To ride, to shoot the bow, to tell the truth—but not to write it.That said, no histories as such have survived from the Egyptian, Hittite, or Assyrian empires, either.This may not be totally worthy of an LH post, but apart from being interesting in itself, I’m intrigued at the possibilities for straying from the original meaning in other languages.
Yet it’s also clear that Van Straten still searches for lost books, even as he recognises the futility of it.
He likens the search to his childhood notions of the quest, to his longing to be “the hero who will be able to solve the mystery”.
[…] As painful as it is to contemplate what became of them, I find myself returning to Van Straten’s argument that lost books are like lost loves.
Just as Tennyson wrote in In Memoriam (“Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”), knowing that these works once existed is oddly comforting, even if they’re never found or restored.
But before I looked it up the modern way, I tried the old-fashioned way, with a physical dictionary, to wit the Concise Oxford (see this post); it wasn’t there, but right after its hypothetical location I found: An interesting etymology, and I was taken aback to discover a word for a cultural phenomenon about whose existence I had no clue, though it’s apparently been around for at least two decades. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. When I looked it up the answer was quite straightforward: (From Websters 1913) That is the end of the story.