Santayana: “I Told You So”


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

— George Santayana

“Is that a fact?” she said. “Well–I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana: we’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive. It’s pretty dense kids who haven’t figured that out by the time they’re ten.”

“Santayana was a famous philosopher at Harvard,” said Slazinger, a Harvard man.

And Mrs. Berman said, “Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard to be misinformed.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

  2 comments for “Santayana: “I Told You So”

  1. 20 Feb 2007 at 7:55 am

    Letter to the principal author and editor at Eppsnet:
    I am interested in understanding a little bit more about the possible turmoil that you feel inside when regarding text by Mr. Vonnegut. It is apparent from our many conversations and to some extent your writings here on eppsnet that many of your tenets are polar opposite to that of Kurt’s.

    Obviously, disagreeing with a person does not preclude your from respecting his writings, however, you do it with such zeal and such reverence, that a casual reader may think you aligned with Mr. Vonnegut many ways.

    Do you think that you might share your feelings regarding this matter? Is Mr. Vonnegut simply a brilliant author that has ideals that have gone astray in your opinion? Or… is this request for an inquiry off?

    Thanks in advance

  2. PE
    20 Feb 2007 at 3:32 pm

    Haywire —

    You may be referring to Vonnegut’s recent pronouncements about the war in Iraq, terrorists being “very brave people,” etc., but, you know, he’s 85 years old now, and if that’s what he thinks, it’s OK with me.

    He’s written some good books, had a lot of interesting things to say about what it feels like to live in an irrational, indifferent universe, so I don’t feel conflicted about reading or citing his work.

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