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Hirschman had studied the enormous Karnaphuli Paper Mills, in what was then East Pakistan.
The mill was built to exploit the vast bamboo forests of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
If bad planning hadn’t led to the crisis at the Karnaphuli plant, the mill’s operators would never have been forced to be creative.
Memorable Present Essay
And the plant would not have been nearly as valuable as it became.“We may be dealing here with a general principle of action,” Hirschman wrote: Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened.
He drew on Brecht, Kafka, Freud, Flaubert, La Rochefoucauld, Montesquieu, Montaigne, and Machiavelli, not to mention Homer—he had committed huge sections of the Odyssey to memory. Language itself conspires toward this sort of asymmetry: we fall into error, but do not usually speak of falling into truth.“Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O.
The pleasure of reading Hirschman comes not only from the originality of his conclusions but also from the delightfully idiosyncratic path he took to them. Hirschman” (Princeton), by the Princeton historian Jeremy Adelman, is a biography worthy of the man.
It could have been given for an important occasion or just for no reason at all.
Tell us about the present and why it was memorable.