Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Books lies the soul of man

Carlyle wrote:

"In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and the material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream. . . . All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books."

Today we seem to have forgotten that problems we face today present but a new cast on old problems. We act as if this recession were done outside the sweep of history, or that we cannot possibly glean wisdom about today's wars from yesterday's historians. Are we really so bright, so brilliant, so ingenious, that we need not consult with the wisdom of the ages? Yes, the old fashioned musty things - books - can be our salvation - if only we would crack open the pages.

1 comment:

Stephen Martin said...

If I may, I'd like to recommend The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes. It's a truly brilliant work about the Great Depression written in 2005. The parallels one can draw from her writing between events back then and ones from today were truly accidental, I'm sure.

~Stephen Martin