6/25/10

Happy Sisyphuses of Philosophy

I thought these lines from T.S. Eliot's EAST COKER (No. 2 of 'Four
Quartets') speak well to the necessary but folly-like enterprise of
scholarship.

EAST COKER (No. 2 of 'Four Quartets')

...And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate-but there is no competition-
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business....

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