„Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 52 - 53
Kontext: Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless. To understand what happens now one must find the cause, which may be very long ago in its beginning, but is surely there, and therefore a knowledge of history as detailed as possible is essential if we are to comprehend the present and be prepared for the future. Fate, Mr. Kung taught me, is not the blind superstition or helplessness that waits stupidly for what may happen. Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

„I enjoy life because I am endlessly interested in people and their growth. My interest leads me to widen my knowledge of people, and this in turn compels me to believe in the common goodness of mankind.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

This I Believe (1951)
Kontext: I enjoy life because I am endlessly interested in people and their growth. My interest leads me to widen my knowledge of people, and this in turn compels me to believe in the common goodness of mankind. I believe that the normal human heart is born good. That is, it’s born sensitive and feeling, eager to be approved and to approve, hungry for simple happiness and the chance to live. It neither wishes to be killed, nor to kill. If through circumstances, it is overcome by evil, it never becomes entirely evil. There remain in it elements of good, however recessive, which continue to hold the possibility of restoration.

„The creative instinct is, in its final analysis and in its simplest terms, an enormous extra vitality, a super-energy, born inexplicably in an individual, a vitality great beyond all the needs of his own living — an energy which no single life can consume.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

The Chinese Novel (1938)
Kontext: The instinct which creates the arts is not the same as that which produces art. The creative instinct is, in its final analysis and in its simplest terms, an enormous extra vitality, a super-energy, born inexplicably in an individual, a vitality great beyond all the needs of his own living — an energy which no single life can consume. This energy consumes itself then in creating more life, in the form of music, painting, writing, or whatever is its most natural medium of expression. Nor can the individual keep himself from this process, because only by its full function is he relieved of the burden of this extra and peculiar energy — an energy at once physical and mental, so that all his senses are more alert and more profound than another man's, and all his brain more sensitive and quickened to that which his senses reveal to him in such abundance that actuality overflows into imagination. It is a process proceeding from within. It is the heightened activity of every cell of his being, which sweeps not only himself, but all human life about him, or in him, in his dreams, into the circle of its activity.

„I became mentally bifocal, and so I learned early to understand that there is no such condition in human affairs as absolute truth. There is only truth as people see it, and truth, even in fact, may be kaleidoscopic in its variety.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 52
Kontext: I became mentally bifocal, and so I learned early to understand that there is no such condition in human affairs as absolute truth. There is only truth as people see it, and truth, even in fact, may be kaleidoscopic in its variety. The damage such perception did to me I have felt ever since, although damage may be too dark a word, for it merely meant that I could never belong entirely to one side of any question. To be a Communist would be absurd to me, as absurd as to be entirely anything and equally impossible. I straddled the globe too young.

„There is something to be said for losing one’s possessions, after nothing can be done about it.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 218
Kontext: There is something to be said for losing one’s possessions, after nothing can be done about it. I had loved my Nanking home and the little treasures it had contained, the lovely garden I had made, my life with friends and students. Well, that was over. I had nothing at all now except the old clothes I stood in. I should have felt sad, and I was quite shocked to realize that I did not feel sad at all. On the contrary, I had a lively sense of adventure merely at being alive and free, even of possessions. No one expected anything of me. I had no obligations, no duties, no tasks. I was nothing but a refugee, someone totally different from the busy young woman I had been. I did not even care that the manuscript of my novel was lost. Since everything else was gone, why not that?

„He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

As quoted in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insiders Secrets from Hollywood's Top Writers (2001) by Karl Inglesias, p. 4. This has also appeared on the internet in several slightly paraphrased forms.
Kontext: The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

„The waters of the genius of story gushed out as they would, however the natural rocks allowed and the trees persuaded, and only common people came and drank and found rest and pleasure.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

The Chinese Novel (1938)
Kontext: I grew up believing that the novel has nothing to do with pure literature. So I was taught by scholars. The art of literature, so I was taught, is something devised by men of learning. Out of the brains of scholars came rules to control the rush of genius, that wild fountain which has its source in deepest life. Genius, great or less, is the spring, and art is the sculptured shape, classical or modern, into which the waters must be forced, if scholars and critics were to be served. But the people of China did not so serve. The waters of the genius of story gushed out as they would, however the natural rocks allowed and the trees persuaded, and only common people came and drank and found rest and pleasure. For the novel in China was the peculiar product of the common people. And it was solely their property.

„Our people have opinions and creeds and prejudices and ideas but as yet no philosophy.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 244
Kontext: Chinese were born, it seemed to me, with an accumulated wisdom, a natural sophistication, an intelligent naiveté, and unless they were transplanted too young, these qualities ripened in them. To talk even with a farmer and his family, none of whom could read or write, was often to hear a philosophy at once sane and humorous. If ever I am homesick for China, now that I am home in my own country, it is when I discover here no philosophy. Our people have opinions and creeds and prejudices and ideas but as yet no philosophy.

„I believe in human beings, but my faith is without sentimentality.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

This I Believe (1951)
Kontext: I believe in human beings, but my faith is without sentimentality. I know that in environments of uncertainty, fear, and hunger, the human being is dwarfed and shaped without his being aware of it, just as the plant struggling under a stone does not know its own condition. Only when the stone is removed can it spring up freely into the light. But the power to spring up is inherent, and only death puts an end to it. I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.

„Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored — it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: What America Means to Me (1943), p. 8
Kontext: Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored — it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on. It is not healthy when a nation lives inside a nation, as colored Americans are living inside America. A nation cannot live confident of its tomorrow if its refugees are among its own citizens. For it is never the one who suffers injustice who is the injured one, but the one who is unjust. Slavery bred a race of idle and shiftless white men, and race prejudice continues the evil work. White people who insist on their superority because of the color of the skin they were born with- can there be so empty and false a superiority as this? Who is injured the most by that foolish assumption, the colored or the white? In his soul it s the white man. It is the wise white people who ought now to be angry because of race prejudice, for as surely as night follows day our country will fail in its democracy because of race prejudice unless we root it out. We cannot grow in strength and leadership for democracy so long as we carry deep in our being this fatal fault.

„With so profound a faith in the human heart and its power to grow toward the light, I find here reason and cause enough for hope and confidence in the future of mankind.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

This I Believe (1951)
Kontext: Like Confucius of old, I am absorbed in the wonder of earth, and the life upon it, and I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life. If there is no other life, than this one has been enough to make it worth being born, myself a human being. With so profound a faith in the human heart and its power to grow toward the light, I find here reason and cause enough for hope and confidence in the future of mankind.

„Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 52 - 53
Kontext: Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless. To understand what happens now one must find the cause, which may be very long ago in its beginning, but is surely there, and therefore a knowledge of history as detailed as possible is essential if we are to comprehend the present and be prepared for the future. Fate, Mr. Kung taught me, is not the blind superstition or helplessness that waits stupidly for what may happen. Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance.

„The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

As quoted in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insiders Secrets from Hollywood's Top Writers (2001) by Karl Inglesias, p. 4. This has also appeared on the internet in several slightly paraphrased forms.
Kontext: The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

„I grew up believing that the novel has nothing to do with pure literature. So I was taught by scholars.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

The Chinese Novel (1938)
Kontext: I grew up believing that the novel has nothing to do with pure literature. So I was taught by scholars. The art of literature, so I was taught, is something devised by men of learning. Out of the brains of scholars came rules to control the rush of genius, that wild fountain which has its source in deepest life. Genius, great or less, is the spring, and art is the sculptured shape, classical or modern, into which the waters must be forced, if scholars and critics were to be served. But the people of China did not so serve. The waters of the genius of story gushed out as they would, however the natural rocks allowed and the trees persuaded, and only common people came and drank and found rest and pleasure. For the novel in China was the peculiar product of the common people. And it was solely their property.

„But nothing mattered today, neither the kindness nor the cruelty. We were in hiding for our lives because we were white.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 208
Kontext: The wild winds had been sown and the whirlwinds were gathering... and I was reaping what I had not sown... None of us could escape the history of the centuries before any of us had been born, and with which we had nothing to do. We had not, I think, ever committed even a mild unkindness against a Chinese, and certainly we had devoted ourselves to justice for them, we had taken sides against our own race again and again for their sakes, sensitive always to injustices which others had committed and were still committing. But nothing mattered today, neither the kindness nor the cruelty. We were in hiding for our lives because we were white.

„The street is noisy and the men and women are not perfect in the technique of their expression as the statues are.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

The Chinese Novel (1938)
Kontext: The street is noisy and the men and women are not perfect in the technique of their expression as the statues are. They are ugly and imperfect, incomplete even as human beings, and where they come from and where they go cannot be known. But they are people and therefore infinitely to be preferred to those who stand upon the pedestals of art.

„His whole duty is only to sort life as it flows through him, and in the vast fragmentariness of time and space and event to discover essential and inherent order and rhythm and shape.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

The Chinese Novel (1938)
Kontext: A good novelist, or so I have been taught in China, should be above all else tse ran, that is, natural, unaffected, and so flexible and variable as to be wholly at the command of the material that flows through him. His whole duty is only to sort life as it flows through him, and in the vast fragmentariness of time and space and event to discover essential and inherent order and rhythm and shape. We should never be able, merely by reading pages, to know who wrote them, for when the style of a novelist becomes fixed, that style becomes his prison. The Chinese novelists varied their writing to accompany like music their chosen themes.

„The wild winds had been sown and the whirlwinds were gathering… and I was reaping what I had not sown… None of us could escape the history of the centuries before any of us had been born, and with which we had nothing to do.“

—  Pearl S. Buck

Zdroj: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 208
Kontext: The wild winds had been sown and the whirlwinds were gathering... and I was reaping what I had not sown... None of us could escape the history of the centuries before any of us had been born, and with which we had nothing to do. We had not, I think, ever committed even a mild unkindness against a Chinese, and certainly we had devoted ourselves to justice for them, we had taken sides against our own race again and again for their sakes, sensitive always to injustices which others had committed and were still committing. But nothing mattered today, neither the kindness nor the cruelty. We were in hiding for our lives because we were white.

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