January 24, 2005

Seeing The Future

Cautious men limit themselves to expressing curiosity about their future, and none perhaps more succinctly than Anatole France. "If I were allowed," he wrote, "to choose from the books that will be published one hundred years after my death [he died in 1924], do you know which one I would want to read? By no means would I select a novel from that future library -- I simply would take up a fashion magazine so that I could see how women dress one century after my departure. Because these rags would tell me more about future humanity than all the philosophers, novelists, prophets, and scholars." (From The Unfashionable Human Body by Bernard Rudofsky)

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