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The term recreation appears to have been used in English first in the late 14th century, first in the sense of "refreshment or curing of a sick person", and derived turn from Latin (re: "again", creare: "to create, bring forth, beget).
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- RECREATION, n. A particular kind of dejection to relieve a general fatigue.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to attending such shows as dancing, singing, music, displays, recitations, hand-music, cymbals and drums, fairy-shows, acrobatic and conjuring tricks, combats of elephants, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks and quail, fighting with staves, boxing, wrestling, sham-fights, parades, manoeuvres and military reviews, the ascetic Gotama refrains from attending such displays.
- A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.
- L. P. Jacks, Education through Recreation (1932), p. 1
- Jesus ... never laughed. Nothing has ever equaled the seriousness of his life; it is clear that pleasure, recreation, anything that could divert the mind, had no part in it. The life of Jesus was utterly taut, wholly caught up in God and in the woes of men, and he gave to nature only what he could not have refused it without destroying it.
- Pierre Nicole, Essais de Morale (1753), XIII, 390, in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1927) as translated by Mary Ilford (1968), p. 118
- More and more, work enlists all good conscience on its side; the desire for joy already calls itself a "need to recuperate" and is beginning to be ashamed of itself. "One owes it to one’s health"—that is what people say when they are caught on an excursion into the country. ... Formerly it was the other way around: it was work that was afflicted with the bad conscience. A person of good family used to conceal the fact that he was compelled to work. Slaves used to work, oppressed by the feeling that they were doing something contemptible: "doing" itself was contemptible. "Nobility and honour are attached solely to otium and bellum," that was the ancient prejudice.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, W. Kaufmann, trans. (New York: 1974), § 329