I’m afraid I traumatized the first group of students to whom I told, “There are no new ideas.” Actually, I meant it to be comforting. But here in the US, we are in a committed relationship with the idea of originality, which is perhaps a by-product of having a short history.
Years ago at a party, one of my cousins introduced me to a schoolmate of his with the description, “She’s studying English Literature.” “Really?” the friend asked (slyly, I thought). “Have you heard of the book Gobbledy Gook“? I told him (haughtily, I hoped) that no, in fact, I’d never heard of Gobbledy Gook. That’s… Continue reading Why are people lying about the books they’ve read?