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July 25, 2007

We Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy

"I am on the verge of making a radical decision," a professor told me in an e-mail note a couple of weeks ago. The plan taking shape was "to get rid of almost all the books I have in my office," he said, "based on their almost total superfluity."


(One of the commentors says, "Sometimes I swear the things copulate overnight and create new paperbacks which grow up to become hardbacks." The same thought has crossed my mind.)

Posted by smclemee at July 25, 2007 10:26 AM


This only works if you live in a society with a good library system, and even then you have to hope the libraries don't do something similar. Many intellectual/academic titles are published in very small quantities, go out of print very rapidly, and where will you find a copy when you need one on a Sunday evening?

Posted by: Josie at July 26, 2007 3:58 AM

If only my books would copulate, or preferably discover the secret of the immaculate conception !

As the owner of a reference library I spend a great deal of time (and often money) trying to find those elusive volumes, which often cannot even be easily be referred to in a library...

Posted by: David Dixit at July 26, 2007 4:40 AM

David, since "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary having been conceived in the womb of her mother without original sin (but through intercourse), it looks like you've thrown out one book too many. Yours is a popular misconception (no pun intended). I think you might want to say, "Virgin Birth," though that has other connotations including implying that Mary's hymen remained intact after she bore Jesus (resurrexit, sicut Dixit, Alleluia). Just don't get your definitions from UrbanDictionary.com, please. Use Wikipedia, or, perhaps, a book.

Posted by: Tonton Macoute at July 26, 2007 8:47 AM

....the radical decision... I took myself recently as a retired scientist. I got rid of all the famous reference books and magazines, because to-day, you have everything on the Internet for download, up to 50 years back on the click of your computer....

Posted by: Augustin L. Woelz at July 26, 2007 10:34 AM