Started by Cecilie, May 22, 2010, 06:47:44 AM
Quote'What a satisfaction. And yet, do you know, Maturin, after all these hours of lying here I have come to the conclusion that there is something not displeasing in this solitude, perpetual travelling, perpetual confinement, remoteness from all society, cares, activity . . . If reasonable food were forthcoming, I am by no means sure that I should wish it ever to come to an end. There is a great deal to be said for suspended animation.' He paused, staring at the bulkhead, and then he said, 'I wonder if you know the author of the lines I have ventured to translateWhen the bells justle in the tower The hollow night amidThen on my tongue the taste is sourOf all I ever did.'From Fox's tone it was evident to Stephen that this was the preliminary to a confidence, a confidence prompted not by any high degree of friendship or esteem but by loneliness and a desire to talk. From the nature of the verse it was reasonably certain that the confidence would be of a somewhat scabrous nature, and Stephen did not wish to hear it. Restored to society, cares, activity and his usual environment, Fox would undoubtedly regret having made it; he would resent Stephen's knowledge of his intimate life, and that would make working together in Pulo Prabang far more difficult. Collaboration and indifference might agree; collaboration and resentment could scarcely do so. He said, 'I do not know the author. Can you remember the original?' 'I am afraid not.' 'It cannot be an ancient: the pagans, as far as my reading goes, were never much given to self-hatred or guilt about their sexual activities. That was reserved for Christians, with their particular sense of sin; and as "all I ever did" clearly refers to ill-doing, I must suppose it to be of a sexual nature, since a thief is not always stealing nor a murderer always murdering, whereas a man's sexual instincts are with him all the time, day and night. Yet it is curious to see how the self-hater often succeeds in retaining his self-esteem in relation to others, usually by means of a general denigration: he sees himself as a worthless creature, but his fellows as more worthless still.' As a check to unwanted confidences this was effective, but Stephen had added the last words in another spirit, following his own reflection, and the effect was too harsh by far. He saw with regret that he had wounded Fox, who, with an artificial smile, said, 'Oh, I quite agree,' and went on to a very proper speech of thanks for Dr Maturin's great kindness in looking after him and for his great skill in curing a most disagreeable complaint. He was sorry to have been such an importunate nuisance. 'Where is the moral advantage now?' Stephen asked himself, walking along the half-deck to the companion-ladder. 'Heavy stupidity, incomprehension would have been much better.' He was just about to climb up it when a boy came hurtling down, took a great leap to avoid him, missed his footing and fell flat. 'Are you quite well, Mr Reade?' he asked, picking him up. 'Quite well, sir, thank you. I beg pardon for tumbling about, but the Captain sent me to tell you we have sighted Java Head. Java Head, sir! Ain't it prime?'
Quote from: Icarus on June 27, 2021, 10:20:34 AMA friend, who is a conspiracy theorist, gave me a nice new copy of Orwell's 1984. I had read that book many moons ago. I started reading it again. It is a bit much. My friend is afraid that there is a new world order conspiracy afoot. The book becomes rather tedious but for some reading I continue to read it. Has anyone else read or reread this book?
Quote from: Dark Lightning on June 28, 2021, 05:08:05 AMWhen people these days think that people back then weren't smart, they should read this book, and others like it. People 5k years ago were doing things that some people today can't or won't do.
Quote from: Icarus on June 30, 2021, 12:30:16 AMBP some of those old guys were plenty smart. I have a book by an old Brit guy named Lancelot Hogben. It is one of the best and most comprehensive math books ever. Originally printed in 1937. Another of the old guys who were exceptionally smart was Silvanus Thompson born 1851. He too was a Brit. His book Calculus Made Easy is among the best of all. He manages to explain in ways that even dumb asses like me can understand. I suspect that DL may be aware of those books.