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Put this Belle Epoque in your pipe and smoke it

Put this Belle Epoque in your pipe and smoke it

I recently finished the third book in Hobsbawm’s historical overview from 1789-1991. The “long nineteenth century” is covered by the first three books: The Age of Revolution (1789-1848), The Age of Capital (1848-1875) and The Age of Empire (1875-1914). Which brings me then to the fourth one, covering the “short twentieth century”: The Age of Extremes (1914-1991).

It arrived this Monday and I was…

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As one who sees in dreams and wakes to find the emotional impression of his vision still powerful while its parts fade from his mind — Just such an I, having lost nearly all the vision itself, while in my heart I feel the sweetness of it yet distill and fall.
Dante Alighieri, “Paradiso”
On imagination

**The lunatic, the lover and the poet

Are of imagination all compact:**

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,

That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,

Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:

The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;

And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes and **gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.**

— A Midsummers Night Dream, Act 5, Scene I

Burning bush

Burning bush

Written three years too soon … This is why Wikipedia is better, I suppose.

Written three years too soon … This is why Wikipedia is better, I suppose.

The Stranger's view on fear, from "High Plains Drifter"
  • Sarah Belding:

    Be careful. You're a man who makes people afraid, and that's dangerous.

  • The Stranger:

    It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid.

In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.
Eric Naggum
But don’t forget that there are always a few, very few, among these idiots who are only “sleeping” and might, at some time, “awake”; much of the teaching effort is all about making those sleepers awake.
a disappointing truth of human progress—there are things that have been forgotten, and they will never be re-remembered.