Monday, June 4, 2007

If only...

If only I had been aware of this anecdote (okay, if I hadn't spent most of my undergraduate English major studiously avoiding anything written before 1920), it would have saved me a world of hurt:
Henry David Thoreau [. . .] accomplished his best work while living in a tiny cabin at Walden Pond. A lady friend once gave him a doormat, but he gave it back, saying, "It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil."


The reference is from the pseundonymous "Thomas Hart Benton's" column in The Chronicle.

As literary commentary on the trials of domestic life, it ranks right up there with Oscar Wilde's purported deathbed remark, "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do." [And yes, I know there are multiple versions, and considerable question as to the accuracy of the remark. Sometimes, as I tell my students, being interesting is more important that being factual. I only tell my good students that, of course.

3 Comments:

At 6:43 AM , Blogger Yankee T said...

Can I just tell you that I love it when you post? I do. And yeah, let's have more kid quotes. She sounds adorable!

 
At 7:36 PM , Blogger kabbage said...

One of my favorite refrigerator magnets has a Quentin Crisp (who was he, I wonder) quote: "There is no real need to do housework. After a few years it doesn't get any worse."

Empirical studies in my house indicates he might not be correct. Dang.

 
At 5:06 PM , Blogger Dorcasina said...

I LOVE Quentin Crisp (very amusing gay British actor), and that is a brilliant quote--I'll have to find a copy for myself!

 

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