Saturday, October 10, 2009

alphabet labyrinth soup

I love getting up very early in the morning - just before dawn is my favourite part of the day. With two young kidlins, the farm and garden, work and arty commitments it's the only real 'me' time I have, so I love to grab a cup of milk coffee settle back in bed for a few peaceful precious minutes of reading.

This morning I picked up 'The Alphabetic Labyrinth - the Letters in History and Imagination' by Johanna Drucker and on one of the opening pages was this quote from Henry Noel Humphreys:

" From the invention of letters the machinations of the human heart began to operate; falsity and error daily increased; litigation and prisons had their beginnings, as also specious and artful language, which causes so much confusion in the world. It was on these accounts that the shades of the departed wept at night. But, on the other hand, from the invention of letters all polite intercourse and music proceeded and reason and justice were made manifest; the relations of life were defined, and laws were fixed; governors had a lasting rule to refer to; scholars had authorities to venerate; the historian, the mathmetician, the astronomer, can do nothing without letters. Were there not letters to give proof of passing events, the shades might weep at nooday as well as night and the heavens rain down blood, for tradition might affirm what she pleased, so that the letters have done much more good than evil; and as a token of good, heaven rained down ripe grain the day that they were first invented."

from 'The Origin and Progress of the Art of Writing'
Henry Noel Humphreys

Isn't that just a magic statement to start the day with.....

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