Quotations by Nathan, George Jean


My code of life and conduct is simply this: work hard, play to the allowable limit, disregard equally the good and bad opinion of others, never do a friend a dirty trick, eat and drink what you feel like when you feel like, never grow indignant over anything, trust to tobacco for calm and serenity, bathe twice a day, modify the aesthetic philosophy of Croce but slightly with that of Santayana and achieve fro one’s self a pragmatic sufficiency in the beauty of the aesthetic surface of life, learn to play at least one musical instrument and then play it only in private, never allow one’s self even a passing thought of death, never contradict anyone or seek to prove anything to anyone unless one gets paid for it in cold, hard coin, live the moment to the utmost of its possibilities, treat one’s enemies with polite inconsideration, avoid persons who are chronically in need, and be satisfied with life always but never with one’s self. An infinite belief in the possibilities of one’s self with a coincidental critical assessment and derogation of one’s achievements, self-respect combined with a measure of self-surgery, aristocracy of mind combined with democracy of heart, forthrightness with modesty or at least good manners, dignity with a quiet laugh, honor and honesty and decency: these are the greatest qualities that men can hope to attain. And as one man, my hope is to attain them.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
“Self-Revelation,” Testament of a Critic (1931)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Nov-20 | Last updated 23-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean

Indignation is the seducer of thought. No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
“Undeveloped Notes,” The Smart Set (Aug 1922)
    (Source)

Reprinted in The World in Falseface, "Art & Criticism," #64 (1923).
Added on 30-Nov-20 | Last updated 30-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean

Bad officials are elected by good people who do not vote.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
(Attributed)

Quoted in Clifton Fadiman, ed., The American Treasury, 1455—1955 (1955), but not found in any of Nathan's writings.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean

I have no patriotism, for patriotism, as I see it, is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
Testament of a Critic. Book 1 “Revelation” (1931)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Nov-20 | Last updated 16-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean

One does not go to the theater to see life and nature; one goes to see the particular way in which life and nature happen to look to a cultivated, imaginative and entertaining man who happens, in turn, to be a playwright.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
The Critic and the Drama, ch. 2 (1922)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Nov-20 | Last updated 9-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean