Clarifications/Reminders 3

In law as elsewhere, we can know and yet not understand. Shadows often obscure our knowledge, which not only vary in intensity but are cast by different obstacles to light. These cannot all be removed by the same methods, and till the precise character of our perplexity is determined we cannot tell what tools we shall need.   – H. L. A. Hart, “Definition and Theory in Jurisprudence”

In the Meantime (from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)

the meantime

n. the moment of realization that your quintessential self isn’t going to show up, which forces the role to fall upon the understudy, the gawky kid for whom nothing is easy, who spent years mouthing his/her lines in the wings before being shoved into the glare of your life, which is already well into its second act.


Perhaps the greatest lesson the [18th] century learned from its long, scrupulous, and imaginative comparison of it own experience with the larger past was the value of boldness; not the soi-disant boldness of negativism, of grudgingly withholding assent as we seek to establish our identities, prate of our integrity, or reach into our pockets for our mite of ‘originality’.  None of us, as Goethe said, is really very ‘original’ anyway; one gets most of what he attains in his short life from others.  The boldness desired involves directly facing up to what we admire and then trying to be like it.  –Walter Jackson Bate

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