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Thursday: November 22, 2007

Let’s Think This One Over

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:52 AM GMT-0500

GatewayPundit and others have noted that leftists in Seattle and elsewhere are campaigning to redefine Thanksgiving as a day of mourning. I think there’s room for wide agreement here. Surely men and women of good will can agree that Thanksgiving has always been a day of mourning . . . for turkeys.

Aphorism Of The Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:28 AM GMT-0500

If people should ever start to do only what is necessary millions would die of hunger.

(Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms, translated by R. J. Hollingdale, C 54)

Here is the German:

Wenn mann nur einmal in der Welt anfangen wollte, das bloß Nötige zu tun, so müßten Millionen Hungers sterben.

(Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Sudelbücher, C 370)

Monday: November 19, 2007

Aphorism Of The Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:38 AM GMT-0500

Every stink that fights the ventilator thinks it is Don Quixote.

(Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, tr. Jacek Galazka, New York, 1962, p. 67)

Sunday: November 18, 2007

Homeric Musings

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:42 PM GMT-0500

I wonder how many readers had the same reaction I had on reading that Terry Teachout has been dreaming about discussing ‘Potato Head Blues’ with John Pancake. Mmmm . . . potato pancakes!

Aphorism Of The Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:31 AM GMT-0500

El cinismo es una filosofía de adolescente inteligente.

Cynicism is a philosophy of the bright adolescent.

(Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Notas, 393)

Saturday: November 17, 2007

Aphorism Of The Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:26 AM GMT-0500

What snobbism — he wanted to be the Grand Eunuch.

(Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Unkempt Thoughts, tr. Jacek Galazka, New York, 1962, p. 153)

Friday: November 16, 2007

Aphorism Of The Day

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:40 AM GMT-0500

A sure sign of a good book is that the older we grow the more we like it. A youth of 18 who wanted and above all could say what he felt would say of Tacitus something like the following: Tacitus is a difficult writer who knows how to depict character: and sometimes gives excellent descriptions, but he affects obscurity and often introduces into the narration of events remarks that are not very illuminating; you have to know a lot of Latin to understand him. At 25 perhaps, assuming he has in the interim done more than read, he will say: Tacitus is not the obscure writer I once took him for, but I have discovered that Latin is not the only thing you need to know to understand him — you have to bring a great deal with you yourself. And at 40, when he has come to know the world, he may perhaps say: Tacitus is one of the greatest writers who ever lived.

(Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms, translated by R. J. Hollingdale, E 43)

Lichtenberg was still in his early thirties when he wrote this. I take it that the 18-year-old cannot always say what he thinks because he is still in school.

Here is the German for those who can handle it:

Ein sicheres Zeichen von einem guten Buch ist, wenn es einem immer besser gefällt je älter man wird. Ein junger Mensch von 18, der sagen wollte, sagen dürfte und vornehmlich sagen könnte was er empfindet, wüde von Tacitus etwa folgendes Urteil fällen: Tacitus ist ein schwerer Schriftsteller, der gute Charaktere zeichnet und vortrefflich zuweilen malt, allein er affektiert Dunkelheit und kommt oft mit Anmerkungen in die Erzählung der Begebenheiten herein, die nicht viel erläutern, man muß viel Latein wissen um ihn zu verstehn. Im 25ten vielleicht, vorausgesetzt, daß er mehr getan hat als gelesen, wird er sagen: Tacitus ist der dunkle Schriftsteller nicht für den ich ihn ehmals gehalten, ich finde aber, daß Latein nicht das einzige ist was man wissen muß um ihn zu verstehen, man muß sehr viel selbst mitbringen. Und im 40ten, wenn er die Welt hat kennen lernen, wird er vielleicht sagen, Tacitus ist einer der ersten Schriftsteller, die je gelebt haben.

(Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Sudelbücher, E 197 — 2nd half)

Friday: November 2, 2007

Honoring Both Sides

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:15 AM GMT-0500

I don’t much care about the corruption story, but I do find it fascinating that the Romanian Minister of Agriculture is named Decebal Traian Remes. His parents obviously cared deeply about the Dacian campaigns of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, but couldn’t decide whether to name him after the Dacian king Decebalus or his conqueror, the Roman Emperor Trajan.