Wednesday, December 24, 2008

you are what you are

I was just reading a review of a new biography of Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake for heresy in 1600. I was most struck by this line, about his youth in a Dominican monastery:
As a boy, he removed all pictures from his convent cell, keeping only a crucifix, and he scoffed at a fellow novice for reading a devotional poem about the Virgin.
Here, already fully developed, were the characteristics that led him to the stake: contempt for orthodoxy, passion for his own beliefs, and a sarcastic tongue.

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