Ephemera, 07/26/23

Seems to me that the sort of people who sneer at “old books” are the same sort of people who might find it a reasonable idea to use artificial intelligence to “understand reality.”

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“Nothing anyone is saying is necessarily wrong; it’s just not interesting.” (Adam Kotsko on moralism in cultural criticism)

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Finished reading Howards End for a Catherine Project reading group. I’m not sure what I expected when I began, but I don’t think I expected quite so much plot. After barreling through the last third just to see what twists awaited poor Leonard and irritating Helen, I had to go back and reread it more slowly in order to enjoy Forster’s language and brilliantly casual insights. In the end I can’t help but think that the Schlegel sisters are horrible people, but not in any unusual way. They are horrible in the same way most people are: striving to find our own happiness while putting out of our minds the thoughts of any wreckage we leave behind (because what else can we do?); clinging to the things we love while the rest of the world changes around us.

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