Fleas came up in conversation yesterday. As a result, I had fleas on my mind today. As I hauled my huge paintings out of the studio and set them in various light conditions as the day moved by - going from north light to east light to south and then west, then from dusk to lamplight - to see how the changing light changed my paintings, I tried without success to recall Jonathan Swift's famous flea-infested words on infinity. I finally broke down and did a search. Here's the quote:
So, naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey
And these have smaller still to bite `em
And so proceed ad infinitum.
During my search I came upon Peter Tyson's essay, "Contemplating Infinity: A Philosophical Perspective", which contains the Swift quote. The web page links to The Archimedes Palimpsest. From there I went to Rebecca Deusser's essay, "Great Surviving Manuscripts", taking all my questions along.
Soon I will go to bed thinking yet again about infinity. I hope my dreams will stay on topic, but I suspect my mind will spend the night constructing fleas. Like nesting dolls each will open to reveal yet another. No doubt I'll wake up squinting.