Blog September 20, 2007

The Interpretation of Murder

I’ve just started to read The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld (more about why later in the month) suffice to say it has one of the best opening sections of anything I’ve read recently.

There is no mystery to happiness.
Unhappy men are all alike. Some wound they suffered long ago, some wish denied, some blow to pride, some kindling spark of love put out by scorn – or worse, indifference – cleaves to them, or they to it, and so they live each day within a shroud of yesterdays. The happy man does not look back. He doesn’t look ahead. He lives in the present.
But there’s the rub. The present can never deliver one thing: meaning. The ways of happiness and meaning are not the same. To find happiness, a man need only live in the moment; he need only live for the moment. But if he wants meaning – the meaning of his dreams, his secrets, his life – a man must reinhabit his past, however dark, and live for the future, however uncertain. Thus nature dangles happiness and meaning before us all, insisting only that we choose between them.

Now that made a lot of sense to me…

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  • Paul Newton September 24, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Annette ya good thing ya.
    Two things….
    1. I have struggled with that dilemma all my adult life, it’s put very well here, the two may well be mutually exclusive, which to me is like a poor diagnosis, both a disappointment and a relief.
    2. Your timing is impeccable, I’m just heading off for 4 nights in the gorgeous Brehon in Killarney and was so wondering what I was going to read, you have now solved that problem for me totally…. a quick breeze through the website was enough to convince me that this will suit me down to the ground.
    enjoy your week…

  • annette September 24, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    Hey Paul – glad to help 🙂 I’m 100 pages in (long train ride) so I’ll write more about it when I’m finished…enjoy Killarney.