"Don't look back," the great baseball pitcher, Satchel Paige, said. "Something might be gaining on you." Authoritative figures, from commencement speakers to presidents of the United States, tell us year after year that we should face the future. Indeed, President Clinton's favorite rock 'n' roll song enjoins us, "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow. Yesterday's gone! Yesterday's gone!" So it may seem incredible that anybody would suggest, with a straight face, that we turn our backs on the blank screen of the future and face the past our own, our nation's, and our civilization's. And yet that is precisely the advice that this book offers. There are, however, a number of commonsense reasons for this advice. T. S. Eliot gave one in his famous essay, "Tradition and the Individual Talent." "Someone said: 'The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.' Precisely, and they are
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Publication information: Book title: The Devil Knows Latin:Why America Needs the Classical Tradition. Contributors: E. Christian Kopff - Author. Publisher: ISI Books. Place of publication: Wilmington, DE. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 33.
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