Friday, March 04, 2011

Marginalia, no.183 | The New Psalmanazar

Already he had begun dreaming of a refined Thebaid, a desert hermitage equipped with all modern conveniences, a snugly heated ark on dry land in which he might take refuge from the incessant deluge of human stupidity.

~ J.K. Huysmans, A Rebours

A snugly heated ark might be tempting if I wasn’t sure to bring every species of folly into it with me. Like Noah, I’d spend all my time washing shit off the deck. Anyway, it’s stupidity that I can’t seem to do without. It’s comfortable and familiar. Human intelligence and earnestness are more frightening.

As a trial lawyer I make my living by sweeping up the wreckage of human folly. It does get wearisome at times, but the older I get, the more I realize that my own bag of folly is big enough that I should be a little more forgiving towards the follies of others. Though contra the remarks from the cited blog, a little more intelligence and earnestness now and then would make for a pleasant change.