14 March : CAPITAL — In 1883 a crowd gathered for Karl Marx’s funeral in a London cemetery — a crowd of eleven, counting the undertaker.
The most famous of his sayings became his epitaph: ‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it.’
The prophet of global change spent his life fleeing the police and his creditors.
Regarding his masterwork, he said: ‘No one ever wrote so much about money while having so little.’ Capital will not even pay for the cigars I smoked while writing it.’
From Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, trans. by Fried, Mark. Penguin Group, New York, 2013: 85.
One night in 1619, when Rene Descartes was still quite young, he dreamed all night long.
As he told it, in the first dream he was bent over, unable to straighten up, struggling to walk against a fierce wind that propelled him toward school and church.
In the second dream a bolt of lightning knocked him out of bed and the room filled up with sparks that illuminated everything in sight.
And in the third he opened an encyclopedia, looking for a way to live his life, but those pages were missing.
*Trans. by Mark Fried