We were talking about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was something which resembled an iPad, long before it appeared. And I said when something like that happens, it’s going to be the death of the book. Douglas said, No it won’t be. Books are sharks.
And I must have looked baffled at that because he looked very pleased with himself. And he carried on with his metaphor. He said, Books are sharks … because sharks have been around for a very, very long time. There were sharks before there were dinosaurs. And the reason sharks are still in the oceans is that nothing is better at being a shark than a shark is.
He said, Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They’re solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in them in microseconds. They’re really good at being books, he said, and books, no matter what else happens, will always survive. And of course he’s right.
Es gibt eine Theorie, die besagt, wenn jemals irgendwer genau herausfindet, wozu das Universum da ist und warum es da ist, dann verschwindet es auf der Stelle und wird durch noch etwas Bizarreres und Unbegreiflicheres ersetzt. - Es gibt eine andere Theorie, nach der das schon passiert ist.
What Wodehouse writes is pure word music. It matters not one whit that he writes endless variations on a theme of pig kidnappings, lofty butlers, and ludicrous impostures. He is the greatest musician of the English language, and exploring variations of familiar material is what musicians do all day. In fact, what it’s about seems to me to be wonderfully irrelevant.
Shakespeare? Milton? Keats? How can I possibly mention the author of Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin and Pigs Have Wings in the same breath as these men? He’s just not serious!
He doesn’t need to be serious. He’s better than that. He’s up in the stratosphere of what the human mind can do, above tragedy and strenuous thought, where you will find Bach, Mozart, Einstein, Feynman, and Louis Armstrong, in the realms of pure, creative playfulness.
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time