George Eliot and Gary Larson Knew Something About Life

From The Far Side, by the consistently brilliant Gary Larson:

From Daniel Deronda, by the often brilliant George Eliot:

[Note: Daniel is now immersed in the the question whether a Jewish state should be established (the novel is set around 1875). Gwendolen has married a controlling, unlovable aristocrat.] 

“And Gwendolen? She was thinking of Deronda much more than he was thinking of her — often wondering what were his ideas ‘about things’, and how his life was occupied.

But … it was as far from Gwendolen’s conception that Deronda’s life could be determined by the historical destiny of the Jews, as that he could rise into the air on a brazen horse, and so vanish from her horizon in the form of a twinkling star.

With all the sense of inferiority that had been forced upon her, it was inevitable that she should imagine a larger place for herself in his thoughts than she actually possessed. They must be rather old and wise persons who are not apt to see their own anxiety or elation about themselves reflected in other minds.”

How often are relationships symmetrical? Is it even a goal worth seeking? Maybe it’s a cosmic joke.

Is it too cynical to believe that we only become old and wise after it hardly matters?

5 thoughts on “George Eliot and Gary Larson Knew Something About Life

  1. I would suggest that your cynicism is of a literary nature; a huge guffaw at the almost impossible task of achieving balance while in your youth where your energies and hormones are most active in keeping you directed toward your biological directive. As these urges wane and you forgive yourself for growing old then, maybe, you can redirect your focus and enjoy a wider range of speculation, i.e., it’s easier to practice deep breathing when you are not drowning.

        • Well, I don’t want to sound too negative, but I don’t find it easy to forget. I certainly can’t do it on purpose or as I wish. Otherwise I’d remember where I put my glasses and forget that episode in 7th grade.

          But it’s all part of the Human Comedy. I wonder if Someone is laughing.

          • If you don’t laugh you will surely cry. I think that ‘Human Comedy’ is a good term; while we’re alive. The ‘remember, mis-remember … forget’ is from a book on hypnotism that I read in my youth. It has certainly applies to my memory (which may be defective, who knows?) I therefore use it as a generalization about memory and feel that it is accurate.

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