|Assemblage (2003) © Mary Snyder Behrens|
Carl Van Doren Three Worlds. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1936, p. 27—
When he [his grandfather] ran for Coroner on the county ticket, he announced that if elected he would bury Republicans and Democrats with equal pleasure.
An autobiographer never knows quite which account he is giving of himself. Historian of acts of which he was the actor, he is still inside the self which remembers. No man, with the help of whatever mirrors, can know how he really looks to other men. Nor can he be sure how he sounds to them. Let him tell the plainest truth in the plainest way, he cannot know what else he may imply without suspecting it. Often he must wonder what the plain truth is. His memory has been quietly working his past over, and when he goes back to such unchanged evidence as letters and diaries he finds the story different from that he can come to remember. The man who remembers is not the man who did what the record shows. The man who was is now as strange to the man who is as the man who is would be to the man who was.…[pp. 105-106].
I had a head for liquor, when I took it, but I was always bored by drinking. Drinkers rarely say amusing things. What they say seems amusing only to other drinkers. The fun of alcohol is less on the tongue than in the ear [p. 256].