Thursday 22 May 2008

Nothing is ever wasted

The point of the following passage from Tom Stoppard's Arcadia was impressed upon us last term.
We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms,
and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very
long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside
the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn
up piece by piece, or be written again in another language. Ancient cures for
diseases will reveal themselves once more. Mathematical discoveries glimpsed and
lost to view will have their time again. You do not suppose, my lady, that if
all of Archimedes had been hiding in the great library of Alexandria, we would
be at a loss for a corkscrew?

We increasingly have more of Archimedes (and Hypereides)...

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