malaise

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning.

Jimmy Carter, 1979

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wildness

Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the thinking.

J.M. Keynes

the language of groups

“Street gangs, sports clubs, political parties, families, people who for all kinds of reasons are regularly together, naturally develop a vernacular as a kind of bonding and those who want to join must learn it. Ideologues speak in language best understood by ideologues of like mind: it is called ‘preaching to the converted’; and it is probably a species of narcissism, like a budgerigar talking to itself in a mirror.”

Don Watson, “Death Sentence”, p.10

Watson’s writing made me think of the language that academics choose to use when discussing ideas. It is a language that tends to exclude and make understanding more difficult, although I suspect few of us would like to admit this.

reading

In reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have experienced in himself. And the recognition by the reader in his own self of what the book says is the proof of its veracity.

Marcel Proust

reading

"In reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have experienced in himself. And the recognition by the reader in his own self of what the book says is the proof of its veracity."

Marcel Proust