I’m vulnerable to praise, that’s true, but I’m even more vulnerable to knives.
Concerning the Fowl of the Air, Their Limitations as a Model for Personal Conduct
I have beheld the fowl of the air, how they “neither sow nor reap.” I’ve also observed, however, that they “live outside” and “are under constant threat of attack from animals both wild and domestic.” For this reason, among others, I consider their utility as a model for personal conduct to be limited.
Concerning the Author’s Cause of Death
If I ever kill myself, it should be regarded not as a suicide but as the result of a duel with the person who has most dishonored me.
How to Tolerate a Writer
Those who identify as writers become more tolerable as they approach death — and then much more tolerable after it.
A Grievance Against the Present
Among the many reasons to be wary of the present: the conviction its occupants possess regarding its value. It’s inaccurate to suggest that everyone regards his own time as the most important, but it’s not inaccurate enough.
One Argument for Constant Failure
For those who fail at everything, there’s no danger of feigning modesty. Modesty, rather, is thrust upon them.
How I Have Avoided Disappointment
If I am disappointed by the conduct of others, that is almost certainly my fault — for holding them to a higher standard than I do my own self.
How I’ve Managed Certain of My Affectations
At a certain point, it became nearly impossible to distinguish between my affectations and my authentic, spontaneous action. As in every other case, I’ve been forced to reach a compromise — to ensure, at least, that my affectations are authentic.
The Best Version of Myself Is the Worst
I have no interest in contemplating the best version of myself. Rather, I prefer the one who’s slightly inferior in every way. He permits me to cultivate the illusion of virtue, a much less demanding exercise than the cultivation of virtue itself.
The Privilege of Squandering Great Miracles
Given the unlikelihood of being born at all, it seems logical that one would make every effort not to squander the great miracle of life.
Seems that way, yes. What this line of reason fails to account for, however, is that squandering great miracles itself represents a privilege unique to the living.