that very serious person we are when we are not an artist.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. "Doomed to Irony," The Dehumanization of Art (1925).
  • To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand as the firm seat.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. The Revolt of the Masses, ch. 14 (1930).
  • The mass believes that it has the right to impose and to give force of law to notions born in the café.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. The Revolt of the Masses, ch. 1 (1930).
  • An idea is a putting truth in check-mate.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. The Revolt of the Masses, ch. 8 (1930).

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  • For the person for whom small things do not exist, the great is not great.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. "To the Reader," Meditations on Quixote (1914).
  • The good is, like nature, an immense landscape in which man advances through centuries of exploration.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. "To the Reader," Meditations on Quixote (1914).

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  • The cynic, a parasite of civilisation, lives by denying it, for the very reason that he is convinced that it will not fail.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. The Revolt of the Masses, ch. 11 (1930).
  • Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.
    José Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955), Spanish essayist, philosopher. repr. In The Dehumanization of Art and Other Essays (1968). "In Search of Goethe from Within," Partisan Review (New Brunswick, New Jersey, December 1949).

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