Monday, June 11, 2007

In Praise of Slacking

“We had pleased ourselves with delectable visions of the spiritualization of labor.... [but] the clods of earth, which we so constantly belabored and turned over and over, were never etherealized into thought. Our thoughts, on the contrary, were fast becoming cloddish. Our labor symbolized nothing, and left us mentally sluggish in the dusk of the evening. Intellectual activity is incompatible with any large amount of bodily exercise. The yeoman and the scholar—the yeoman and the man of finest moral culture, though not the man of sturdiest sense and integrity—are two distinct individuals, and can never be melted or welded into one substance.”

--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance, 1852

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