Sunday, September 7, 2008

August 27, 2008

Ralph Waldo Emerson
4 cards

Writers in the previous post's n+1 pamphlet mentioned wishing they had read Emerson earlier and hold him up alongside Nietzche, if not above. As I make my way through Emerson this year it seemed like the time to read "Circles" since it was mentioned by them. Emerson, of course, offers all one could hope and more in his reflection on and about circles.

Brief excerpts:
252- the eye
-"Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning..."
-"Permanence is but a word of degrees."
253- "The new continents are built out of the ruins of an old planet..."
-"New arts destroy the old."
-"Everything looks permanent until its secret is known."
255- "Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations."
256- "Conversation is a game of circles."
257- "Good as is discourse, silence is better."
-"The field cannot be well seen from within the field."
-"Therefore we value the poet."
259- "'The worse things are, the better they are.'"
260- "I am only an experimenter."
261- "People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them."
-"Life is a series of surprises."
-"The simplest words- we do not know what they mean expect when we love and aspire."
262- "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
-"'A man,' said Oliver Cromwell, 'never rises so high as when he knows now wither he is going.'"

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