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Thomas Beecham

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The function of music is to release us from the tyranny of conscious thought.
Quoted in Atkins and Newman, Beecham Stories, 1978

Thomas Beecham

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A primary function of art and thought is to liberate the individual from the tyranny of his culture in the environmental sense and to permit him to stand beyond it in an autonomy of perception and judgment.

Beverly Sills

For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the well is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for man, if he has a function.


The needs that are met by tyrants are as real as those to which freedom answers; sometimes they are more urgent. Tyrants promise security - and release from the tedium of everyday existence. To be sure, this is only a confused fantasy. The drab truth of tyranny is a life spent in waiting. But the perennial romance of tyranny comes from its promising its subjects a life more interesting than any they can contrive for themselves.

John N. Gray

The basic function of thought is to find ways of satisfying our needs and desires. The Surrealism of Breton and the functionalism of architecture which was more concerned with the way in which thought functions rather than with its function, ó was initially idealistic. But is this not something which we can extract from Bretonís definition of automatism?

Asger Jorn

I believe that the unity of man as opposed to other living things derives from the fact that man is the conscious life of himself. Man is conscious of himself, of his future, which is death, of his smallness, of his impotence; he is aware of others as others; man is in nature, subject to its laws even if he transcends it with his thought.

Erich Fromm
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