All this will pass.
November 3, 2004 6:52 AM   Subscribe

All this will pass. "A day will come when all this will pass away...all this will pass and a new, a noble existence will begin. "I am not here for ever", he tells himself again and again, "soon I shall be there - there where there is liberty, all that I dream of, all that the suffering soul desires. Here is a heavy sleep, a nightmare. There it will be waking, beautiful and happy. Open the doors of the prison, send away the warders, strike off the chains, it will be enough. I shall find the rest for myself, in this free and beautiful universe which I did not know how to appreciate before, although I saw it." A commentary on Dostoevsky's House of the Dead, a fictionalised account of his four year's of hard labour.
posted by biffa (21 comments total)
I just thought of a bright side to all of this: When the next terror attack comes, I'm gonna have a great view of it out my office window.
posted by fungible at 6:58 AM on November 3, 2004

I propose two new countries: the Coastal States of America, and Flyovia.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:29 AM on November 3, 2004

VOTE, n. The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary)
posted by rushmc at 7:34 AM on November 3, 2004

I have forgotten this... I drew strength from it once. Thank you for bringing it back to me.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2004

House of the Dead is possibly my favorite Dostoevsky novel. It gave me new insights in how to make everyday one where I can at least make the attempt to think outside the box. Thanks for the post biffa.

Wailing, gnashing of teeth and defeatism doesn't help much.
posted by sciurus at 7:39 AM on November 3, 2004

Thanks biffa. Janacek's operatic version of From the house of the dead was the first opera I ever went to see, and I've loved it ever since. Never got around to reading the original though. Maybe now I will.
posted by monkey closet at 7:40 AM on November 3, 2004

Wow, so sad around here. Why?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:41 AM on November 3, 2004

S@L There was a big election last night, didn't you notice? Sadly, it was won by the candidate that the vast majority of people didn't want.
posted by biffa at 7:45 AM on November 3, 2004

Gee, the arcade game wasn't a very faithul adaptation.
posted by kevspace at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2004

There was a big election last night, didn't you notice? Sadly, it was won by the candidate that the vast majority of people didn't want.

Where were they yesterday, then? Looks like he won the popular vote, no matter what happens in Ohio.

/assuming there was no fraud, of course
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2004

Hint: The vast majority of people don't get to vote in US elections.
posted by biffa at 7:50 AM on November 3, 2004

Ah, biffa, you are good to try to bring us consolation through philosphy.

I think of Yeats who suffered the despair of a divisive land and ' the weasel's twist, the weasel's tooth.' Auden said that mad ireland hurt him into poetry.

To a Friend whose Work has come to Nothing

NOW all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours' eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

W.B. Yeats
posted by madamjujujive at 7:55 AM on November 3, 2004

Lovely and appropriate, madamjjj. I'm sending that to a good American friend; I can't imagine what he's going through today.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:18 AM on November 3, 2004

All blue states either adjoin or are contiguous with Canada.

Anyone up for staying put AND switching countries? I am.
posted by Danf at 8:23 AM on November 3, 2004

Sadly, it was won by the candidate that the vast majority of people didn't want.

58,535,827 people wanted him!


"vast majority" ha
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:27 AM on November 3, 2004

S@L: Boy are you dumb.
posted by biffa at 8:31 AM on November 3, 2004

The Consolation of Philosophy.
posted by kenko at 8:45 AM on November 3, 2004

Steve -- 58,535,827 is a majority of 6,000,000,000, how?

If all that matters is what we think here, of ourselves, then we really are nothing more than playground bullies on a grand scale.

Madamjjj: Very, very apt. I also have passed it along to some folks in need of the consolation of Mister Yeat's excellent observations....
posted by lodurr at 8:55 AM on November 3, 2004

Steve: Listen, your guy won. Congratulations. You're entitled to a "woo-hoo" post here and there, especially in the election-returns thread.

But when you go all over the site posting slogans over and over in all caps, can you honestly tell me that there's no little voice in your head telling you that you're being a shithead?
posted by COBRA! at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2004

Apropos more of the post than it's intent, this reminds me of Robert Linhart's excellent narrative of work in a Citroen plant, The Assembly Line [amazon]. Sent to organize north-African workers for the Communist Party, he was quickly swallowed by the machine-like indifference of the place. It's a great text to help one understand why it can be so hard to understand your own class interest, even as you act against it moment by moment and day by day. By implication, maybe it can provide some hints for how to get out -- I should put it back onto the short list to re-read, maybe...
posted by lodurr at 9:04 AM on November 3, 2004

Or as the poet Tu Fu has it:
The greater the timber, the tougher it is to use.

(since I've already appealed to Sandburg's learning and blundering people...)
posted by Zurishaddai at 11:31 AM on November 3, 2004

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