In my blog posting up to now, I have avoided the blogging sin of including long quotes from another source without adding my own commentary and spin. I will now commit that sin.

The two quotes come from Augustus by John Williams, a writer with a quietly excellent reputation. He wrote four novels. Stoner, which I read at the end of last year, has a spot on scene of the manipulative student from hell;  Augustus won a National Book Award. What I appreciate about Williams after the excesses of Moby Dick, is the simplicity of his style. Simplicity, of course, isn’t simple.

Quote #1

Julia, daughter of Augustus Caesar, who has been exiled for adultery, writing in her journal:

I write these words in the 43rd year of my life. I write them for a purpose of which the friend of my father and my old tutor Athenodorus would never have approved; I write them for myself and my own perusal.


“For even now, as I write these first words in my journal, and as I know that they are written to be read only by that strangest of all readers, myself,…

That’s me and this blog…

Quote # 2

Toand from not important

…The moralist is the most useless and contemptible of  creatures. He is useless in that he would expend his energies upon making judgments rather than gaining knowledge, for the reason that judgment is easy and knowledge is difficult.

This reminds me of NVC [nonviolent communication] because judging is easy; empathy and connecting with feelings and needs is hard.