A ''modern'' man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice.
A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor.
A work can become modern only if it is first postmodern. Postmodernism thus understood is not modernism at its end but in the nascent state, and this state is constant.
Anyone who lives in this time is concerned with grottiness.
By Modernism I mean the positive rejection of the past and the blind belief in the process of change, in novelty for its own sake, in the idea that progress through time equates with cultural progress; in the cult of individuality, originality and self-expression.
Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.
For we which now behold these present days have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
I am prisoner of a gaudy and unlivable present, where all forms of human society have reached an extreme of their cycle and there is no imagining what new forms they may assume.
I am truly horrified by modern man. Such absence of feeling, such narrowness of outlook, such lack of passion and information, such feebleness of thought.
I don't think we can ignore the Modern Movement. But I wouldn't have minded at all if it hadn't happened. I think the world would be a much nicer place.
I think the adjective ''post-modernist'' really means ''mannerist.'' Books about books is fun but frivolous.
If work and leisure are soon to be subordinated to this one utopian principle — absolute busyness — then utopia and melancholy will come to coincide: an age without conflict will dawn, perpetually busy — and without consciousness.
In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.
In the society of men the truth resides now less in what things are than in what they are not. Our social realities are so ugly if seen in the light of exiled truth, and beauty is no longer possible if it is not a lie.
In these great times which I knew when they were this small; which will become small again, provided they have time left for it in these times in which things are happening that could not be imagined and in which what can no longer be imagined must happen, for if one could imagine it, it would not happen; in these serious times which have died laughing at the thought that they might become serious; which, surprised by their own tragedy, are reaching for diversion and, catching themselves red-handed, are groping for words… in these times you should not expect any words of my own from me — none but these words which barely manage to prevent silence from being misinterpreted.
It cannot be denied that for a society which has to create scarcity to save its members from starvation, to whom abundance spells disaster, and to whom unlimited energy means unlimited power for war and destruction, there is an ominous cloud in the distance though at present it be no bigger than a man's hand.
It is a tribute to the peculiar horror of contemporary life that it makes the worst features of earlier times — the stupefaction of the masses, the obsessed and driven lives of the bourgeoisie — seem attractive by comparison.
It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.
It takes a kind of shabby arrogance to survive in our time, and a fairly romantic nature to want to.