Sunday, July 09, 2006



A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished.
He who is grateful for the existence of music.
He who takes pleasure in tracing an etymology.
Two workmen playing, in a cafe in the South, a silent game of chess.
The potter, contemplating a colour and a form.
The typographer who sets this page well though it may not please him.
A woman and a man, who read the last tercets of a certain canto.
He who strokes a certain animal.
He who justified, or wishes to, a wrong done to him.
He who is grateful for the existence of Stevenson.
He who prefers others to be right.
These people, unaware, are saving the world.

I like Borges's attitude here, but I'm not sure I like his choices. I have never felt my world has been saved by a person tracing an etymology. In fact, I am exactly the sort of person who does delight in tracing an etymology, and I am forever (and, it has to be said, quite rightly) being referred to as a dullard. Plus, anybody who even dares to read a tercet in my vicinity is liable to receive a wallop in the smacker.

I much prefer this, from Remorse:

I have committed the worst sin a man can commit.
I have not been happy.


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