Boldness

Perhaps the greatest lesson the [18th] century learned from its long, scrupulous, and imaginative comparison of it own experience with the larger past was the value of boldness; not the soi-disant boldness of negativism, of grudgingly withholding assent as we seek to establish our identities, prate of our integrity, or reach into our pockets for our mite of ‘originality’.  None of us, as Goethe said, is really very ‘original’ anyway; one gets most of what he attains in his short life from others.  The boldness desired involves directly facing up to what we admire and then trying to be like it.  –Walter Jackson Bate

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