The Daxue and Zhongyong

Richard Carroll
When reading Serious Literature for Grown-Ups, we may often feel like the Ethiopian courtier reading Isaiah, “How can I understand, if there is none to instruct me?” This can be difficult for some to admit, given the modern preference among many for coming to one’s own conclusions on things, but if we’re to grow in wisdom we need the intellectual humility to recognise that we do not and cannot know everything, especially on an early reading of a difficult text.

Lewis Carroll, the Alice Novels, and Sensible Nonsense

Richard Carroll
‘As to poetry, you know,’ said Humpty Dumpty, stretching out one of his great hands, ‘I can repeat poetry as well as other folk, if it comes to that — ’ ‘Oh, it needn’t come to that!’ Alice hastily said, hoping to keep him from beginning. ‘The piece I’m going to repeat,’ he went on without noticing her remark, ‘was written entirely for your amusement.’ Alice felt that in that case she really ought to listen to it, so she sat down, and said ‘Thank you’ rather sadly.