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Perhaps a little off point (or perhaps not?) these quotations asserting the value of knowledge for it's own sake came to mind.

*
"Some one who had begun to read geometry with Euclid, when he had learnt the first theorem, asked Euclid, 'What shall I get by learning these things?" Euclid called his slave and said, 'Give him threepence, since he must make gain out of what he learns.'"

http://laudatortemporisacti.blogspot.com/2011/04/anecdote-about-euclid.html


"The day before his death Socrates in his prison asked a musician to teach him an air on the lyre. 'What's the use,' said the man, 'since you're about to die?' 'To know it before I die,' answered Socrates. That is one of the loftiest things that I know of, and I would rather have said it than taken Sebastopol."

(Flaubert's letters 1861.
Trans. Steegmuller.)

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About

  • Daniel Green is a literary critic and sometime fiction writer. His reviews, critical essays, and fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, both online and in print. He has a Ph.D focusing on postwar American fiction and an M.A. in creative writing.