“Forsooth” is a spectacular case of an abandoned word. It now lives in the shadows, reduced from a common term meaning “truly” to an archaic fragment for jocular use only. It will remain in good dictionaries for centuries, if only because it’s part of…
Slavery in the end turned out to be a good thing for everyone. Because then we wouldn’t know that treating people like that was wrong. And without slavery, we never would have had a Civil Rights Movement that showed racism is bad. Thank goodness for history books because then I never would know that racism existed before.
Well, it looks like some pintsize is trying to Hegelian dialectic on for size.
“In some measure, pro football is quite beautiful because it gives us human beings willingly giving up themselves for something they love. I don’t have any real way to relate to that. The closest I can come (and this is not very close) is to imagine a world where I knew writing would likely knock a few decades off my life. I think I’m a little different from my peers, in that I’ve never felt fit for much else. Perhaps in that world I’d be prompted to discover I was wrong. But as I am, I think I’d lose the years.”—
“But after living in smallish apartments for decades I just spent seven years in a house with a full-size attic, and everything went to hell. Books entered my house under cover of night, from the four winds, smuggled in by woodland creatures, and then they never left. Books collected on every surface; I believe that somehow they managed to breed.”—Luc Sante
Luc Sante’s account of his Sisyphean efforts to tame his home library is the smartest and best-written version of this story I’ve ever read. Well worth your time.
“Books are much more than container vessels for ideas. They are very nearly living things, or at least are more than the sum of their parts… . I realize that books are not the entire world, even if they sometimes seem to contain it. But I need the stupid things.”
Oh, Luc! Hi! Are you listening to Dubstep right now?
Seriously, Luc Sante was my professor last semester, and he is one cool dude.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.”—Raymond Carver (via libraryland)
I’m partial to George Carlin’s articulation of this same thought: “Words are all we have, really.”