July 17, 2008
The Hedgehog and the Fox
Isaiah Berlin on Archilochus' claim that the fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.* Following Berlin's interpretation, the Flea is most definitely crazy like a fox. If, admittedly, an underachieving fox by comparison with the following.
The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzak, Joyce are foxes.
* With apologies to the blog where I saw this somewhat gnomic aphorism the other day; I have forgotten quite where it was.
Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 17, 2008 07:27 AM