Information / Action

Salt Lake City, Utah on a Tuesday in August

Thoreau, in Walden:

We are in a great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate… We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.

Echo Chambers

Salt Lake City, Utah on a Monday in May

From V, first published in the year of our lord 1963:

That night, 15 April, David Ben-Gurion warned his country in an Independence Day speech that Egypt planned to slaughter Israel. A Mideast crisis had been growing since winter. 19 April, a cease-fire between the two countries went into effect. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco the same day. The spring thus wore on, large currents and small eddies alike resulting in headlines. People read what news they wanted to and each accordingly built his own rathouse of history’s rags and straws. In the city of New York alone there were at a rough estimate five million different rathouses. God knew what was going on in the minds of cabinet ministers, heads of state and civil servants in the capitals of the world. Doubtless their private versions of history showed up in action. If a normal distribution of types prevailed they did.

p. 243

Pynchon on Calamity

Salt Lake City, Utah on a Wednesday in April

From V:

For that moment at least they seemed to give up external plans, theories and codes, even the inescapable romantic curiosity about one another, to indulge in being simply and purely young, to share that sense of the world’s affliction, that outgoing sorrow at the spectacle of Our Human Condition which anyone this age regards as reward or gratuity for having survived adolescence.

p. 216