Monday, September 11, 2006

the image of machine (and book selling)

"There is, alas, a shrillness to our contemporary concern with creativity. Man's search for the sources of dignity changes with the pattern of the times. In periods which man saw himself in the image of God, the creation and works ad majorem gloriam dei could provide a sufficient rational for the dignity of the artist, the artisan, the creative man. But in our age whose dominant value is a pragmatic one and whose massive achievement is an intricate technological order, it is not sufficient to be merely useful. For the servant can pattern himself on the master-and so he did when God was master and Man His servant creating works in His glory-but the machine is the servant of man, and to pattern one's function on the machine provides no measure for dignity. The machine is useful, the system in terms of which the machines gain there use is efficient, but what is man?"

-Jerome Bruner in On Knowing: Essays for the Left Hand

I stumbled upon that passage while buying books in a thrift shop. The book isn't worth anything on Amazon, but it's worth something to me. So often when bookscouting, I feel like a bank robber.

I walk in to the store and buy Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and 3 other hard back collector's editions. Each for one dollar. Classics inlaid with 24 carrot gold should not be sold for a dollar!

And all this (plus a 30 min. bike ride) in the hour and a half between classes.


Post a Comment

<< Home