Time and change

“The only reliable lesson the past teaches us is how locked we are in the present. People ask, Where are the great Hollywood movies, the great pop songs, the great television newsmen, the great Democratic presidents, the great public intellectuals, the Great Books?, as though these were all eternally available types. They are not. […]

“[…] The world just rolls over, without anyone noticing exactly when, and a new set of circumstances is put in place. But the impulse to hold on to the past is very strong, and it is often hard to understand why things that worked once can’t continue to work. […]

“[…] We look backward for clues because, the future being the other side of a closed door, we have no place else to look. […] We want to play with yesterday’s cards, but yesterday has already unraveled past reconstructing. Today is the only day we have.”

— Louis Menand, from the Preface to American Studies

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