Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: A Thought Branches and Leafs

Sir James Jeans, British astronomer and physicist, suggested that the universe was beginning to look more like a great thought than a great machine. Humanists seized on the expression, but it was hardly news. We knew, looking around, that a thought branches and leafs, a tree comes to a conclusion. But the question of who is thinking the thought is more fruitful than the question of who made the machine, for a machinist can of course wipe his hands and leave, and his simple machine still hums; but if the thinker's attention strays for a minute, his simplest thought ceases altogether. And, as I have stressed, the place where we so incontrovertibly find ourselves, whether thought or machine, is at least not in any way simple.

Linked to Wednesday with Words at Ordo-Amoris. Join us with a quote from your current read!

8 comments:

  1. Fascinating quote. I had to read it several times to get it but encouraging to think about.

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  2. I have come to the conclusion that this book, more than most, improves upon multiple readings. Maybe even requires them. Each time I skim back through at the places I've marked (to choose and find my quote for the week ...) there's more depth, more understanding to the reading.

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  3. I have not even heard of this book. Ought I be in the market for a copy, Dawn??

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    1. Brandy, I don't know yet. I have it from the library. One of the young married ladies from church recommended it. I have struggled with it for several weeks. It isn't easy reading ... and it isn't always so obvious.

      What I understand is that Annie Dillard (who wrote this in the 70s) is writing in a new genre of "creative non-fiction" She is telling about what she observed over a years' time ... seeing, thinking, watching. She stretches her vocabulary as far as it will go. At times, I think she's over-writing - using big words for the purpose of big words. Sometimes I find it pretentious. Sometimes, it's beautiful like the above, forcing the reader to think, re-read, and consider. I could see it as pleasure reading for a lover of nature journaling from a written form instead of drawn.

      My friend (I keep wanting to call her young, she's in her 20s. I'm so old) tells me the other books in this collection are not so difficult. I'm debating whether I want to try them or not. I'll post a final review when I'm done. You can see the other quotes I've pulled out over the past four Wednesdays, I think ...

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    2. I look forward to your final review, then. :)

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  4. I think this book would do my head in.

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    1. I have felt that way, Carol! Which is why I still have 86 pages to go of a 260 page book that I've been reading for a month. I'm getting stubborn now.

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