Voltaire's Bastards

This summer I decided I would not write and research. It's the first summer off from such activity in twelve years. I decided instead I would read some of the books I've been putting off. John Ralston Saul's Voltaires Bastards was one such book that has sat on my shelf staring at me with the Magritte images of elites floating on clouds. I'm shyly admitting that it has sat there for so long... a "to do" that didn't get done. You know those books?

I fell in love on page eight with these words:

When we look around at the influence and strength of money, of armies, of legal officials, or indeed at the ease with which writers are silenced by censorship, violence and imprisonment, it seems that the word is fragile. But one step back from this immediacy is enough to reveal the power of language. Nothing frightens those in authority as much as criticism.

I'll finish the book this summer. And then I'll get back to my work.