marnanightingale: (colonial iceship)
Or, I have a headcold and a lot of Robertson Davies quotes, all of which I like, and some of which strike me as eminently discussible.

"Oho, now I know what you are. You are an advocate of Useful Knowledge."


"You say that a man's first job is to earn a living, and that the first task of education is to equip him for that job."

"Of course."

"Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position."


She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, than most people suppose. Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command. They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines -- not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality.


...never go to law for simple vengeance; that's not what law is for. Redress, yes; vengeance, no.

Leaven of Malice

ETA: Ian is reading me the for-years-unsorted bookshelf in my office.

"The Night Before Christmas, Reformers, Rebels and Revolutionaries: The Western Canadian Radical Movement from 1889-1919, Hegel: The Essential Writings[1], Discrete and Combinatorial Mathematics, Linear Algebra, Discipline and Punish, The Vampire Book: an Encyclopedia of the Undead, The Enlightenment, From Gaia to Selfish Genes, Who Wrote The New Testament, Statistical Language Learning, and The Jesuits."

[1] NOT as slim a volume as it would be were I the editor. "If this is what comes of reading Hegel..."

ETA2: Ian says we should offer a small prize to the first person to correctly identify which of these books belongs to was bought by each of us ...

Bonus Shelf: "The Development of Children, Biological Psychology, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, Arms of Krupp, The Fourth Dimension, Mensa Compendium of Conundrums, The Dispossessed, Public Life in Renaissance Florence, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, What Black People Should Do Now, The Holographic Universe, Rosslyn: Guardians of the Holy Grail, Believing Women In Islam, Unravelling Piltdown, Laura Ashley Style".


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May 2014

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