Feb. 8th, 2017

Wednesday

Feb. 8th, 2017 02:52 pm
monk222: (Default)
"Live while you can; it's a mistake not to." Hitch is quoting from the novel "The Ambassadors". [Arguably] ... ... So many books to read, so damn little time. A couple of days ago, I came across a dreamy novel inspired by Lincoln, "Lincoln in the Bardo" by George Saunders. It's a story of ghosts and griefs. And, today, I've come across "Autumn", a novel by Ali Smith, about a platonic relationship between a very old man and a rather young woman: she's 32 and he's a hundred and one. It also touches on the change in Western civilization as it declines into a post-European Union and Trump world. But I first want to get a couple of collections of essays from George Will and George Krauthammer. And there are others. If I had the money, I could pile up the books until they crowd the ceiling, but the real problem is time and that I am a slow reader. But I guess the way to see it is that the fun of it is to try to read as many of them as I can - a life overbrimming with pleasure in its own modest way. ... ... Speaking to Maureen Dowd, Trump said, "I am a man of great achievement. I win, Maureen, I always win. Knock on wood. I win. It's what I do. I beat people. I win." [Year of Voting Dangerously] ... ... In that "Columbia History of the World" essay, practically proclaiming the doom of Western civilization in 1972, the editors are moved to close on a positive note, offering any survivors a word of encouragement: "Meditation is the best answer, and from it at least one assurance will emerge, which is that as long as man exists, civilization, art, society, and science also exist in germ. Man's civilization is not identical with our civilization, and the building or rebuilding of states and cultures, now or at any time, is more becoming to our nature than longing and lamentations." ... ... Lincoln, in his early middle-age, wrote this little verse on his childhood years: "When first my father settled here,/ 'Twas then the frontier line;/ The Panther's scream, filled night with fear/ And bears preyed on the swine." [Burlingame]

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