domingo, dezembro 24, 2017
The Journey, not the Arrival, Matters - an Autobiography of the years 1939 to 1969, by Leonard Woolf
I finished Leonard Woolf's autobiography, and am really glad I read it. Leonard Woolf was indeed a great mind, and it's amazing how clear minded he was in his eighties. I so much agree with him on so many levels, from what constitutes true civilization to the importane of pleasure and the value of justice and fairness. The account of Virginia's final illness and death is moving, but it's his musings about old age, the meaninglessness of most of our life's work and the reflections on the world's state and on what is meant by civilization that are really worth the reading. How much better the world would be if there were more people like him.
I would accept the risk of immortality, if I were offered it, but I do not worry about my inevitable death. As one grows old, one is forced to think of it, for it grows nearer and nearer; the time comes when you see that people are surprised to see that you are still alive, when you know that, if you plant a tree in your garden, you will not be alive to stand beneath its branches, or, if you buy a bottle of claret "for laying down", you will probably die before it has matured.
Justice and mercy - they seem to me the foundation of all civilized life and society, if you include under mercy toleration.
The most civilized civilizations have always counted pleasure to be a very good thing, and the most uncivilized civilizations have always puritanically frowned on happiness.