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Robert Wilson Lynd

Irish writer

Robert Wilson Lynd (1879 - 1949) was a British writer, an urbane literary essayist and strong Irish nationalist. He was born and educated in Belfast, and settled in Hampstead in London, as a contributor to many publications.

QuotesEdit

  • The art of writing history is the art of emphasizing the significant facts at the expense of the insignificant. And it is the same in every field of knowledge. Knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts not to bother about.
    • Robert Lynd (1926) The orange tree: a volume of essays. p.60. The last sentence "Knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts not to bother about." was cited in some sources in the 1960s, such as August Kerber (1968) Quotable quotes on education. p.190, and in multiple other sources ever since.
  • Most of us can remember a time when a birthday — especially if it was one's own — brightened the world as if a second sun had risen
    • Robert Lynd (1969). The Peal of Bells. p.26
  • There are some people who want to throw their arms round you simply because it is Christmas; there are other people who want to strangle you simply because it is Christmas.
  • We welcome almost any break in the monotony of things, and a man has only to murder a series of wives in a new way to become known to millions of people who have never heard of Homer.
  • In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence. One has to sit still like a mystic and wait. One soon learns that fussing, instead of achieving things, merely prevents things from happening. To be passive is in some circumstances the most efficient form of activity. You cannot command events: you can only put yourself in the place where events will happen to you. No impatient man has ever seen Nature.
  • The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.

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