Aaron Gertler's Reviews > Urne Burial

Urne Burial by Thomas Browne
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it was amazing

One of the world's most educated people, as of the seventeenth century, brings the full force of that education to bear on the subject of death.

The language is amazing, and the book would be worth reading even if it were merely decorative. But Browne's ideas have a depth that reminds me of something I sometimes forget, to my contrition: The people of past eras thought as deeply as we do, even if we've grown to surpass their best ideas through internet access and a few centuries' worth of books to learn from.

Here's a passage I enjoyed so much that I had to go back and read it out loud, to hear it and to feel it on my tongue:

"Darkness and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or themselves."

And one more, which made me wish I could give the author a hug, then sit down with him and talk about philosophy for a few hours:

"Meanwhile Epicurus lies deep in Dante's hell, wherein we meet with tombs enclosing souls which denied their immortalities. But whether the virtuous heathen, who lived better than he spake, or erring in the principles of himself, yet lived above philosophers of more specious maxims, lie so deep as he is placed, at least so low as not to rise against Christians, who believing or knowing that truth, have lastingly denied it in their practice and conversation--were a query too sad to insist on."
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 17, 2018 – Shelved

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