The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Shorter commonplaces

Bits and bobs that have no other home, unless I want to scribble them down in a notebook, which I would then probably lose. (Then they would not only be unhoused, they would be forgotten: thus defeating the purpose.)


Underlining personalizes the book. The marks become traces of your interest.’ (124)

If the book is yours and it does not have antiquarian value, do not hesitate to annotate it. Do not trust those who say that you must respect books. You respect books by using them, not leaving them alone.’ (125f.) —Umberto Eco, How to Write a Thesis (trans. C. M. Farina & G. Farina)

¶ 23 November 2022, around 13.34.

Non mehercules ieiuna esse et arida volo, quae de rebus tam magnis dicentur; neque enim philosophia ingenio renuntiat. Multum tamen operae inpendi verbis non oportet.’ —Seneca, Epistulae Morales, 75.3

¶ 22 November 2022, around 7.45.

‘In their doctrine freedom of spirit is taken from man in the name of his own happiness; social eudaemonism is set up against liberty. If truth does not exist, then nothing is left but this compulsory organization of social happiness.’ —Berdyaev, Dostoevsky (trans. Attwater)

¶ 6 October 2022, around 16.38.

‘All genuine thought and art is to a certain extent an attempt to put big heads on small people: so it is no wonder the attempt does not always come off.’ —Schopenhauer

¶ 5 August 2022, around 6.05.

‘Arthur Symons was talking of some foreign city, carrying in his waistcoat pocket, as it were, the genius loci, anon to be embalmed in Pateresque prose. I forget whether this time it was Rome or Seville or Moscow or what…’ —Max Beerbohm, ‘First Meetings with W.B. Yeats

¶ 21 July 2022, around 8.57.

‘Nothing whatever, except a harsh and dismal superstition, prohibits enjoyment.’ —Spinoza, Ethics, pt.IV, Prop. 45, Schol. 2 (trans. George Eliot)

¶ 27 March 2022, around 13.55.

‘…it is true that I long syth haue redde and herde that the beste clerkes ben not the wysest men’ —Reynard the Fox (Caxton trans.)

¶ 20 March 2022, around 9.21.

‘Besides, there is nothing so plain boring as the constant repetition of assertions that are not true, and sometimes not even faintly sensible’ —J.L. Austin, Sense and Sensibilia, explaining why no one reads novels.

¶ 8 March 2022, around 16.38.

‘There are, first of all, people who have homes without offices: these are, paradoxically, either the very rich or the very poor.’ —Fredric Jameson, Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality

¶ 9 January 2022, around 12.08.

ego hoc feci mm–MMXXII · cc 2000–2022 M.F.C.

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