Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I take this evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets them slip through our fingers then when we clutch hardest, to be the most unhandsome part of our condition.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Experience," Essays, Second Series (1844).

Stanley Cavell bases a great deal of his Emersonian ruminations on this passage and the image of "unhandsomeness," which he links as much to the pun on "hand" and its relation to grasping, that is, understanding, as to lack a of beauty and grace.
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help