It is not merely enough to love literature if one wishes to spend one's life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possiblity of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear.
It is hope--with regard to our careers, our love lives, our children, our politicians, and our planet--that is primarily to blame for angering and embittering us. The incompatibility between the grandeur of our aspirations and the mean reality of our condition generates the violent disappointments which rack our days and etch themselves in lines of acrimony across our faces.
A man may be buoyed up by the efflation of his wild desires to brave any imaginable peril; but he cannot calmly see one he loves braving the same peril; simply because he cannot feel within turn that which prompts another. He sees the danger, and feels not the power that is to overcome it.
There is, after all, no moral difference between the bigot and the tolerator. They are from case to case positive or negative. One man is bigoted because he was given the sword of truth, another because he is angered in thoughtlessness; then, one man is tolerant because he was given the flag of peace, another because he is cowardly and wishes to hide all guilt.