Commitment is a word invented in our abstract modernity to signify the absence of any real motives in the soul for moral dedication. Commitment is gratuitous, motiveless, because the real passions are all low and selfish. (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind)
It is, however, impossible, or it was until only yesterday, to become a French- man, for a Frenchman is a complex harmony, or dissonance, of historic echoes, from birth on. The French language, which the French used to learn very well, did not exist for the sake of conveying information, for communicating men's common needs; it was indistinguishable from a historical consciousness. Frenchness is defined by participation in this language, its literature and the entire range of effects it produces. Allan Bloom, The closing of the American mind
Today's select students know so much less, are so much more cut off from the tradition, are so much slacker intellectually, that they make their predecessors look like prodigies of culture. The soil is ever thinner, and I doubt whether it can now sustain the taller growths. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
There are some who are men and women at the age of sixteen, who have nothing more to learn about the erotic. They are adult in the sense that they will no longer change very much. They may become competent specialists, but they are flat-souled. The world is for them what it presents itself to the senses to be; it is unadorned by imagination and devoid of ideals. This flat soul is what the sexual wisdom of our time conspires to make universal. (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind)
Commitment is the equivalent of faith when the living God has been supplanted by self-provided values. (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind)
The student who made fun of playing the guitar under a girl's window will never read or write poetry under her influence. His defective eros cannot provide his soul with images of the beautiful, and it will remain coarse and slack. It is not that he will fail to adorn or idealize the world; it is that he will not see what is there. (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind)
A value is only a value if it is life-preserving and life-enhancing. (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind)
Imagine such a young person walking through the Louvre or the Uffizi, and you can immediately grasp the condition of his soul. In his innocence of the stories of Biblical and Greek or Roman antiquity, Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and all the others can say nothing to him. All he sees are colors and forms—modern art. In short, like almost everything else in his spiritual life, the paintings and statues are abstract. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind