Forget About Athens, Forget About Odysseus

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World:

“‘You all remember,’ said the Controller, in his strong deep voice, ‘you all remember, I suppose, that beautiful and inspired saying of Our Ford’s: History is bunk. ‘History,’ he repeated slowly, ‘is bunk.’

He waved his hand; and it was as though, with an invisible feather wisk, he had brushed away a little dust, and the dust was Harappa, was Ur of the Chaldees; some spider-webs, and they were Thebes and Babylon and Cnossos and Mycenae. Whisk. Whisk-and where was Odysseus, where was Job, where were Jupiter and Gotama and Jesus? Whisk-and those specks of antique dirt called Athens and Rome, Jerusalem and the Middle Kingdom-all were gone. Whisk-the place where Italy had been was empty. Whisk, the cathedrals; whisk, whisk, King Lear and the Thoughts of Pascal. Whisk, Passion; whisk, Requiem; whisk, Symphony; whisk …”

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