Paul Goodman Quotes
''Here we have the beautiful British compromise: a man can say anything, he mustn't do anything; a man can listen to anything, but he musn't be roused to do anything. By freedom of speech is meant freedom to talk about; speech is not saying-as-an-action.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. literary author, critic. "Censorship and Pornography on the Stage."
''There is such a thing as food and such a thing as poison. But the damage done by those who pass off poison as food is far less than that done by those who generation after generation convince people that food is poison.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Ireland, Spring 1958," sct. 2, Five Years (1966).
''Comedy deflates the sense precisely so that the underlying lubricity and malice may bubble to the surface.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. literary critic, author. repr. In Creator Spirit Come (1977). "Obsessed by Theatre," Nation (New York, Nov. 29, 1958).
''What the devil to do with the sentence "Who the devil does he think he's fooling?" You can't write "Whom the devil"''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "September to December 1958," sct. 2, Five Years (1966).
''When the Devil quotes Scriptures, it's not, really, to deceive, but simply that the masses are so ignorant of theology that somebody has to teach them the elementary texts before he can seduce them.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Spring and Summer 1956," sct. 6, Five Years (1966).
''For mankind, speech with a capital S is especially meaningful and committing, more than the content communicated. The outcry of the newborn and the sound of the bells are fraught with mystery more than the baby's woeful face or the venerable tower.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "Summer 1957, in Europe," sct. 3, Five Years (1966).
''It rarely adds anything to say, "In my opinion"Mnot even modesty. Naturally a sentence is only your opinion; and you are not the Pope.''Paul Goodman (1911-1972), U.S. author, poet, critic. "1959," sct. 2, Five Years (1966).
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Pagan Rites/Creator Spirit Come
11.Creator Spirit come
I'll say what is real
and so away I'll steal.
When my only son
fell down and died on Percy mountain
to practice magic like a pagan.
Around the open grave we ate
the blueberries that he brought
from the cloud, and then we
buried his bag with his body.
Upon the covered grave
I laid the hawkweed that I love
that withered fast
where the mowers passed.
I brought also a tiny yellow
flower whose name I do not know
to share my ignorance
with my son. (But since
then I find in...