Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Confessions of a tram passenger

On my way home in the tram, I'm tired and read a few pages in De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Feeling, as I've often done lately, that I need to read article after article just to keep abreast with the research to which I will have to refer in my writing, it was a great and unsuspected relief to read about "Dr. Edward Peacocke, the great oriental scholar of England in the seventeenth century" or "the supreme trinity of Greek scholars that flourished between the English Revolution of 1688 and the beginning of the nineteenth century – which trinity I suppose to be, confessedly, Bentley, Valckenaer, and Porson". Wonderful names of people of which I have never heard. They're all forgotten now, just as all the people I refer to in my papers will be forgotten in a hundred years, and just as I will be myself. I am soothed the fact that we will all be forgotten one day, and the world will still go on without us. That's just the way it should be. 

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