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26.7.07

advice for the ambitiousm, young man who wants to get ahead in the world, by leonard woolf

Say, Lenny - can I call you Lenny? - you were a man of the world, you did all kinds of stuff, can I ask you for some advice?. You married Virginia Woolf (what a coincidence!), you wrote books, you did all sorts of political work, ran your own publishing house, and so on and so forth. Any helpful advice for a young man at the beginning of his career? Any cheerful thoughts to take with me on the way to...
Looking back at the age of eighty-eight over the fifty-seven years of my political work in England, knowing what I aimed at and the results, meditating on the history of Britain and the world since 1914, I see clearly that I achieved practically nothing. The world today and the history of the human anthill during the last fifty-seven years would be exactly the same as it is if I had played pingpong instead of sitting on committees and writing books and memoranda. I have therefore to make the rather ignominious confession to myself and to anyone who may read this book that I must have in a long life ground through between 150,000 and 200,000 hours of perfectly useless work.
-- Leonard Woolf, The Journey Not the Arrival Matters
Yeah. 'Kay. Thanks, Len. You're the best.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous S said...

Oh my, that's disheartening. Sigh.

July 27, 2007 1:47 pm  

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