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Osbert Sitwell (1892 – 1969)

English poet, novelist, memoirist and controversialist on behalf of the arts.
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Osbert Sitwell
Educ[ated]: during the holidays from Eton.
Sitwell quotes
Everywhere men have unlocked the prisoners within, and from under the disguising skins the apes have leapt joyfully out.
The only difference between an artist and a lunatic is, perhaps, that the artist has the restraint or courtesy…to conceal the intensity of his obsession from all except those similarly afflicted.

Sitwell Osbert quotes
The artist, like the idiot or clown, sits on the edge of the world, and a push may send him over it.
Sitwell Osbert
For Poetry is the wisdom of the blood,
That scarlet tree within, which has the power
To make dull words bud forth and burst in flower.
Osbert Sitwell quotes
The British bourgeoisie
Is not born
And does not die,
But, if it is ill,
It has a frightened look in its eyes.
Osbert Sitwell
Heroic figures are now obsolete,
So Demigod and Devil find retreat
In minds of children — as rare beasts and men,
Elsewhere extinct, persist in hill or fen
From man protected — where each form assumes
Gigantic stature and intention, looms
From wind-moved, twilight-woven histories:
For them each flower teems with mysteries.
Sitwell Osbert quotes
Hell has a climate, but no situation. It lies in the spirit, and not in space.
They loved him, I think, because, with all his merits, he showed them to be rich: looking at his portraits, they understood at last how rich they really were.
Sitwell Osbert
The Rich Man's Banquet, which was to last for a decade, had now begun: the feast, it was recognised, went to the greediest.
Osbert Sitwell
How simple-minded of the Germans to imagine that we British could be cowed by the destruction of our ancient monuments! As though any havoc of the German bombs could possibly equal the things we have done ourselves!

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