Foliage without Fruit

‘Erudition can produce foliage without bearing fruit.’

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Notebook C.

‘Reading is merely a surrogate for yourself; it means letting someone else direct your thoughts. Many books, moreover, serve merely to show you how many ways there are of being wrong, and how far astray you yourself would go if you followed their guidance. You should read only when your ow thoughts dry up which will of course happen frequently enough even to the best heads; but to banish your own thoughts so as to take up a book is a sin against the holy ghost; it is like deserting a untrammeled nature to look at a herbarium or engravings of landscapes…If anyone spends almost the whole day reading…he gradually loses the capacity for thinking…This is the case with many learned persons; they have read themselves stupid.’

Arthur Schopenhauer, On Thinking for Yourself.

‘To read is to let someone else work for you – the most delicate form of exploitation.’

Emil Cioran, Anathemas and Admirations.

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