Sunday, July 26, 2009


Finding One's Vocation

Logan Pearsall Smith, All Trivia: Trivia, More Trivia, Afterthoughts, Last Words (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1945), p. 181 (from Afterthoughts, V. Art and Letters):
To be an elegant and acrimonious scholar, and make emendations in Greek texts that shall fill the world with wonder;

Or an illustrious Egyptologist, with spectacles and a white beard;

Or a Lord of Thought, and sum up the universe in a single phrase;

And know all about it, whatever it is, and break the teeth of the young lions, break their great teeth in their mouths;

Or to lie in bed day after day like Joubert, in a pink dressing-gown, trying to think nothing and feel no emotion?
Joubert: a selection from his Thoughts. Translated by Katharine Littleton. With a Preface by Mrs. Humphry Ward (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1899), p. xxii:
And in his daily life Joubert was always protecting himself against emotions, keeping out the newspapers, refusing to read or discuss politics when politics became tormenting, withdrawing himself from all the persons and writings that did not yield him pleasure or edification. He would spend whole days in bed, clad in the 'pink silk spenser' that his friends remembered, couched there 'like a horse in its stall,' trying to feel nothing and think of nothing.

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