07 April 2008

"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs." - Vaclav Havel

If this quote is a translation, it's a clever translation - or else Czech is remarkably like English!

Havel's 1984 speech "Politics and Conscience" includes this interesting comparison:

What is it, actually, that the world of the medieval peasant and that of a small boy have in common? Something.substantive, I think. Both the boy and the peasant are far more intensely rooted in what some philosophers call "the natural world," or Lebenswelt, than most modern adults. They have not yet grown alienated from the world of their actual personal experience, the world which has its morning and its evening, its down (the earth) and its up (the heavens), where the sun rises daily in the east, traverses the sky and sets in the west, and where concepts like "at home" and "in foreign parts," good and evil, beauty and ugliness, near and far, duty and rights, still mean something living and definite. They are still rooted in a world which knows the dividing line between all that is intimately familiar and appropriately a subject of our concern, and that which lies beyond its horizon, that before which we should bow down humbly because of the mystery about it.

The image above might be in Vancouver?? Another interesting stairs image, based on the famous ones by Escher, is on Harold Davis's photoblog.


Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

great quote and photo!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm just starting to browse through yours and I like what I see! As for these fascinating stairs, I'm not familiar with them. If they really are in Vancouver (Canada), I'd love to know where. Will be back...