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« Good-bye to one of the greats | Main | We’ve come a long way, baby »

May 30, 2008

The Whole Story

Part of my job at BreakPoint includes being keeper of the library. The job has its perks, one being that I have to (speed) skim through new books to see which ones should be kept for future reference.   

Recently I ran across an intriguing bit of writing which you might find interesting in the preface of The Skies of Babylon: Diversity, Nihilism, and the American University by Barry Bercier. Bercier introduces a novelist whom I've never read, Heimito von Doderer, who wrote The Demons.

Bercier includes a brief section of a meditation from Doderer's novel about the intellectual disasters of Europe during the '30s and '40s. Here's the snippet, told in a narrator's voice, about "the whole story."

And yet--in fact you need only draw a single thread at any point you choose out of the fabric of life and the run will make a pathway across the whole, and down the wider pathway each of the other threads will become successively visible, one by one. For the whole is contained in the smallest segment of anyone's life story; indeed we may even say that it is contained in every single moment...

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