Tag Archives: Hamlet

Marginalia. no.315

Each toy seems prologue to some great amiss

~ Shakespeare, Hamlet IV,v

Christmas season can feel that way when you have more than half a dozen nieces and nephews to buy gifts for, not to mention children of your own, and your checking account plummets with the mercury.

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Marginalia, no.119

Owe your banker £1,000 and you are at his mercy; owe him £1 million and the position is reversed.

~ John Maynard Keynes

Panurge in Rabelais’s third book insists that “nature has created man for no other purpose but to lend and borrow.”  Vision is borrowed from light, breath from air, the atomic materials of flesh and blood from ancient exploded stars.  Life is a usurious circle guaranteeing insolvency, after which our effects are taken up by others.  My mother warned me not to “borrow trouble” by worrying over things that were in God’s hands.  Maybe there’s as much trouble in insufficiently mortgaging oneself.  Keynes would rewrite Polonius’ advice to Laertes: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be – but if you borrow, owe big.”


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Marginalia, no.34

Life without music would be a mistake.

~ Nietzche, Twilight of the Idols

When I neglect for too long life’s so-called big questions –or, conversely, when I neglect to neglect them to the degree necessary for the healthy functioning of my mind- existence inevitably presents itself to me as sheer farce, a mortal joke.  Or else, at the very least, I collapse into a dull sort of epistemological pessimism. Then I remember that there is such a thing as music.  Music is the natural corrective for all extremes of idiocy and presumption.  It whispers into every ear: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…”

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