Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"How carefully did the Concordians read books? As a boy barely in his majority, Emerson confessed that his 'cardinal vice of intellectual dissipation' was 'sinful strolling from book to book, from care to idleness.' He added that with this malady he belonged to the incurables. Over two decades later, in 1843, he was still uncured. Some one must have taunted his with the remark, 'Your reading is irrelevant.' Emerson's answer was defiant. 'Yes, for you, but not for me. It makes no difference what I read. If it is irrelevant, I read it deeper. I read it until it is pertinent to me and mine...A good scholar will find Aristophanes and Hafiz and Rabelais full of American history.' Elsewhere he explained his meaning in other terms. 'Only so much of Arabian history can I read as I am Arabian within."
Posted by slt at 3:02 PM