Weekend Words: Foster

Gérard de Lairesse, “Allegory of Wisdom Fostering the Arts and Sciences” (1670), oil on canvas, 65 x 78 cm (private collection) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

After fierce opposition from scholars, writers, critics and the public, the New York Public Library announced this week that it has reversed its plan, developed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Norman Foster (aka Lord Foster of Thames Bank), to revamp its landmark Beaux-Arts building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Better luck next time, Norman.

“Every clique is a refuge for incompetence. It fosters corruption and disloyalty, it begets cowardice, and consequently is a burden upon and a drawback to the progress of the country. Its instincts and actions are those of the pack.”

—Madame Chiang Kai-Shek

“Fair seed-time had my soul, and I grew up
Fostered alike by beauty and time.”

—William Wordsworth, The Prelude

“Predatory capitalism created a complex industrial system and an advanced technology; it permitted a considerable extension of democratic practice and fostered certain liberal values, but within limits that are now being pressed and must be overcome. It is not a fit system for the mid-twentieth century.”

—Noam Chomsky

“I tend to foster drama via bleakness. If I want the reader to feel sympathy for a character, I cleave the character in half, on his birthday. And then it starts raining. And he’s made of sugar.”

—George Saunders

“Talk is by far the most accessible of pleasures. It costs nothing in money, it is all profit, it completes our education, founds and fosters our friendships, and can be enjoyed at any age and in almost any state of health.”

—Robert Louis Stevenson

“If architects want to strengthen a decrepit arch, they increase the load that is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together. So, if therapists wish to foster their patients’ mental health, they should not be afraid to increase that load through a reorientation toward the meaning of one’s life.”

—Viktor Frankl

“Warm weather fosters growth: cold weather destroys it. Thus a man with an unsympathetic temperament has a scant joy: but a man with a warm and friendly heart overflowing blessings, and his beneficence will extend to posterity.”

—Hung Tzu-Cheng

“I’m not in town for fun. I’m in town because Mr. Foster died and we’re freezing him.”

“He’s going to be Mr. Foster Freeze!”

“It’s true and it’s cruel. We’re going to freeze him and then we’re going to charge admission to come and see him and put him in the basement. We figure it’s the only way can afford it.”

“Are you going to freeze him by normal cryogenic methods?”

“We’re going to use normal cryogenic methods. We kill him and then we freeze him. It’s illegal to freeze someone who’s still alive.”

—Firesign Theatre, “Mr. Foster Freeze”

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