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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Arena

With some acknowledgment of the gender references that are part of its time, and on the eve of many people leaving to present their ideas at the LSA meeting in Berlin, I offer this famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt's April 23, 1910 speech at the Sorbonne:

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Apart from the message, what a wonderful way of aligning alliteration, of putting particular parallelisms precisely, with a creative cadence as the consequence.  Onward onomatopoeia!

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on July 22, 2007 at 09:20 AM in Deliberation and voices | Permalink


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