17 03 2009

From The Dangling Man by Saul Bellow

“In a powerful passage, he blames his violent outbursts on the unbearable contradictions of modern life. Brainwashed into that each of us is an individual of inestimable value with an individual destiny, that there is no limit to what we can attain, we set off, each of us, in quest of individual greatness. Inevitably we fail to find it. Then we begin to hate immoderately and punish ourselves and one another immoderately. The fear of lagging [behind] pursues and maddens us…. It makes an inner climate of darkness. And occasionally there is a storm of hate and wounding rain out of us.”

— J. M. Coetzee in Inner Workings, paraphrasing page 63 of the novel




One response

23 03 2009

There is such a thing as appropriate anger.
There is too much silent complacency and complicity in our society because nobody wants to stand out and be viewed as eccentric or emotionally unstable.
But the appearance of emotional stability we achieve through constant suppression of appropriate angers is itself the root of neuroses and true emotional instability.

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