the exalted human experience, aphorism 134, The Mechanics of Virtue, Matt Berry


Historical honesty and the exalted human experience are opposed.  When Plutarch reports, and is in turn carried higher by Amyot, and yet higher by North, and then reaches its final orbit through Shakespeare ... the historian objects ... in vain.  When the town charlatan passes off despicable behavior as being “ordained by God,” he can within a very few generations not only surpass history within his own culture, but among the complacent at large as well.  Out of this dung, hidden well beneath the surface, the lush but thorny bush yields berries that can only be picked with the most delicate fingers and every honest attack leaves the assailant bloodied.

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