Monday, April 27, 2009

Splash du Jour: Monday

There is divine beauty in learning... To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you.
-- Elie Wiesel --

Have a great Monday!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Wiesel could just be referring to the Newtonian "I stand on their shoulders" thing, or more than that? I recently read an interesting overview of the philosophy of Maimonides (appprox. 1050 a.d.) which has him saying, in effect, the Bible advocated such primitive actions because God intended that man should evolve and learn from his past. And then of course, there is the Holocaust (and various other genocide) literature, that suggests man doesn't evolve much after all! Interesting quote today!

Anonymous said...

Good point, rhapsody.

I think of T. S. Eliot and his "Tradition and the Individual Talent" where he makes a similar "I-stand-on-their-shoulders" point: "No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead."