Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So right away this morning I bury myself in Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau and his `Confessions' about which I've heard so much over the years but never until now had any truck with...

...why am I compared to him I ask myself and before long I see why with a quote like this:
`My passions are extremely strong, and while I am under their sway nothing can equal my impetuosity. I am amenable to no restraint, respect, fear or decorum. I am cynical, bold, violent, and daring. No shame can stop me, no fear of danger alarm me. Except for the one object in my mind, the universe for me is non-existent. But all this lasts only a moment; and the next moment plunges me into complete annihilation.
'Catch me in a calm mood, I am all indolence and timidity. Everything alarms me, everything discourages me. I am frightened by a buzzing fly. I am too lazy to speak a word or make a gesture. So much am I a slave to fears and shames that I long to vanish from mortal sight. If action is necessary I do not know what to do; if I must speak I do not know what to say; if anyone looks at me I drop my eyes. When roused by passion, I can sometimes find the right words to say, but in ordinary conversation I can find none, none at all. I find conversation unbearable owing to the very fact that I am obliged to speak...'

A man after my own heart I must say but I'll have to read on further to see if his life's confessions and mine are compatible beyond these rather dubious distinctions...

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