"Solidity is but a crust," a line from Melville
(We don’t read Moby-Dick to get to know Ishmael—)
The theme of the isolated individual “haunted the most sensitive minds of Melville’s century… and it still hovers above the 20th century, a restless and unlaid ghost.”
"True philosophy has never consisted in probing all problems, but often on the contrary eluding them. We are skirting an abyss: beware of vertigo." — Edmund Scherer
"It is not human beings I like, but what devours them." — Andre Gide
My Norths are laid away in books.
How writing is like those ships lured by the promise of—or dependent upon the existence of—false lands. How many suppositions lead men deeper into the icy wastes? (The magical invocation of names.) Nordenskjold’s forays into the mysterious heart of Greenland were based on the presumption of green pastures in the country located past the ice.
"The life of tragic heroes is not good; it is misguided, unnecessary, and absurd." — George Santayana