Thursday, June 07, 2007

Reading Quote from His Family

This is said by a librarian who was a poor immigrant when he came to New York while he's giving a tour of his small public library.

"They read all, all!" cried Isadore. "Look at this Darwin on my desk. In a year so many have read this book it is a case for the board of health. And look at this shelf of economics. I place it next to astronomy. And I say to these people, 'Yes, read about jobs and your hours and wages. Yes, you must strike, you must have better lives. But you must read also about the stars--and about the big spaces--silent--not one single little sound for many, many million years. To be free you must grow as big as that--inside of your head, inside of your soul. It is not enough to be free of a czar, a kaiser or a sweatshop boss. What will you do when they are gone? My fine people, how will you run the world? You are deaf and blind, you must be free to open your own ears and eyes, to look into the books and see what is there--great thoughts and feelings, great ideas! And when you have seen, then you must think--you must think it all out every time! That is freedom!" He stopped abruptly. Again on his dark features came a huge and winning smile, and with an apologetic shrug, "But I talk too much of my books," he said. "Come. Shall we go to my cafe?"


Blogger julia said...

Wow - I loved his passion and his contagious yearning to fill his mind with the wisdom of the universe. Who knows what lurks behind the faces we pass every day?

7:17 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Julia--That is so true. You can never judge people just by looking at them, but it happens all the time.

9:22 PM  

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