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Notes


Stamp out starving writers, buy their books!


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The fellow pictured here with the open book is Saint Augustine. Augustine is generally portrayed with a book, perhaps because of the mystical words that inspired his conversion to Christianity, “Take up and read; Take up and read.” Or maybe because of his influential written works. This is the earliest known image of Augustine, a 6th century mural from the Lateran in Rome. In reading his autobiography,The Confessions of Saint Augustine, you may find him a not altogether loveable guy, but certainly one of the most original and influential philosophers. His speculations on time and memory could have been written today.  We chose this picture simply because we like the phrase “Take up and read.”  Of course there’s that other phrase, a prayer, that Augustine himself spoke:  “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet” (da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo).  Maybe we should be careful what we pray for.

More Notes


Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.