Percival Lowell's Mars as the Abode of Life arrived in the mail today. It's a facsimile of the 1908 edition, complete with original illustrations. It's the third book about the early exploration of Mars (by telescope) to show up in two days. I might be obsessed.
I believe I've acquired more new knowledge in the last two weeks than in the last two years. It's exhilarating! But the reading material that I have accumulated in that time now amounts to about 4000 pages. I have a stack of books (remember books?) nearly two feet tall. Time hunker down and absorb the words now and see where the journey takes me. The remaining outstanding biographies are for Puccini and Oscar Wilde. Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Toscanini will have to wait.
I'm looking back 115 years and am in awe of what was happening. The fresh discoveries of relativity, radio, and flight, and magnificent music like La Boheme and Also Sprach Zarathustra were all flowing into the world at the same time! I wonder if our era will be looked back upon with such interest? I doubt it. At the turn of the last century, the world was looking forward and upward. Now, everyone is casting their eyes downward. Then, the future was bright with endless potential. Now, the future is a cell phone upgrade.
How the mighty have fallen.