June 8th, 2013

No. Nothing, good or bad, happens in threes. Events have always been and will always be just one damn incident after another.

All the same, however, as I was reading this morning, see below, I came across a third reference to books; this one from Arthur Conan Doyle’s recently discovered and published first novel, The Narrative of John Smith.

On page 20 Doyle, speaking in the voice of the entitled protagonist, writes:

What a wonderful thing a book is, though use has dulled our admiration for it! Here are all these dead men lurking inside my oaken case, ready to come out and talk to me whenever I may desire it. Do I wish philosophy? Here are Aristotle, Plato, Bacon, Kant and Descartes, all ready to confide to one of their very inmost thoughts upon a subject which they have made their own. Am I dreamy and poetical? Out come Heine and Shelley and Goethe and Keats with all their wealth of harmony and imagination. Or am I in need of amusement on the long winter evenings? You have but to light your reading lamp and beckon to any one of the world’s greatest storytellers, and the dead man will come forth and prattle to you by the hour. That reading-lamp is the real Aladdin’s wonder for summoning the genii with. Indeed, the dead are such good company that one is apt to think too little of the living.

Indeed, indeed.

Back to reading…

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