Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
― George Orwell, who died on this day in 1950.
What then is Jones interested in? He must desire something. To be sure, he does. Jones has an overwhelming passion for, a complete preoccupation with, his own happiness. The one exclusive desire of his life is to be happy. It takes little imagination at this point to see that Jones’s one desire if bound to be frustrated. People who – like Jones – most hotly pursue their own happiness are the least likely to find it. Happy people are those who successfully pursue such things as aesthetic or religious experience, self-expression, service to others, victory in competitions, knowledge, power, and so on. If none of these things in themselves and for their own sakes mean anything to a person, if they are valued at all then only as a means to one’s own pleasant states of mind – then that pleasure can never come. The way to achieve happiness is to pursue something else.
Psychological Egotism, Joel Feinberg
LOFTON: I want to ask you about this psychiatric disability.
GINSBERG: No, no, no. no, no, no, no, no. Sir, first of all your tone is too aggressive. You have to soften your tone, because there’s an element of aggression here. There’s an element almost like a police interrogation here.
LOFTON: But that’s not all bad. The police, in some instances, do a good job, particularly in dealing with criminals.
GINSBERG: Sir, in this case it’s a little impolite. You’re being a little harsh and unfriendly and making it very difficult for me to relate to you gently and talk unguardedly and candidly.
LOFTON: There’s no doubt that from what I’ve read about you, I don’t like what you have stood for over the years. I don’t like your politics, the kind of sex you engage in. So if you mean there’s a hostility here toward what you are, absolutely there is.
GINSBERG: But you’re talking to me as if I’m an object of some kind and not a person in front of you, I’m asking you, in a sense, to watch your manners.
Don’t surrender your loneliness
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you.
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My need of God