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Booksellers

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

Back to Quotations

 

I wonder how so insupportable a thing as a bookseller was ever permitted to grow up in the Commonwealth. Many of our modern booksellers are but needless excrements, or rather vermin. - George Wither

 

"Books seem to me to be pestilent things, and infect all who trade in them.... Printers, Binders, Sellers and others that make a trade and gain out of them have universally so odde a turne and corruption of mind that they have a way of dealeing peculiar to them selves, and not conformed to the good of society, and that general fairness that cements man kind. Whether it be that these instruments of truth and knowledge will not bear being subjected to any thing but those noble ends, without revengeing them selves on those who medle with them to any other purpose, and prostitute to mean and misbecomeing designes I will not enquire. The matter of fact I think you will find true, and there we will leave it, to those who sully them selves with printers ink, till they wholly expunge all the candor that nature gives..."

John Locke, letter to Anthony Collins, June 9, 1704

 

"Booksellers, he said, were to be pitied more than anyone else, because on them, more than on anything else, rested the whole hideousness and meanness of human history and the whole helplessness and pitifulness of art and because they had to be permanently afraid of being crushed by that anti-human load. The bookseller who takes his trade seriously was to be pitied more than any other human being because day after day and ceaselessly he was confronted with the absolute pointlessness of everything that was ever written and because, more than anyone else, he experienced the world as hell."

Thomas Bernhard, "The Cheap-Eaters", trans. 1990

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