A commonplace young man, A matter-of-fact young man, A steady and stolid-y, jolly Bank-Holiday Every-day young man!Sir W(illiam) S(chwenck) Gilbert: 1881Bunthorne and Grosvenor's duet, Patience, act 2.
On the whole we get on pretty smoothly in our domestic relations, except in the lower strata of the Military Classes. There the want of tact and discretion on the part of the husbands produces at times indescribable disasters. Relying too much on the offensive weapons of their acute angles instead of the defensive organs of good sense and seasonable simulation, these reckless creatures too often neglect the prescribed construction of the women's apartments, or irritate their wives by ill-advised expressions out of doors, which they refuse immediately to retract. Moreover a blunt and stolid regard for literal truth indisposes them to make those lavish promises by which the more judicious Circle can in a moment pacify his consort. The result is massacre; not, however, without its advantages, as it eliminates the more brutal and troublesome of the Isosceles; and by many of our Circles the destructiveness of the Thinner Sex is regarded as one among many providential arrangements for suppressing redundant population, and nipping Revolution in the bud. Yet even in our best regulated and most approximately Circular families I cannot say that the ideal of family life is so high as with you in Spaceland. There is peace, in so far as the absence of slaughter may be called by that name, but there is necessarily little harmony of tastes or pursuits; and the cautious wisdom of the Circles has ensured safety at the cost of domestic comfort.edwin abbot: Chapter 4. Concerning the Women
“What makes The Joker tick I wonder?” Fredric said. “I mean what are his real motivations?” “Consider him at any level of conduct,” Bruce said slowly, “in the home, on the street, in interpersonal relations, in jail always there is an extraordinary contradiction. He is dirty and compulsively neat, aloof and desperately gregarious, enthusiastic and sullen, generous and stingy, a snappy dresser and a scarecrow, a gentleman and a boor, given to extremes of happiness and despair, singularly well able to apply himself and capable of frittering away a lifetime in trivial pursuits, decorous and unseemly, kind and cruel, tolerant yet open to the most outrageous varieties of bigotry, a great friend and an implacable enemy, a lover and abominator of women, sweet-spoken and foul-mouthed, a rake and a puritan, swelling with hubris and haunted by inferiority, outcast and social climber, felon and philanthropist, barbarian and patron of the arts, enamored of novelty and solidly conservative, philosopher and fool, Republican and Democrat, large of soul and unbearably petty, distant and brimming with friendly impulses, an inveterate liar and astonishingly strict with petty cash, adventurous and timid, imaginative and stolid, malignly destructive and a planter of trees on Arbor Day I tell you frankly, the man is a mess.” “That’s extremely well said Bruce,” Fredric stated. “I think you’ve given a very thoughtful analysis.” “I was paraphrasing what Mark Schorer said about Sinclair Lewis,” Bruce replied.Donald Barthelme: “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph”
White is the wold, and ghostly The dank and leafless trees; And 'M's and 'N's are mostly Pronounced like 'B's and 'D's: 'Neath bleak sheds, ice-encrusted, The sheep stands, mute and stolid: And ducks find out, disgusted, That all the ponds are solid.charles stuart calverley: Dirge, from Verses and Translations (1862).
It is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion.Robertson Davies: Can a Doctor Be a Humanist? (1984)
Every Jack sees in his own particular Jill charms and perfections to the enchantment of which we stolid onlookers are stone-cold. And which has the superior view of the absolute truth, he or we? Which has the more vital insight into the nature of Jill's existence, as a fact? Is he in excess, being in this matter a maniac? or are we in defect, being victims of a pathological anesthesia as regards Jill's magical importance? Surely the latter; surely to Jack are the profounder truths revealed; surely poor Jill's palpitating little life-throbs are among the wonders of creation, are worthy of this sympathetic interest; and it is to our shame that the rest of us cannot feel like Jack. For Jack realizes Jill concretely, and we do not. He struggles toward a union with her inner life, divining her feelings, anticipating her desires, understanding her limits as manfully as he can, and yet inadequately, too; for he also is afflicted with some blindness, even here. Whilst we, dead clods that we are, do not even seek after these things, but are contented that that portion of eternal fact named Jill should be for us as if it were not. Jill, who knows her inner life, knows that Jack's way of taking it - so importantly - is the true and serious way; and she responds to the truth in him by taking him truly and seriously, too. May the ancient blindness never wrap its clouds about either of them again! Where would any of us be, were there no one willing to know us as we really are or ready to repay us for our insight by making recognizant return? We ought, all of us, to realize each other in this intense, pathetic, and important way.william james: "What Makes a Life Significant?"
The weight and concentration of the poems fall upon things (and those great things, animals and people), in their tough, laconic, un-get-pastable plainness: they have kept the stolid and dangerous inertia of the objects of the sagas the sword that snaps, the man looking at his lopped-off leg and saying, “That was a good stroke.”Randall Jarrell: “Freud to Paul: The Stages of Auden’s Ideology”, p. 155