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Robert Grudin

Professor of English at the University of Oregon, author of The Grace of Great Things (1990), Time and the Art of Living (1998), and other works

Book by Robert Grudin
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Grace of Great Things, The
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We cannot open ourselves to new insight without endangering the security of our prior assumptions. We cannot propose new ideas without risking disapproval and rejection. Creative achievement is the boldest initiative of mind, an adventure that takes its hero simultaneously to the rim of knowledge and the limits of propriety. Its pleasure is not the comfort of the safe harbor, but the thrill of the reaching sail.

1990 - from The Grace of Great Things
Contradictions are not only allowable but essential; for without them you will almost always fail to transcend your initial understanding.

1998 - from Time and the Art of Living
The secret of liberal intolerance lies in the limited definitions that liberalism ascribes to these and other key words. To the liberal mind, for example, “tolerant” and “open-minded” carry with them a sense of guilt and the spirit of relativism: an anxious unwillingness to make value judgments, particularly ethical or aesthetic, and a resentment for people who do ... Fairness and equality imply not just concern for the underprivileged but an unwillingness to set any standards but those that can be met by the great mass of humanity ... Freedom and expression connote limitlessness, randomness, and whim, and enlightened is a term reserved for individuals who use exactly these words in exactly these ways.

1990 - from The Grace of Great Things
In opening the way for a few good ideas, we open the way for many bad ones.

1990 - from The Grace of Great Things
Disregard for truly substantive questions translates into disdain for the uniquely philosophical minds that are drawn to them.

1990 - from The Grace of Great Things
Every time we postpone some necessary event, we do so with the implication that present time is more important than future time.

1998 - from Time and the Art of Living
Innovation is ipso facto dangerous, for if it endangers nothing else, it endangers the safety of a satisfied mind.

1990 - from The Grace of Great Things