What is read and understood and contemplated and intellectually grasped is our own, madam, to live and work with. A lifetime's study will not make accessible to us more than a fragment of our own ancestral past, let alone the aeons before our race was formed. But that fragment we must thoroughly possess and hand on. Hoc opus, hic labor est. There is, I am tempted to assert, no easy way, no short cut: we are, in attempting those, like Bunyan's Ignorance who found a path to Hell at the very gate of the City of Heaven.
Possession, A. S. Byatt