Friday, April 08, 2005



"You must treat the days respectfully, you must be a day yourself, and not interrogate life like a college professor. Every thing in the universe goes by indirection. There are no straight lines."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The English snub my new book; as indeed they have all its foregoers. Only now they say, that this has less vigour & originality than the others. Where then was the degree of merit that entitled my books to their notice? They have never admitted the claims of either of them. The fate of my books is like the impression of my face. My acquaintances, as long back as I can remember, have always said, 'Seems to me you look a little thinner than when I saw you last.'"

-- Emerson

* * *

Excerpts from E.M. Forster's A Passage to India.

"They did not part for a few minutes, but the conversation had become unreal since Christianity had entered it. Ronny approved of religion as long as it endorsed the National Anthem, but he objected when it attempted to influence his life. Then he would say in respectful yet decided tones: 'I don't think it does to talk about these things, every fellow has to work out his own religion,' and any fellow who heard him muttered 'Hear!'"


"'But wasn't Akbar's new religion very fine? It was to embrace the whole of India.'

'Miss Quested, fine but foolish. You keep your religion, I mine. That is the best. Nothing embraces the whole of India, nothing, nothing, and that was Akbar's mistake.'

'Oh, do you feel that, Dr. Aziz?' she said thoughtfully. 'I hope you're not right. There will have to be something universal in this country -- I don't say religion, for I'm not religious; but something, or how else are barriers to be broken down?'

She was only recommending the universal brotherhood he sometimes dreamed of; but as soon as it was put into prose it became untrue."


"Nothing enrages Anglo-India more than the lantern of reason if it is exhibited for one moment after its extinction is decreed. All over Chandrapore that day the Europeans were putting aside their normal personalities and sinking themselves in their community. Pity, wrath, heroism, filled them, but the power of putting two and two together was annihilated."

* * *

"First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do."

-- Epictetus

* * *

"The truth is that our friends -- and our enemies -- always know us better than we know ourselves. There are, to be sure, a few corrective touches to their picture of us which only we can add, and these, as a rule, are concerned with our vulnerabilities and our weaknesses."

-- W. H. Auden

" ... it is precisely the introverted intellectual character who stands most in need of the ecclesiastical routine both as a discipline and as a refreshment."

-- Auden

Collective Improvisation:

Post a Comment

Back to Main Page

Site Meter