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Sir Herbert Read

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Sir Herbert Edward Read (1893–1968) was an English anarchist, poet, and critic of literature and art. He was one of the earliest English writers to take notice of existentialism, and was strongly influenced by proto-existentialist thinker Max Stirner.

Early life

The son of a farmer, Read was born at Muscoates near Nunnington, about four miles south of Kirkbymoorside in... more »

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  • In a sense, every tool is a machine—the hammer, the ax, and the chisel. And every machine is a tool. The real distinction is between one man using a tool with his hands and producing an object th...
    Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968), British critic, poet. Art and Industry, pt. 1, Horizon (1953).
  • There is a current misconception which sees in Jung an early disciple of Freud who subsequently deserted his master. Nothing could be more misleading. From the very beginning there were differences of...
    Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968), British critic, poet. "C.G. Jung," The Tenth Muse: Essays in Criticism, Horizon (1957).
  • Poetry is creative expression; poetry is constructive expression. That, in a sentence, is the real distinction.... In poetry the words are born or re-born in the act of thinking. The words are, in Ber...
    Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968), British critic, poet. English Prose Style, introduction, Holt (1928).
  • Fantasy is a product of thought, Imagination of sensibility. If the thinking, discursive mind turns to speculation, the result is Fantasy; if, however, the sensitive, intuitive mind turns to speculati...
    Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968), British critic, poet. English Prose Style, ch. 9, Holt (1928).
  • Simile and Metaphor differ only in degree of stylistic refinement. The Simile, in which a comparison is made directly between two objects, belongs to an earlier stage of literary expression; it is the...
    Sir Herbert Read (1893-1968), British critic, poet. English Prose Style, ch. 3, Holt (1928).
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