Monday, March 12, 2012


Back in the eighties—for one night, at least—I was part of a trivia team formed to compete in a Toronto pub. It was just before Trivial Pursuits broke out big time. Modris was our heavy artillery; he was recruited for his nimble wit and his ability to dredge up both the recondite and mundane with equal alacrity. He was a "genuine intellectual" even then, but we told the barkeep he was a bus driver.
     This was way before the internet... we didn't need Google; we had Modris.
     Here he is talking about his house of books:

— Michael Hale

"When books are at the centre of your life, there can be no special place assigned for reading, just as there can be no special place for breathing. You read everywhere and wherever, all the time – and feel alive for it. I grew up in a house full of books; the dining room was in fact the library, other rooms mere annexes for storage.
     My house, too, is now full of books; we sometimes wonder how much longer our aging Edwardian construct will be able to bear the weight of Gutenberg’s legacy and Diderot’s folly. If disaster befalls us one day, it won’t be because of tornadoes churning north from Dorothy’s Kansas, or local gas leaks itching for a visiting spark; it will be because Wilfrid Laurier’s two-by-eights couldn’t in the end withstand the pressures of time and particularly tome."
— Modris Eksteins, The Globe and Mail
Get all of Modris Eksteins' books here...

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