Saturday, August 04, 2007

Well wadded

Today was saved early by coming accross two George Eliot quotes by A.S.Byatt in the Guardian:

"When the commonplace 'We must all die' transforms itself suddenly into the acute consciousness 'I must die - and soon', then death grapples us, and his fingers are cruel; afterwards he may come to fold us in his arms as our mother did, and our last moment of dim earthly discerning may be like the first."

"That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity."

What a wise, serious voice we have here, so acutely concerned with our human experience. We surely have lost something when we have lost this scope, this aim. Perhaps it has made the situation easier to bear: the pace has quickened indeed, well wadded we pass through the moments, constantly entertained, amused, shielded.

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