Saturday, March 22, 2014


In the last few days I've had the chance to witness as some sort of "stone guest" a number of messages exchanged among some of the most brilliant Shavians in the world. Although the apparent topic of the messages was the origin and development of several periodical publications that dealt with the life and works of Bernard Shaw, each new sender could not help but reminisce about the people they had met while working at, collaborating with, or even setting the foundations for said publications (The Shaw Review, for example). The sad part being, of course, that some of them were no longer among us. 

This brings to mind a couple of Shaw quotations that are worth dusting off. The first one, a clear example that nostalgic recollections are nothing new, appears in chapter 14 of The Irrational Knot, when Marian says "Reminiscences make one feel so deliciously aged and sad." That is definitely true, even if one is not - in principle - aged and sad. Well, that is what nostalgia means etimologically, "the pain of something else" - that is not in the here and now. 

The other quotation, a much needed complement to the first one, comes from Back to Methuselah (Part 5 - As Far as Thought Can Reach). There, the He-Ancient reminds us of something we often need to remind ourselves: 

"Life is not meant to be easy, my child; 
but take courage: it can be delightful." 

I personally couldn't agree more. 

Isidor Kaufmann - War Time Reminiscences

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