Lapham’s Quarterly Summer 2019: Happiness (first comments)

[CATEGORIES: Literature, Lapham’s Quarterly, Reading, Book Review]
[Click HERE to see my previous posts referencing Lapham’s Quarterly.]
[Some of LQ’s contents are available free.]
[L.Q. cover, quotes, and images from Lapham’s Quarterly Summer 2019: Happiness, except where noted otherwise.] [Right-click on a photo may give the option to open it separately.]
[New to Lapham’s Quarterly? See the standard notes at the end of this review. After 40+ LQ reviews I jump right in.]

This is a READING section, for those who may stumble in looking for photography.  Pictures are included to break the monotony.   I invite you to venture further.

I read Lapham’s Quarterly and comment, review, summarize perhaps, supported by considerable copy-paste quotation.  It’s my digest of a digest of thought from throughout man’s recorded history.  It gives me exposure to much greater minds than mine will ever be. I’m indebted to the friend who introduced me (R.I.P. my friend, your counsel is missed) and to the fine minds who assemble the journal.

This photo is from my laptop.

The subject for the summer issue is HAPPINESS.  As it just arrived and I have 3 months in which to peruse before the next issue, perhaps I will spend some time with short, numerous analyses for you new readers.  I did this so enthusiastically when I read the first five to eight years worth of issues.  Can I resurrect a modicum of that again?

I’m going to start with side-quotes, which I often neglect, but which proliferate throughout every issue of L.Q.  I find them thought-provoking.  Lapham’s Q. never fails to send me to Google and Wikipedia for more info.  No sooner did I start collecting quotes than I had to look up Thomas Henry Huxley and verify that he was related to Aldous Huxley of Brave New World and Island notoriety.  Yes.  Grandfather of Aldous.  Thomas was a stout defender of Darwin in the 19th century.

Well, not everyone is upbeat about happiness, I suppose.  Consider the offspring:

Like grandfather like grandson.  Brave New World is dystopian, but Island is utopian, even if a little far-fetched.  (Otherwise it wouldn’t be utopian.)

Wikipedia enlightens:

I trust the mood of Happiness will improve.

Dale Carnegie is better, as you might expect.  ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ is how I heard Werner Erhard express it back it the days of est, Erhard Seminars Training.

Still, the trend is not encouraging:

Oh George.  You reportedly are one of several who stated one of the reasons we should read history:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
—Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense, Scribner’s, 1905, p. 284.
(Ref. link.)

The more history I read, the more I’m convinced we repeat it regardless.  What an optimist I am.

For now we must leave it to Emily Dickinson and contented buffalo to lead us to our happy place:

(p. 34, L.Q. Happiness)

To be continued…

You can get ahead of my reading via Happiness (click List for a better selection).


The standard notes:
1. Since L.Q.’s inception with the Winter 2008 issue its size is always 7″ x 10″ x 1/2-17/32″. It is white-covered, printed on high quality paper throughout, with richly printed reproductions of fine art from time immemorial, and 221 pages up to a page or two of addenda at the back.
2. Each issue contains extracts about the title topic from great authors and thinkers spanning all recorded history. It begins with an eloquent, to a fault, preamble/introduction by editor Lewis Lapham. The main body is called Voices In Time and contains 3 or 4 subcategories of the topic with about 25 extracts per section. Noteworthy sidebars, side quotes, and depictions of appropriate art from the ages are liberally distributed throughout. Several extended contemporary essays bring up the rear. There are several other small sections every issue (Among the Contributors, Conversations, Miscellany, ‘The Graphic’).
3. Per the L.Q. website:
“Lapham’s Quarterly embodies the belief that history is the root of all education, scientific and literary as well as political and economic. Each issue addresses a topic of current interest and concern—war, religion, money, medicine, nature, crime—by bringing up to the microphone of the present the advice and counsel of the past.”
4. I encourage all to subscribe to this fine publication. It is a rich supplement to anyone’s reading.

14 thoughts on “Lapham’s Quarterly Summer 2019: Happiness (first comments)

  1. Alie has often observed that scientists study many reasons people are unhappy; few, if any, have studied happy people. She believes she was born happy, and now the newest entry into her side of the family, less than a year old, seems also to have been born happy.


    1. Notable. Just because we are born crying doesn’t mean we stay that we. We have several newborns in family and friends. They have the biggest smiles.


  2. Wonderful post/writing/sharing and photograph… Happiness… like a butterfly,… on the other hand, for me it is just to see my gransons… Thank you dear John, this is great subject, have a nice day, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great selection of happiness quotes – I especially like the Kant one. The last photo made me smile.
    I’m leaving here from your post with a warm feeling of happiness. Hope that makes you happy, too! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My favorite of all the quotes is Fitzgerald’s, with which I agree wholeheartedly. People try to achieve levels of emotion that are simply unrealistic. Contentment is a much better goal and one which can be reached with some self-encouragement and realistic expectations!

    Liked by 1 person

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