Sunday 28 July 2019

Ease and Cheer (1927)

I have been reading A Primer for Forgetting by Lewis Hyde. It is superb. It is structured in four Notebooks, each of which is a collection of pieces by others that Hyde has found, or autobiographical sequences, or connecting prose. Here, is one of them:

"EASE AND CHEER." Emanuel Lasker was one of the greatest chess players of all time, holding the world championship for a full twenty-eight years beginning in 1894. His classic Manual of Chess, published in 1927, ends with some "final reflections on education in chess" that include this remark: "Chess must not be memorized. ... Memory is too valuable to be stocked with trifles. Of my fifty-seven years I have applied at least thirty to forgetting most of what I have learned or read, and since I succeeded in this I have acquired a certain ease and cheer which I should never again like to be without."

Copyright Lewis Hyde 2019.