Monday, April 20, 2009


I may, however, anticipate future conclusions, so far as to state that in a community regulated only by laws of demand and supply, but protected from open violence, the persons who become rich are, generally speaking, industrious, resolute, proud, covetous, prompt, methodical, sensible, unimaginative, insensitive, and ignorant. The persons who remain poor are the entirely foolish, the entirely wise, the idle, the reckless, the humble, the thoughtful, the dull, the imaginative, the sensitive, the well-informed, the improvident, the irregularly and impulsively wicked, the clumsy knave, the open thief, and the entirely merciful, just, and godly person.

–Ruskin, Unto this Last (italics mine)

We hear Major Brisbin's voice again in the so-called DeRudio narrative. The narrator, concealed in a ravine, listens to "the silvery, but to me diabolical voices of several squaws" who are scalping an unfortunate soldier. "Two of the ladies were cutting away, while two others performed a sort of war dance...." This must be the major at work. Truth, no matter how startling, customarily rings with a distinctive note, rather like the hard ring of a silver coin dropped on a table, but this clinks like a potmetal counterfeit.

–Evan S. Connell, Son of the Morning Star

"Don't be so hide-bound, Simon. The name of the Recording Angel was Raduriel, and he wasn't just a book-keeper; he was the Angel of Poetry, and Master of the Muses. He also had a staff."

"Wound with serpents, like the caduceus of Hermes, I suppose."

"Not that kind of staff; a civil service staff. One of its important members was the Angel of Biography, and his name was the Lesser Zadkiel. He was the angel who interfered when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, so he is an angel of mercy, though a lot of biographers aren't."

–Robertson Davies, What's Bred in the Bone

No comments: