Dagger in hand

A man of prodigious fortune, coming to add his opinion to some light discussion that was going on casually at his table, began precisely thus: "It can only be a liar or an ignoramus who will say otherwise than," and so on. Pursue that philosophical point, dagger in hand.

--Michel de Montaigne, Of the art of discussion.

Stab back: cmnewman99-at-yahoo.com


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Thursday, October 17, 2002
This one's from my grandmother, who is in her own right an extraordinarily talented and intellectually voracious woman of Oriana's generation:
Thank you very much for Rage and Pride. I almost read it at one sitting but my eyes complained. What a passionate cry of frustration and heartbreak. Fury is the only answer to despair when the barbarians are at the gate - or already breaching it. Unfortunately, I think, her commentary is too extreme to have the effect she is obviously hoping for -- at least in this country and others of teutonic bent. Too few people here have even remotely experienced what she has or are able to recognize what they are observing globally today, and what it really means. Elie Weisel, I think, would share her feeling of impotent horror, although he expresses himself very differently. Her reaction to meeting the Dalai Lama and to the detached peace and "otherness" of silent churches seems to me to indicate the unspeakable gratitude of a weary, sensitive soul for finding a bulwark against despair. Her vision is terrible and I wish I could think it is not valid, but she is right, the world is run by stupid, shortsighted people according to their own agenda, people who do not seem to understand the relentless power and drive of hatred. Elie Weisel said recently that our current "terrorists" differ from those of the past in that they make no demands -- e.g. release of prisoners, political gestures -- their only purpose is death. Death is their message. The thing that strikes him most about this "war" is the depth and intensity of the hatred. For a survivor of the holocaust, that seems a chilling observation.

Thank you for introducing me to Oriana - what a woman!

My pleasure, Grams.

UPDATE: She had a comment in response to my concern about the translation, too:

No, the oddness of the language adds to her personality. She is obviously not a conventional woman and somehow the "creative" translation comes across like a flambuoyant toss of a scarf over a shoulder. Don't forget I spent High School being taught by Germans and am no stranger to creative English. Her cussin' I accepted as part of years with the press corps and, I have no doubt is as natural as her anger.

I hope Fallaci's other readers share Gram's nimbleness of mind.

Comments: Post a Comment