Remembering

The obscurest epoch is today.
—Stevenson

Apr 042013
 

We remember what we believe, and believe what we remember.

Feb 252013
 

We are more like our contemporaries than we imagine, and less like our ancestors.

Jan 022013
 

The historian imagines leaders who move nations by themselves, as the physicist imagines spherical cows of uniform density.

Dec 252012
 

We call past ages unhappy with no better warrant than that we suppose we would have been unhappy in them.

Dec 052012
 

Every contemporary freethinker would believe in Christianity if born in medieval England, and slavery if born in ancient Rome.

Nov 192012
 

All agree that memory is fugitive, but few draw the necessary conclusion about identity.

Oct 242012
 

Our descendants will regard us for hanging men as we regard our ancestors for hanging dogs.

Oct 182012
 

We owe modern clangor to the unremitting efforts of generations of quiet and sedentary men.

Oct 102012
 

Mute inglorious Miltons, flowers born to blush unseen and waste their sweetness on the desert air, are extinct, and I miss them.