Tuesday, March 29, 2016


New Versus Old Books

Frederic Harrison (1831-1923), Among My Books (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1912), p. 4:
How I pity the restless people who want the last book out, and worry till they can get sight of some ephemeral tale that they will forget the very name of to-morrow. These Danaids are for ever doomed to fill their little pitchers with a stream of printer's ink which runs out at the bottom, and a dull and unwholesome fluid it is. What pure draughts, fresh from the Pierian spring, are all the while at hand, if they would but open the poor old standard books, as they call them, of which they know nothing but the name. These prodigals are fain to fill themselves with husks that the swine eat, when they should arise and go home to sup off the fatted calf.
Id., p.109:
In closing these notes upon Books, my last word, as it was my first word, is this: Read again the good old books, and do not cast them aside as stale, for ever looking for the "last thing out," the very name of which, when it has been scampered through, will be forgotten in a week. To a reader of any brain the great books of the world are ever new; at each reading things strike us which we had never noticed, or perhaps had forgotten, or even had misunderstood. I take up again my Plato, my Shakespeare, my Gibbon, my Scott—and I say, How did I miss that, why did I forget that, did I really never read this before?
Id., p. 123:
As an old man, I stand by the old Books, the old Classics, the old Style.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?