Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quote of the Day (William Hazlitt, on ‘Unjust’ Public Opinion)

“Nothing is more unjust or capricious than public opinion.”—English journalist and literary critic William Hazlitt (1778-1830), Characteristics: in the Manner of Rochefoucauld's Maxims (1837 edition).

The image accompanying this post is a self-portrait of the great essayist, who was born on this date 235 years ago, but whose prose reads as startling and fresh as anything written today.  Like public opinion, literary reputation can be unjust and capricious, but somehow Hazlitt has continued to attract readers attracted as much by his variety of subjects (e.g., Shakespeare, boxing, politics) as by his darting, dazzling style.

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