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Stealth Post on Thomas Carlyle - Jennifer Michael Hecht

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Life/e—intro—intercolumn

2009. 5. 17.

 

 

Stealth Post on Thomas Carlyle [Jennifer Michael Hecht]

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used my mad mac iphoto skills to bump the color and contrast so it can almost be read.

The quotes, there are sort of two here, are from Thomas Carlyle's book On Heroes, in the chapter on "The Hero As Man of Letters" written in 1840 and generally about as fun as it sounds.  The library cherry picked some beauties though, no?  Here's the paragraph from which they were harvested.

 

Certainly the Art of Writing is the most miraculous of all things man has devised. Odin's Runes were the first form of the work of a Hero; Books written words, are still miraculous Runes, the latest form! In Books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream. Mighty fleets and armies, harbors and arsenals, vast cities, high-domed, many-engined,--they are precious, great: but what do they become? Agamemnon, the many Agamemnons, Pericleses, and their Greece; all is gone now to some ruined fragments, dumb mournful wrecks and blocks: but the Books of Greece! There Greece, to every thinker, still very literally lives: can be called up again into life. No magic Rune is stranger than a Book. All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books. They are the chosen possession of men.


Pericleses.  Still the beauty parts are beauty.  Let me also remind us of Samuel Butler's words on Carlyle's marriage: It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another, and so make only two people miserable and not four.

This has been a stealth post.  I just wanted to tell you this one more thing, about what was on the wall.  I love telling just one more thing.  It's one of my many secret weaknesses.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://jennifermichaelhecht.com 

http://thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2009/02/stealth-post-on-thomas-carlyle-jennifer-michael-hecht.html