Saturday, August 27, 2016


The Shallowest Brain

John Burroughs, journal (November 9, 1916), quoted in James Perrin Warren, John Burroughs and the Place of Nature (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006), p. 15 (footnote omitted):
The magazine writer has a new problem: how to address himself to the moving-picture brain—the brain that does not want to read or think, but only to use its eager shallow eyes, eyes that prefer the shadow and ghosts of things to the things themselves, that rather see the ghosts of people flitting around on the stage, than to see real flesh and blood. How an audible dialogue would tire them! It might compel them to use their minds a little—horrible thought!

For my own part, I am sure I cannot interest this moving-picture brain, and do not want to. It is the shallowest brain that has yet appeared in the world. What is to be the upshot of this craze over this mere wash of reality which the "movies" (horrible word!) offer our young people?

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