[lit-ideas] Re: Fly in the Fly-Bottle

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 21:56:05 -0800

On Feb 27, 2009, at 8:12 PM, Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx wrote:


To what extent is an  'come-fly' a 'work of  art'?

"The movement of a fly on a page may be much more important then [sic] the
Holocaust" -- Sir  Karl Popper.

The wit had my attention until I read the quotation. I went in search of the reference, couldn't find it, found instead this review of a review of Popper's life...which I found interesting.


Why is it interesting to me? Well the tale of grumbling about biscuits, reminds me of Robert Paul's anecdote concerning wotsit and the graduate student; what second and first and twenty-fifth rate minds share is being stuck inside skins.

It's the fallibility tale that comforts the intellectual, the reminder that Napoleon suffered from piles and Marx suffered from shortages of cash. What was Popper's problem? I doubt that it was what the quotation implies, a curious lack of proportion about the Holocaust. But as "Wittgenstein's Poker" reminds us, he was a made- good man, up against brahmins.

Been there, in a minor way, done that.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon
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