Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life, 64: Erasmus

Portrait of Erasmus

"Desiderius Erasmus, who is my favorite character, was a great scholar of the Reformation. His portrait hangs on our library wall. He wrote a wonderful little piece called In Praise of Folly. Erasmus satirically praises all kinds of folly, including his own. He mentions himself by name and lists his faults. Out of it comes the message that this is life. This is humanity. We have to be tolerant, even as we try to improve. All of us can do better. That is the purpose of life: to try to live better with each other, to try to live better with ourselves, to try to live better with all with whom we come in contact. We must recognize folly because it exists and can point the way toward improvement. You do not fight it. You do not fight life; you enjoy life."

Courtesy Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Family

"A Man's Reach -- A Transforming Life" is on display through August 15 in the Exhibit Gallery, Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.

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