Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Living the Predicament

"After great pain a formal feeling comes." - Emily Dickinson
A dying Tony Judt quoted Dickinson, and it was picked up in David Wootton's TLS review of the BBC radio series, A History of the World in 100 Objects. He defines formal feeling as "a sense that, just as every word in a poem has its place, so history is not merely a record of destruction and death, but something to which we can, in some puzzling fashion, give meaning." Earlier, he writes, "Finding our place doesn't only mean finding where we come from, or who we are. It means working out how to live the predicament of life." I'm still working it out.

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