Thursday, February 3, 2011

Collage 303

"Biblical tradition says that absence of work -- idleness -- was the condition of the first man's blessedness before his fall. The love of idleness remained the same in fallen man, but the curse still weighs on man, and only only because we must win our bread in the sweat of our face, but because our moral qualities are such that we are unable to be idle and at peace. A secret voice tells us that we should feel guilty for being idle. If man could find a condition in which, while idle, he felt that he was being useful and was fulfilling his duty, he would have found one side of primordial blessedness. And this state of obligatory and irreproachable idleness is enjoyed by an entire class -- the military. In this obligatory and irreproachable idleness consists and will consist the chief attraction of military service."

I don't know about his comment about the military. My aunt was a military wife back in the 1950's, and she still comments to this day that it was always "hurry up and wait". But I certainly agree that idleness generates guilt! --Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 613-614 of original text
made 12/10/10
page 487-489 Pevear/Volokhonsky translation

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