A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.
If happiness truly consisted in physical ease and freedom from care, then the happiest individual would not be either a man or a woman; it would be, I think, an American cow.
What I am against is false optimism: the notion either that things have to go well, or else that they tend to, or else that the default condition of historical trajectories is characteristically beneficial in the long-run.
There is a strange reluctance on the part of most people to admit they enjoy life.
As citizens of a free society, we have a duty to look critically at our world. But if we think we know what is wrong, we must act upon that knowledge.
No one wants to live in a wheelchair unable to talk, only winking once for yes and twice for no. It’s perfectly reasonable that there will come a point where the balance of judgment of life over death swings the other way.
In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them.
It would be suicide in the American academy to show too early an interest beyond your doctoral specialization: charges of everything from charlatanry to ambition would be levied and tenure denied. I’ve seen this first-hand.
Renunciation – that is the great fact we all, individuals and classes, have to learn. In trying to avoid it we bring misery to ourselves and others.
You don’t have to be Jewish to understand the history of Europe in the 20th century, but it helps.