a fool in the forest

Epigraphs

  • A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the
        forest,
    A motley fool; a miserable world!
    As I do live by food, I met a fool
    Who laid him down and bask'd him
        in the sun,
    And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good
        terms,
    In good set terms and yet a motley
        fool.

    As You Like It,
    Act II, Scene 7

    L'homme y passe à travers des
        forêts de symboles
    Qui l'observent avec des regards
        familiers.

    Les Fleurs du Mal,
    “Correspondances”

    [T]here is almost no subject-matter, and what little one can disentangle is foolish....
    One would call the style verbose, except that by definition verbosity is the use of words in excess of the occasion, and there seems to be no occasion.

    Yvor Winters,
    Forms of Discovery, Ch. 7


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    December 28, 2004

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    » Susan Sontag dies at 71 from L.A. Observed
    Sontag died today of leukemia at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The L.A. Times online obituary by her good friend, Book Editor Steve Wasserman, calls Sontag "one of America’s most influential intellectuals, internationally renowned... [Read More]

    Comments

    David Giacalone

    Good exerpting, George. Learning to broaden our capacity for sympathy is important -- however, so is the ability to live "here and now" with optimism and joy, despite what is happening on our own block, and despite all of the sorrows that cover this planet. Good literature can do both.

    p.s. Do you have the same "Continue Reading" editor as Evan?

    DaVID hUME

    Thoughts after pondering the meaning of the Great Asian Tsunami of 2004

    by The Zenman (with a bow and a nod to Voltaire in 1775)

    http://greattsunami2004.blogspot.com

    In 20 minutes, immense tidal waves, or ''tsunami'', as the Japanese call
    them, wiped out over 500,000 people living or vacationing along the
    seashores of the vast Indian Ocean. The Great Tsunami of 2004 will go
    down in history as one of the greatest natural disasters ever
    witnessed by the postmodern world, where digital cameras, videos,
    websites, blogs, TV camera crews and newspapers told the tragic story.

    What does it all mean? Is there a God who caused all this human
    suffering? Was the Earth angry at us for the way we have treated her
    the last 100 years, producing vast clouds of pollution everywhere,
    cutting down her forests and depleting her coal, oil and gas reserves
    for our homes, our cars, oun airplanes and our vacations in exotic
    locales? Was all this predicted by Nostradamus long ago, or within the
    mysterious pages of that book titled The Bible Code?

    The answers to all the above questions are no, no, no and no. There is
    no God, and it's time to get over it. Earth is not a concious living
    thing that gets angry or smiles or lauhgs or coughs. Nostradamus was a
    French poet and a quack doctor, forget about him. And as for The Bible
    Code, what a bunch of crock!

    This tragic event, seen worldwide this time via TV and video, the
    Internet and blog websites, was just the way things happen. From time
    to time, there are powerful earthquakes on Earth that do immense
    damagge. From time to time, there are floods, typhoons, tsunamis,
    tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, draughts. We can prepare for them,
    and we can use technology to be prepared for them.

    But one thing we must keep in mind, as the events of the Great Tsunami
    of 2004 are replayed in our minds over and over again, is that we
    humans are mere evolutionary guests here on Planet Earth. We evolved
    from the earliest forms of organic life, and now we have arrived at
    the point in cosmic history where we are. But we did not create Earth,
    and there is no God or gods who created the Earth either. The Earth
    was here long before we were ever here, and it will remain here long
    after we are gone, and even after all forms of human life are gone in
    the future.

    I think the Buddhist teachings have it right: there is suffering in
    the world, in life, and we must lean to accept it, and then get on
    with our lives as best we can, working together to lessen the
    suffering and the pain. That is one lesson we can all take from the
    footprints left on the beaches of South Asia by the Great 2004 Tsunami
    in the Indian Ocean.

    I was reading the story of a young 16 year old Sri Lankan girl who
    miraculously survived the tsunami in her village, but lost many
    members of her own family. She said: "It's hard to bear this tragedy,"
    she said softly to a CNN camera crew, "but I have to."

    One of the greatest natural catastrophes in generations was just
    another milestone on the trail of this shy girl's ill fortune. It's
    hard for all of us to bear this tragic event, that killed nearly
    500,000 people -- innocent people, young and old, black and white and
    brown and yellow, from over 40 nationalities -- but we have to.

    We must go on, we will go on, supporting one another in the best ways
    we can, and as human history evolves, seesawing from tragedy to
    tragedy, we are slowly understanding our place in the vast scheme of
    things.

    It is our place to be born, to live, to dream, to suffer, to
    experience joy and bliss, to write and to dance and to paint and to
    make music and to hold hands, watching sunsets and sunrises, and while
    there is no supernatural God of the Bible or the Koran, and no Hindu
    or Shinto or Taoist gods, we do have each other to rely on, and there
    is where our real strength and power lie. Use it. Let us hug one
    another and rise up from this indescribable natural calamity and
    become one with the world we are part of. Let us endure, let us
    persevere, let us move forward.

    DaVID hUME

    Why did the New York Times obit on Susan Sontag not once mention that she was Jewish? Is the new PC? Jews are no longer Jews?

    DaVID hUME

    THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS:

    Ms. Sontag was born Susan Rosenblatt in Manhattan on Jan. 16, 1933, the daughter of Jack and Mildred Rosenblatt. Her father was a fur trader in China, and her mother joined him there for long periods, leaving Susan and her younger sister in the care of relatives. When Susan was 5, her father died in China of tuberculosis. Seeking relief for Susan's asthma, her mother moved the family to Tucson, spending the next several years there. In Arizona, Susan's mother met Capt. Nathan Sontag, a World War II veteran sent there to recuperate. The couple were married - Susan took her stepfather's name - and the family moved to Los Angeles.

    IS IT FORBIDDEN TO SAY SHE WAS JEWISH IN PRINT?

    THE LA TIMES ALSO DOES NOT MENTION THAT SHE WAS JEWISH:

    She was born Jan. 16, 1933, in New York City and raised in Tucson and
    Los Angeles, the daughter of a schoolteacher mother and a fur trader
    father who died in China of tuberculosis during the Japanese invasion
    when Sontag was 5.

    ARE THESE THE NEW CODE WORDS? FUR TRADER IN CHINA? JACK AND MILDRED ROSENBLATT?

    My point is this, what's the point of NOT MENTIONING that the dear woman was Jewish?


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