Friday, August 21, 2009

Some Readings

Since space exploration is a favorite of mine, this article on Ray Bradbury is worth reading, even if the subject's thoughts are more coherent and interesting than the author's.

The same cannot be said about Joseph Eptein's review of Mark Helprin's latest, by which I mean both the reviewer and the reviewed are first-rate thinkers and writers.

And speaking of Epstein, his short piece on grit and writing is a useful follow-up to the review, and left me wondering just how hard it was for him to write so well on someone else writing well.

Incidentally, that journal In Character, was new to me. I did a quick look around the site, and plan to go back, but in the volume on justice they reproduced this quotation:

The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state. A social instinct is implanted in all men by nature, and yet he who first founded the state was the greatest of benefactors. For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with arms, meant to be used by intelligence and virtue, which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, for the administration of justice, which is the determination of what is just, is the principle of order in political society.

—Aristotle, The Politics
Lovely. And another reminder that I am not well-read enough. Back to work. Have a good weekend.

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