"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

Here would be the climactic face-off: on one side, a young and impulsive modernizer who fancied himself leader of so-called color revolutions that would sweep away unsavory holdover regimes from the Soviet years. On the other, a dour and calculating ex-K.G.B. spy who saw much to like in the old ways and wanted to restore his nation to its proper glory. Only one problem. Mr. Saakashvili at first didn’t show up. He supposedly lost track of time while doing laps in his hotel pool, arriving at the Kremlin half an hour late and leaving Mr. Putin seething, according to three Georgians who were there. “I hope that you had a good time swimming,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Saakashvili.

[World leaders: Week in Review, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 04.19.2009

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