Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ink Traces of Newspapers

The unlettered of ancient times read from the book of nature. Or rather, he was from the book itself, he was the book itself of creation. The lettered of ancient times was a person of the book(s) and was himself one or more books. The modern person is a newspaper, and not only one newspaper, but our miserable modern memory is like so many miserable, worn-out newspapers on which, without changing the paper, have been printed every day the newspaper of the day. And we are no more than this frightful staleness of letters.

Our ancestors were blank paper and the linen itself from which the paper is made. The lettered were books. We moderns, we are no more than the ink traces of newspapers.

[Charles Péguy, Notes on Bergson and Descartes, Ward, tr., Cascade Books (Eugene, OR: 2019) p. 79.]

I doubt he would be impressed by the Internet Age.

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