You know: in a foolish, undiscriminating way, I've been happy these last few months. I don't know why. I just am. I love my friends; I love my pupils; I love what I read; I -- dammit -- love my thoughts. I love the taste of oranges.
Thornton Wilder in a letter to Gertrude Stein, Aug 14, 1936

Thursday, September 16, 2010


...I think it does students of literature good, after hard and serious reading, to relax their minds and invigorate them further for future efforts. It would be suitable recreation for them to occupy themselves with the kind of reading that not only affords simple diversion derived from elegance and wit, but also supplies some intellectual food for thought -- just the qualities I think they will find in this work of mine...I too wanted to leave something for posterity, and didn't want to be the only one denied these flights of fancy, and since I had nothing true to report (having never experienced anything worth recording), I turned to lying. But I am much more honest in this than the others: at least in one respect I shall be truthful, in admitting that I am lying. Thus I think that by admitting that nothing I say is true I can avoid being accused of it by other people. So, I am writing about things I neither saw nor experienced nor heard from others, which moreover do not exist. and in any case could not exist. My readers must therefore entirely disbelieve them.

I started once from the Pillars of Hercules, and with a favourable wind I set sail for the Western Ocean....

Lucian, A True Story
Trans. by C.D. N. Costa
Oxford University Press

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