sabato, novembre 12, 2005

The academy is a curious place. Time moves more slowly and more swiftly there. Times moves more slowly because more time is visible. Professors know figures long dead more intimately than they know their neighbors or their families. They and their students read ruins, hieroglyphics, layered rocks, dark matter, and old books. They read the alien and the enemy. Christian saints illuminate the gospel by the light of the pagan Aristotle. Time is larger for them, and so it sometimes seems to move more slowly. But those who sit in the company of the dead, who read forgotten books, who have seen the worlds come and go in their minds' eyes, my see things before they happen. They have seen those once regarded as wild-eyed radicals become conservative icon of another day. They have seen yyesterday's conservatives become the vanguard of a later revolution. They see patterns, and so they can predict, sometimes, where changes will come - before it has begun, before those who think they make the changes have conceived them. Time move more slowly for them, but they can move more swiftly through time: into the past and into the future.

Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire.