I was just visiting Somewhat Refined, a site I enjoy, and I will now steal her post, which she stole from someone else, who probably stole it from someone before that. You know how that kind of pilfering goes on. Anyway, here are the rules:
1. grab the nearest book. no cheating! the nearest book.
2. open the book to page 123.
3. find the fifth sentence
4. post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. don't you dare dig for a cool or intellectual book on your shelf. pick out whatever is closest!
I'll confess here that I skipped my grandmother's fourth-grade mathematics book. The reading I will post, then, is the second nearest book--The Portable Oscar Wilde, a 1946 Viking Press edition (Dive, you would be appalled. The binding has come loose, and I'm not doing a thing about it.) This excerpt is from The Critic as Artist.
"I am very fond of the work of many of the Impressionist painters of Paris and London. Subtlety and distinction have not yet left the school. Some of their arrangements and harmonies serve to remind one of the unapproachable beauty of Gautier's immortal Symphonie en blanc majeur, that flawless masterpiece of colour and music which may have suggested the type as well as the titles of many of their best pictures. For a class that welcomes the incompetent with sympathetic eagerness, and that confuses the bizarre with the beautiful, and vulgarity with truth, they are extremely accomplished."
I love the line "confuses the bizarre with the beautiful and vulgarity with truth. Students try so hard to have what they think are the "right" opinions, to be smarter than they are, they come across as more ignorant than if they were simply honest.