August 16

Some pithy observations drawn from the very words of “A Curmudgeon’s Commonplace Book”.

You might as well hope to detect typographical errors in Finnegans Wake, as hope to detect factual or logical errors in Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, Heidegger, etc. It is a perfect waste of time to read authors, and wonder whether they have got things right, when there is no possible way one could tell if they had gone wrong. – David Stove, Cricket versus Republicanism, 1995

A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts. – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

It is, above all, autumn that moves the heart to tears. – Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness, c. 1330

Alonso of Aragon was wont to say in commendation of old age, that age appears to be best in four things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. – Francis Bacon, Apothegms New and Old, 1625

One melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can’t make old friends. — Christopher Hitchens, Harper’s, 1999

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