An Introductory Lecture in The Humanities
It is very important for you to realize that the Humanities are an
inhuman way of becoming human. They require your life before they give
you their life. They do not know that they are many and that you must
understand them all, but rather each text insists from moment to moment
that it is a closed and finished system. They do not exhibit men as
accompanied by books as you and I are, but rather as accompanied by
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Iliad does not believe in you, the Aeneid does not regard you as real, the Divine Comedy does not understand you — and yet each demands of you that you believe in it, understand it, and regard it as real.