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dimanche, janvier 17, 2010

motto for the year(s) to come

The more things we know the better we are equipped we are to understand any one thing and it is a burning pity that our lives are not long enough and not sufficiently free of annoying spectacles, to study all things with the same care and depth as the one we now devote to some favorite subject or period. And yet there is a semblance of consolation within this dismal state of affaires: in the same way as the whole universe may be completely reciprocated in the structure of an atom, … an intelligent and assiduous student (may) find a small replica of all knowledge in a subject he has chosen for his special research… and if, upon choosing your subject, you try diligently to find out about it, if you allow yourself to be lured into the shaded lanes that lead from the main road you have chosen to the lovely and little known nooks of special knowledge, if you lovingly finger the links of the many chains that connect your subject to the past and the future and if by luck you hit upon some scrap of knowledge referring to your subject that has not yet become common knowledge, then will you know the true felicity of the great adventure of learning (…).

(V.Nabokov to his students at Wellesley University, 1946)

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