Friday, August 10, 2012


Self-Imposed Burdens

Norman Douglas (1868-1952), Alone (New York: Robert M. McBride & Company, 1922), pp. 41-42:
His stern principles must often cause him suffering, needless suffering. He is for ever at the mercy of some categorical imperative. This may be the reason why I feel drawn to him. Such persons exercise a strange attraction upon those who, convinced of the eternal fluidity of all mundane affairs, and how that our most sacred institutions are merely conventionalities of time and place, conform to only one rule of life—to be guided by no principles whatever. They miss so much, those others. They miss it so pathetically. One sees them staggering gravewards under a load of self-imposed burdens. A lamentable spectacle, when one thinks of it. Why bear a cross? Is it pleasant? Is it pretty?
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