Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Essay: "The Superannuated Man." Charles Lamb.

10-second review: After years of the tedium of working as a clerk, he is retired at a pension of two-thirds of his salary for life and now he is free to do what he likes, and he is overwhelmed by the sense of freedom. An unforgettable expression of the sense of freedom in retirement.


“I had grown to my desk, as it were; and the wood had entered into my soul.”

“I was in the condition of a prisoner in the Old Bastille, suddenly let loose after a forty years’ confinement. I could scarce trust myself with myself.”

“It was like passing out of time into eternity—for it is a sort of eternity for a man to have his time all to himself.”

“I am in no hurry. Having all holidays, I am as though I had none.”

“If time were troublesome, I could read it away.”

“I walk, read or scribble (as now) just when the fit seizes me.”

“For that is the only true time, which a man can properly call his own, that which he has all to himself; the rest, though in some sense he may be said to live it, is other people’s time, not his.”

“I have done all that I came into this world to do…and have the rest of the day to myself.”

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc. 1960.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

Note: This blog will resume on Monday, November 30, 2009.

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