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Bernard Berenson Quotes





A complete life may be one ending in so full an identification with the not-self that there is no self left to die.
 

As I got warmed up, and felt perfectly at home in talk, I heard myself boasting, lying, exaggerating. Oh, not deliberately, far from it. It would be unconvivial and dull to stop and arrest the flow of talk, and speak only after carefully considering whether I was telling the truth.
[Conversation]
 

Between truth and the search for it, I choose the second.
 

Boast is always a cry of despair, except in the young it is a cry of hope.
 

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.
[Consistency]
 

Enemies could become the best companions. Companionship is based on a common interest, and the greater the interest the closer the companionship. What makes enemies of people, if not the eagerness, the passion for the same thing?
[Enemies]
 

From childhood on I have had the dream of life lived as a sacrament... the dream implied taking life ritually as something holy.
 

Genius is the capacity for productive reaction against one's training.
 

Governments last as long as the undertaxed can defend themselves against the overtaxed.
[Taxation]
 

I wish I could stand on a busy corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours.
[One Day]
 

I wonder whether Art has a higher function than to make me feel, appreciate, and enjoy natural objects for their art value?
 

Life has taught me that it is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated, but for our qualities.
 

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.
 

Psychoanalysts are not occupied with the minds of their patients; they do not believe in the mind but in a cerebral intestine.
 

The average European does not seem to feel free until he succeeds in enslaving and oppressing others.
 

We define genius as the capacity for productive reaction against one's training.
[Genius]
 

When everything else physical and mental seems to diminish, the appreciation of beauty is on the increase.
 

You can parody and make fun of almost anything, but that does not turn the universe into a caricature.