Saturday, December 27, 2014


Morning Walks of a Sinologist

Elias Canetti (1905-1994), Auto-da-Fé, Part I, Chapter I (tr. C.V. Wedgwood):
There is nothing else I can do, he said at last; he stepped aside into the porch of a house, looked round — nobody was watching him — and drew a long narrow notebook from his pocket. On the title page, in tall, angular letters was written the word: STUPIDITIES. His eyes rested at first on this. Then he turned over the pages; more than half the note-book was full. Everything he would have preferred to forget he put down in this book. Date, time and place came first. Then followed the incident which was supposed to illustrate the stupidity of mankind. An apt quotation, a new one for each occasion, formed the conclusion. He never read these collected examples of stupidity; a glance at the title page sufficed. Later on he thought of publishing them under the title 'Morning Walks of a Sinologist'.

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