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There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind... Options
Daemon
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrow is. He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 2:13:28 AM
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"He is the man or woman of thoroughbred intelligence who rides his mind at a gallop across country in pursuit of an idea,
hoping not to come a cropper."
sacsayhuaman
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 6:20:18 AM
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There can be no two opinions as to what a highbrew is.It is the bottle or the can of thorougly worked out recipe which rides my mind. Its abbreviation DG but haDancing s nothing in common with Dolce Gabbana
pedro
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 6:57:05 AM
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"thoroughbred intelligence" smacks of eugenics. Not every outstanding thinker has had obviously brilliant parents, just as top notch pedigree horses can sometimes produce duff progeny. This was a thought of its time I suppose though.
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 7:28:10 AM
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Here's a reference to a book that discusses Woolf's (among other major writers) belief in eugenics: (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Modernism-Eugenics-Woolf-Culture-Degeneration/dp/0521806011)

"In Modernism and Eugenics, Donald Childs shows how Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats believed in eugenics, the science of race improvement and adapted this scientific discourse to the language and purposes of the modern imagination. Childs traces the impact of the eugenics movement on such modernist works as Mrs Dalloway, A Room of One's Own, The Waste Land and Yeats's late poetry and early plays. The language of eugenics moves, he claims, between public discourse and personal perspectives. It informs Woolf's theorization of woman's imagination; in Eliot's poetry, it pictures as a nightmare the myriad contemporary eugenical threats to humankind's biological and cultural future. And for Yeats, it becomes integral to his engagement with the occult and his commitment to Irish Nationalism. This is an interesting study of a controversial theme which reveals the centrality of eugenics in the life and work of several major modernist writers."

In fact, two other historical figures on today's TFD offering, Alexander Graham Bell and Luther Burbank, also believed in eugenics.

And here is something much more explicit about Woolf's beliefs:

"Not so long ago, otherwise highly civilised people had attitudes that now horrify us. In 1915, Virginia Woolf described a walk on which she met 'a long line of imbeciles'. She wrote that 'everyone in that long line was a miserable ineffective shuffling idiotic creature, with no forehead or no chin & and an imbecile grin, or a wild, suspicious stare. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed.' By turning this thought into reality, the Nazis have made such ugly attitudes now impossible to express and, one hopes, to have. But their stark expression then raises the question as to whether some milder version lingers on today." (http://www.almendron.com/tribuna/7177/nazi-eugenics-virginia-woolf-and-the-morality-of-designer-babies/)
pedro
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 8:08:45 AM
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Thanks for the post and link MTC!
nw3bk3y
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 10:34:40 AM
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I read this as kind of a joke, especially the line 'in pursuit of an idea'. It sounds like this person doesn't have an idea and needs to race all over the estate of his mind on his thoroughbred trying to find one. But if fast minds are needed to grasp the elusive idea then I suppose this metaphor works. However, as Pedro said, thoroughbreds can suffer from being in a stagnant gene pool. In which case they might run in circles and not get anywhere in particular.




floccinaucinihilipilificatinator
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 11:32:20 AM
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umm i think "thoroughbred" in this quote is rather relating to the image of the galloping horseman, cant claim that i really get it but from this perspective the quote might be somewhat ironic

dont really know woolf that much but i cant quite belief that she would say and really mean something like this, if true it would be quite revealing for the recently discussed ideology of the anglosaxon elite

and dont try to excuse this with spirit of the time, as if we didnt have societies enlightened enough to not endorse euthanasia before the late 19th century
MTC
Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 1:43:10 PM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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My judgment of Woolf is tempered by the troubling realization that one day we too will be judged by posterity in ways we cannot imagine. What now seems right, just, and correct future generations may later condemn as an abomination. The Present will always stand accused in the court of the Future. The inescapability of that judgment is part of the Human Condition.
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