Ephemeral geometry

meta-cre­ation_­date: Novem­ber 3, 2003 Extend a line from Parkin­son through Oprah and Jer­ry Springer. Now, pro­duce it in an his­tor­i­cal direc­tion along the same plane as far as the 1760’s. With what fig­ure does it inter­sect, if not Boswell’s Jour­nal of a Tour to the Hebrides? bq. “I love anec­dotes. I fan­cy mankind may come, in time, to write all apho­ris­ti­cal­ly, except in nar­ra­tive; grow weary of prepa­ra­tion, and con­nec­tion, and illus­tra­tion, and all those arts by which a big book is made. If a man is to wait till he weaves anec­dotes into a sys­tem, we may be long in get­ting them, and get but a few, in com­par­i­son of what we might get.” He’s being devi­ous, of course… his art lies in the sub­tle tapes­tries of con­nec­tion and illus­tra­tion into which he wove his anec­dotes after many years of reflec­tion. But it’s a con­fes­sion, all the same. The delay does result in few­er anec­dotes: not from for­get­ful­ness but from selec­tion.

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