Ernest Dimnet (), French priest, writer and lecturer, is the author of The Art of Thinking, a popular book on thinking and reasoning during the s. Notes from The Art of Thinking, by Ernest Dimnet. Genius has never been supposed to be a particularly good teacher of any art. Sir Walter Scott, when he. The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical.

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However, our point is that it can be worse than this. Apart from the stupid listeners who regard a brilliant conversationalist much as a miserly old French farmer regards a generous American, that is to say, as a freak, people feel a kinship between themselves and the more gifted specimens of mankind. We must feel some life going on near us, and even an occasional dip into exaggerated activity is a tonic, but social intercourse should never be more exacting than that which we have with the watchman protecting us during our nights.

A number of literary people find relaxation in drawing and do so without any consciousness of their usual trammels. Alienated rated it liked it Apr 01, It should not be attempted when we are too abstracted, that is to say, when our consciousness is completely off its guard, but when there are favorable occasions. You may not be as interested in writing, as I am in reading it.

Then, why is it that not a single girl learned them then, or has learned them since? In America a husky young chap, all muscles, heart and wishes; in France a slender young man, all brain, totally unprepared for life, apt to mistake ideas for realities and words for ideas.

I say probably, for who knows? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The writer is not afraid of mere critics—they belong to his own craft and thinkjng is ready to fight them ximnet all professional weapons, including contempt—but he dreads the smile of imaginary readers, men or women, whom he has never met and who possibly do not exist, but whom he sees, in his mind’s eye, as the realisation of all he would wish to be, mastering his subject as if they were giants.

Idea; How we can get at our own ideas; Be yourself; Find yourself; and Literary production possible to all. In summer, when we were there, the smell of winter apples was still in it, and I loved it. It was only by degrees that—in spite of the poems which Anglo-Saxon boys or girls produce with more facility than French students—I realized that here was, not a literary, but a newspaper training.


Both have received their education, both have had their chance. The fact is that wealth is injurious to art, but artists cannot live without a certain amount of success. Early America was not young; it was quite mature.

Obsessions or Inferiority Complexes How mental parasites are produced a Imitation and gregariousness b Education 6. What fluidity the loosening influence of the mute e and the nonchalance of the n sounds give to that language.

Ernest Dimnet – Wikipedia

The man who has no reason to doubt that he is normal, but is conscious, like every one of us, of those obsessions now currently called inferiority complexes and wants to get rid of them, turns away in disgust from literature filled with hospital experience.

When we look thinkimg we are conscious of the perpetual motion, but, if we do more qrt merely peep and at once look away, we promptly notice the circular displacement and reappearance of whole psychological trains. Carlyle admits that he knew this obsession and had to make a desperate effort to overcome it.

Frequently he asks no questions at all, and his attitude is the “Tell us” which Madame de Maintenon used to hold up to contempt to the Saint-Cyr girls and which some American college professors have told me is likely to be retranslated in American college English into the blunt: Artists often possess those eyes less made to love reality, as people say, than to go straight thnking its essentials.

All the time they are at work on a chapter which ought to monopolise their attention, they are anxious over future chapters still unborn and even unconceived, and the anxiety throws its shadow over the page just being written. You have heard of the principles of pure reason. It is obvious that the chief dinmet to thought is stupidity, that is to say a congenital incapacity for thinking.

Comprehension is criticism and criticism or judgment is a mere synonym for thought. This accounts for the fact that, when offered a penny for our thoughts, we generally look, sot only puzzled, but embarrassed, and anxious to be let alone not only by the questioner but by the question as well. The Romanticists, especially, from Rousseau to Loti, ravish his soul.

Yet, Americans love eloquence. The more a man thinks the better adapted he becomes to thinking, and education is nothing if it is not the methodical creation of the habit of thinking.


Has it always been so? Only keep great books in your library 5.

The Art of Thinking

The superiority of an artist to a society man or woman who is nothing else is undisputed, and it comes from no other cause than the dimnft of one class of images to another. This article about a French writer or poet is a stub.

Ideas count more in France than facts, and as long as education is at one with the national bias to prefer the art of living to the struggle for life, this one-sided view will go on. Yet, from time to time, we see a thinker’s ideas progress independently of him, either because the thinker was not eloquent, or because his ideas were difficult to grasp, or because the man himself remained nebulous to his contemporaries.

The art of thinking

Somebody steals by and you hear the words whispered “a penny for your thoughts. Nor can Latin grammar. Shortly after the Russian Revolution, inhalf a dozen people in a Tuinking salon were indulging in the then familiar pastime of comparing the Czar with Louis the Sixteenth, the Czarina with Marie-Antoinette, Kerensky with the Girondists, etc.

Abstractions, being the product of images, inevitably recall them. Of course, our likes and dislikes are of the same order with the images corresponding to them, and it would be tedious to dwell at any length on the subject. Spinoza in his one room where the carefully chosen monotony of his manual work acted on him as the monastic routine acts on a Benedictine scholar; Descartes leaving Paris for a quiet suburb of far-away Hague; Bossuet retreating like a hermit to the cabin at the end of his garden; Pasteur or Edison in their inviolate laboratories; learned monks in their convents; sages in the shady seclusion thiniing a Massachusetts village; artists everlastingly trying to form colonies uniquely dedicated to disinterested work: We are attracted by some and repelled by others.

Living one’s life a Exterior solitude b Interior solitude c Making time 8. Nobody can tell how many sterling literary vocations have been ruined by the notion that it is useless to repeat what must have been said many times in the past.