Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy 2010

This year I resolved to find homes for all the homeless books in my room. After about 5 hours, they seem to be all happily in place (not counting the stack of useless textbooks . . .). Hurrah.

In the process, I sorted through years of old papers, letters, cards, pictures, essays, projects, class notes, you name it.

One thing I unearth every time I clean is a stash of envelopes, receipts and grocery lists with interesting quotes written on the back. I was pretty happy with the two I found this time:
[T]he choice of occupation, that is, of his manner of life, now that that choice was so restricted, seemed to him such an easy matter that he forgot that a superfluity of the comforts of life destroys all joy in gratifying one's needs, while too much liberty in choosing our occupations -- liberty which in [Pierre's] case arose from his education, his wealth and his social position -- is just what makes the choice of occupation hopelessly difficult, and destroys the very desire and possibility of having an occupation.
-- Leo Tolstoi, War and Peace [my note says that the quotation's from p. 1199, but I don't know what our edition is]
[A]n author should never conceive of himself as bringing into existence beauty or wisdom which did not exist before, but simply and solely as trying to embody in terms of his own art some reflection of that eternal Beauty and Wisdom.
-- C.S. Lewis [note didn't say where from]

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