An especially relevant passage

I’m reading “The Swerve” by Stephen Greenblatt. In the book, Greenblatt outlines the life of Poggio Bracciolini, a papal scribe living in the 15th century. Poggio, a secular writer surrounded by corrupt churchmen, wrote often of a suffocating career and disheartening day-to-day existence. Small things brought him reprieve. From page 153:

Freedom here has nothing to do with political liberty or a notion of rights or the license to say whatever he wished or the ability to go wherever he chose. It is rather the experience of withdrawing inwardly from the press of the world — in which he himself was so ambitiously engaged — and ensphering himself in a space apart. For Poggio, that experience was what it meant to immerse himself in an ancient book: “I am free for reading.”


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