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« Two Poems [by Mitch Sisskind] | Main | What Makes a Restaurant Great? [by Mitch Sisskind] »

July 08, 2022


Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy In America)???

Antonio Gramsci. But the typos in the first sentence are the translators, not Antonio‘s.

Mostly Lionel Trilling, but the second quote ("Everything which the economist takes... ") is straight from Marx.

Red Skelton.

Thanks for the guesses -- and special thanks to Jim Periconi for pointing out the translator's typos, now corrected. All the answers were wonderful, but only gap has the right ones. Karl Marx wrote "Everything which the economist takes from you in the way of life and humanity, he restores to you in the form of money and wealth." Trilling quotes the sentence in "Sincereity and Authenticity." Tricky of me, I know. When I was his research assistant, and "The Birth of Tragedy" came up, Trilling quipped "Nitzsche never did betray the heart that loved him."

Ok,who wrote these prescient words?:

"The vast accumulation of knowledge-- or at least information--deposited by the 19th Century have been responsible for an equally great ignorance. When there is so much to be known, when there are so many fields of knowledge in which the same words are used with different meanings, when everyone knows a little about a great many things, it becomes increasingly difficult for anyone to know whether he knows what he is talking about or not. And when we do not know, or when we do not know enough, we tend always to substitute emotions for thoughts."

HINT: The quote is not from a political scientist or Henry Kissinger-- but a poet. Actually, the cadence and phrasing should give it away, even if you don't know the quotation!


Or to quote another poet of long ago who perfectly understands,say, Putin, or even our beloved Clarence Thomas, who said this:

" The idea of a golden age is inherent in the tradition of every people, which proves nothing except that people are never satisfied with the present, and since their experience gives them little hope for the future, they adorn the irrevocable past with all the flowers of their imagination."

HINT: The speaker understands Putin!


Thank you, Mark. The first of the quotes ("The vast accumulation of knowledge-- or at least information--deposited by the 19th Century have been responsible for an equally great ignorance," etc) has to be T. S. Eliot. But I don't know the second. Tolstoy? Edmund Wilson?

Thanks for responding. The first quote is indeed from T.S. Eliot. The second,from someone who looked into Putin's soul (if he has one) long before this latest version of Russian reaction was born, is Alexander Pushkin.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


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