One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Final Note: "The Bitter Smell of Tulips"

It should be honestly confessed we have a strange liking for presenting follies in the sanctuaries of reason, and we also like to study catastrophes against a gentle landscape. There are reasons more important than frivolous personal or aesthetic inclinations, however. For doesn't the affair we have described remind us of other, more dangerous follies of humanity that consist in the irrational attachment to a single idea, a single symbol, or a single formula for happiness?
   This is why we cannot put a large period after the date 1637 and consider the matter definitively closed. It is not reasonable to erase it from memory, or count it among the inconceivable fads of the past. If tulipomania was a kind of psychological epidemic, and this is what we believe, the probability exists--bordering on certainty--that one day it will afflict us again in this or another form.
   In some Far Eastern port it is getting ready for the journey.
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