lundi 5 octobre 2009

More from Walden & notes on Sofies verden

From the conclusion to Walden:

While England endeavors to cure the potato-rot, will not any endeavor to cure the brain-rot, which prevails so much more widely and fatally?

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

I just picked up Sophies World again, after starting it many, many months ago. I gave up on the English translation, which I found too badly written. And Ive actually read some articles on how ethnocentric the American English translation is maybe thats why it gave me a vibe that something was off. The French translation is much better. I actually feel like Im learning something about Norwegian culture. And Im getting a philosophy lesson to boot.

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