"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

What a wonderful phenomenon it is, carefully considered, when the human eye, that jewel of organic structures, concentrates its moist brilliance on another human creature! This precious jelly, made up of just such ordinary elements as the rest of creation, affirming, like a precious stone, that the elements count for nothing, but their imaginative and happy combination counts for everything -- this bit of slime embedded in a bony hole, destined some day to molder lifeless in the grave, to dissolve back into watery refuse, is able, so long as the spark of life remains alert there, to throw such beautiful, airy bridges across all the chasms of strangeness that lie between man and man!

[The Human Eye: Mann, Confessions of Felix Krull]

Posted by stronzo on 07.17.2008


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