Friday, October 30, 2009

History #15

After all, history isn't the real thing. Past time is only evil at a distance; and of course, the study of past time is itself a process in time. Cataloguing bits of fossil evil can never be more than an ersatz for eternity.

Aldous Huxley, After Many a Summer [a.k.a After Many a Summer Dies the Swan] (1939)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Word of the Day #30


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Alcohol #11

L'alcool est le monarque des liquides et porte au dernier degré l'exaltation palatale: ces diverses préparations ont ouvert de nouvelles sources de jouissances; il donne à certains médicaments une énergie qu'ils n'auraient pas sans cet intermède; il est même devenu dans nos mains une arme formidable, car les nations du nouveau monde ont été presque autant domptées et détruites par l'eau-de-vie que par les armes à feu.

Alcohol is the monarch of liquids, and takes possession of the extreme tastes of the palate. Its various preparations offer us countless new flavors, and to certain medicinal remedies, it gives an energy they could not well do without. It has even become a formidable weapon: the natives of the new world having been more utterly destroyed by brandy than by gunpowder.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du goût (1825)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Word of the Day #29


Thursday, October 08, 2009

America #52, Time #20

It's all very well for you to look as if, since you've had no past, you're going in, as the next best thing, for a magnificent compensatory future. What are you going to make your future of, for all your airs, we want to know?—what elements of a future, as futures have gone in the great world, are at all assured to you?... No, what you are reduced to for "importance" is the present, pure and simple, squaring itself between an absent future and an absent past as solidly as it can.

Henry James, The American Scene (1907)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Word of the Day #28

Tempora mutantur