Monthly Archives: January 2011

So don’t fret

“[You] try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance; . . . you take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. . . . You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do . . . , so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another’s interior workings and invisible aims? . . . The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that–well, lucky you.” — Philip Roth, American Pastoral (via Philip Roth quotes)

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