On this day in 1947, the first commercial around-the-world flight began.
On this day in 1972, the Watergate scandal was uncovered.
"The more humanity advances, the more it is degraded." -- Gustave Flaubert.
What did he remember, say, of Moby Dick or Madame Bovary? “The heartless voids and immensities of the universe.” That was Melville, wasn’t it? Or was it Flaubert? The universe was as inhospitable to Emma as it was to Ishmael, equally cruel, capricious and senseless on land or at sea. That was what he’d carried away from books. The inscrutable pointlessness of life. The hostility it had in store for us. A hero or heroine, brimming with hope and good will, sets out in a novel to engage with life, prepared for a skirmish, for its inevitable bumps and bruises, and ends up crushed, demolished.
Life took you where it would, but who needed books to learn that? -- The Misforgotten, Chapter 22.