Blog – The Lectern

Musings on history, language, and beyond

„I have no expectation that any man will read history aright who thinks that what was done in a remote age, by men whose names have resounded far, has any deeper sense than what he is doing today.”
–R.W. Emerson, “History”

Header photo: Bibliothek in der Abtei Sankt Florian, Österreich

A stroll down memory lane towards a new endeavor

14.01.2015 in Books, Travels

In the course of preparing this website I picked up my old copy of Emerson’s essays; I remembered that I had quoted his essay in my personal statement in applications to graduate school, and I thought that I might be able to use the quote somewhere on the site.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the trip down memory lane and the feelings of nostalgia that holding the book in my hand aroused. There was a postcard stuck between the pages, an image of Pompeii, and among the many underlined passages in the book, the following, in Emerson’s essay on self-reliance: “Travelling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places. At home I dream that at Naples, at Rome, I can be intoxicated with beauty and lose my sadness. I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from. I see the Vatican and the palaces. I affect to be intoxicated with sights and suggestions, but I am not intoxicated. My giant goes with me wherever I go.”

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