Saturday, 20 November 2010

Finding the gems amid the rubble

The following quote describes exactly how I feel about all those books out there, and why I tend to stick to reading "the classics:"

Emerson said, "There are 850,000 volumes in the Imperial Library in Paris. If a man were to read industriously from dawn to dark for sixty years, he would die in the first alcove. Would that some charitable soul, after losing a great deal of time among the false books and alighting upon a few true ones, which made him happy and wise, would name those which have been bridges or ships to carry him safely over dark morasses and barren oceans, into the heart of sacred cities, into palaces and temples."

(Harvard Classics Reading Guide, p. 11)

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Indeed.

And we actually have just such a charitable soul in Professor Harold Bloom. : )

(He's certainly guided me towards a few such "bridges"...)