December 6th, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

The more things change.... (A surfeit of books)

From the early fourteenth century:

"There are so many books about vices and virtues, treating them with authority, there are so many booklets dealing with the most subtle questions and various propositions, that this short life would end before one had managed to look them all through, let alone studied them. Who could number all the works on logic, the natural sciences, history, moral philosophy and divinity, all the treatises, the commentaries, old and new, handbooks of elements, anthologies, individual treatises and summas, with which the whole surface of the earth is overwhelmed as with an encroaching flood?"

Henry Suso. Wisdom's Watch upon the Hours (Horologium Sapientiae). trans. Edmund Colledge. (Washington, D.C., The Cathollic University of America Press, 1994). Book 2, Ch. 3. p. 258.