Hard to Explain

by Latrippi on May 27, 2007

Pay attention, that’s all,” Eliza said. “Notice things. Connect what you’ve noticed. Connect it into a picture. Think of how the picture might be changed; and act to change it. Some of your acts may turn out to have been foolish, but others will reward you in surprising ways; in the meantime, simply by being active instead of passive, you have a kind of immunity that’s hard to explain —”

“Uncle Gottfried says, ‘Whatever acts cannot be destroyed.’”

“The Doctor means that in a fairly narrow and technical metaphysical sense,” Eliza said, “but it’s not the worst motto you could adopt.”

— Eliza with the 13-year-old Princess Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Leipzg, 1694, in Neal Stephenson’s The Confusion, Vol. II of The Baroque Cycle