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

Sunday, June 24, 2012


From this land men go to the land of Bactria... In this land too there are many hippopotami, which live sometimes on dry land and sometimes in the water; they are half man and half horse. And they eat men, wherever they can get them, no meat more readily. And in that land are many griffons, more than in any other country. Some men say they have the foreparts of an eagle and the hindparts of a lion; that is indeed true. Nevertheless the griffon is stronger than eight lions of these countries, and bigger and stronger than a hundred eagles. For certainly he will carry to his nest a great horse with a man on his back, or two oxen yoked together, as they work together at the plough. He has talons on his feet as great and long as the horns of oxen, and they are very sharp. Of these talons men make cups to drink out of, as we do with the horns of bulls; and the ribs of his feathers they make into strong bows to shoot with.

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

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