Gilbert Highet

British classicist, writer, and historian (1906–1978)

Gilbert Arthur Highet (June 22, 1906 – January 20, 1978) was a Scottish-American classicist, academic, writer, intellectual, critic and literary historian.

Quotes edit

  • History is a strange experience. The world is quite small now; but history is large and deep. Sometimes you can go much farther by sitting in your own home and reading a book of history, than by getting onto a ship or an airplane and traveling a thousand miles. When you go to Mexico City through space, you find it a sort of cross between modern Madrid and modern Chicago, with additions of its own; but if you go to Mexico City through history, back only 500 years, you will find it as distant as though it were on another planet: inhabited by cultivated barbarians, sensitive and cruel, highly organized and still in the Copper Age, a collection of startling, of unbelievable contrasts.
    • Peoples, Places and Books (1953) [1]
  • The aim of those who try to control thought is always the same. They find one single explanation of the world, one system of thought and action that will (they believe) cover everything; and then they try to impose that on all thinking people.
    • Man's Unconquerable Mind (1954)
  • The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning.
    • The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning (1976)
  • These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice, as inaudible as the streams of sound conveyed by electric waves beyond the range of our hearing; and just as the touch of button on our stereo will fill the room with music, so by opening one of these volumes, one can call into range a voice far distant in time and space, and hear it speaking, mind to mind, heart to heart.
    • The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning (1976)
  • Nobody has ever thought himself to death. The chief danger confronting us is not age. It is laziness, sloth, routine, stupidity, — forcing their way in like wind through the shutters, seeping into the cellar like swamp water.
    • The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning (1976)

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