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Record My Mind: Banal Records of a Pedestrian Life

Suffering and evil overwhelm me and I stew in my own juice. 

Thursday, February 24, 2005

2/24/2005 02:41:00 am - Chuang Tzu, Seneca and Yu Xuanji

Just visited MPH at Raffles City. Felt dismayed and agitated that there are more interesting books out there than I could possibly read. As Chuang Tzu said, "Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To drive the limited in pursuit of the limitless is fatal; and to presume that one really knows is fatal indeed!". Fatal futility: that sums up my exasperation whenever I enter a bookstore and feel overwhelmed by the amount of books I want to read.

Still, if I had my way, I would spend the rest of my days reading, writing, and drinking, amongst other things...

Arising out of that visit to MPH, I have added Nils Ringal's Love for Sale to my wishlist and almost bought Seneca's On the Shortness of Life. I also want to read more about the life of Yu Hsuan Chi or Yu Xuanji. The chapter on her in Ringal's book was an absorbing read.

I was struck by this poem she wrote before she died, lamenting the absence of her lover:

Separated from you,
What can I offer?
Only this single poem,
Stained with my bright tears.
More information on Yu Xuanji can be found here (scroll down).

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