I often use these words of Rorty with students and in workshops–and myself.

Stricken with pancreatic cancer, he writes a lovely piece called”Poetry, the Fire of Life” which can be found here:


But here are a few choice words:  ” I now wish I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. .  . This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose.  There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp.  Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts–just as I would have if I had made more close friends.”

It got me to reading Contingency, Irony and Solidarity on my kindle–and I found another great passage on the novel.  But I will leave you to discover that for yourself.