“It Can’t Be Done”

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Most things can be done, and when anyone told me that such and such a thing could not be done, I got someone who could do it. I still follow that same principle.

——Cecil B. De Mille, quoted in Photoplay, October, 1916.

Cecil B. De Mille on Ignorance

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Our success has been due largely to ignorance. If we had been versed in the “movie” technique of two years ago, I do not believe we could have succeeded. When I came to Los Angeles, I knew nothing of the making of films, but I had the big idea. I had seen picture plays that were almost dramas. One touch could have made them dramas, but instead of that touch, there was a kick in the face, and it was farce.

The first Lasky picture which I produced was “The Squawman” with Dustin Farnum in the title role. No one but the cameraman had ever had any picture experience, of those who worked on that play in the garage studio.

Ignorance is a wonderful thing when properly applied.

——From Photoplay, October, 1916.

On Art and Technology

If the old builders and artists had possessed the scientific knowledge that we do, we may be sure that they would have produced artistic and beautiful results, instead of talking nonsense about its being impossible.

——Sir Edmund Beckett, quoted in Industrial Art, 1877.

PARAPHRASE OF CAP. 93, AL-KORAN

PARAPHRASE OF CAP. 93, AL-KORAN
ENTITLED, “THE BRIGHTNESS,”
REVEALED AT MECCA.

BY C. J. KEMEYS TYNTE, ESQ., M. P.

By the brightness of morn, when the day-spring is blushing,
  And bathed is creation in roseate light;
By the stillness and gloom which all nature is hushing,
  When spread are the wings of the angel of night
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Though thy mortal career may be laden with sorrow,
  Yet think of the glories that wait thee above;
When the ills of to-day shall be changed on the morrow
  For bliss, in the realms of the Lord of thy love.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Encompassed by danger, an orphan he found thee;
  A wanderer in error thou wast in thy youth,
When he flung (as a mantle) his mercy around thee,
  And guided thy steps to the temple of truth.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he ne’er will forsake thee!

Thou wast needy and poor, but he freely has given:
  Then scorn not the beggar, nor orphan oppress;
But learn from the light that is lent thee from heaven,
  To cherish the outcast, and pity distress.
    — Allah swears, O Mahomed! he will not forsake thee!

——From Heath’s Book of Beauty for 1837.

A Tinge of Roguery

Yes, we have all a tinge of roguery in our composition; but it fortunately happens, from a few being rogues in a superlative degree, that the remainder are enabled to pass for honest men.

——“J. H. H.,” in The Literary Magnet, 1825.