In Need of a Subtil Editor26 March 2008
I don't know whether Robert Francis Kennedy was engaged in plagiarism or allusion when he said
Some men look at things the way they are and askIt was the former if he expected the audience to take the words as his own, and the latter if he expected the audience to recognize this as an echo of George Bernard Shaw:Why?I dream of things that are not and askWhy not?
You see things; and you say,In any case, when Lionel Beehner saidWhy?But I dream things that never were; and I say,Why not?
It seems today's thinkers, to paraphrase Robert Kennedy, like to imagine a world that wasn't and ask, why not?he was engaged in ignorance.