Monday, April 6, 2009

Written in 1965 and 1972

"Irony was invented by Friedrich Schlegel: the idea is that whenever you see honest citizens setting about their business, whenever you see a well-composed poem -- a poem composed according to the rules -- whenever you see a peaceful institution which protects the lives and property of citizens, laugh at it, mock it, be ironical, blow it up, point out that the opposite is equally true. The only weapon there is against death, for him, against ossification and against any form of the stablisation and freezing of the life stream is what he calls Ironie."
-- Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism

"My voice always lacked fullness, I would like to render a different thanksgiving,
And generously, without irony which is the glory of slaves."
-- Czeslaw Milosz, "Not This Way" in The Collected Poems

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