Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why does Don Quixote work?

"You're a sadist, a masochist," a young woman once told me, long ago.  And I didn't get it.

The craziness, the ability to endure, or even entertain a kind of pain that feels like a noble calling, a grand destiny, and the difference between that and the practical realities people must live under quite apart from such 'tilting at windmills…'

"But I am being noble."

"No, you're just being very stupid."

And that you would keep on writing, in search of literature or whatever (in your own mind), long after it had become folly, useless in the real world, of no monetary value, is further Quixoticism, further madness.

And yet, it is one of the greatest freedoms, speaking of a spiritual need ingrained in the head and body, that needs to exist in a free society, even if it is impractical and folly.

Of course, unless the effort can slyly pose as humor, to totalitarian authority, and probably others, writing is a subversive act.  On many levels.  Don't be a writer, be a doctor, be a cog in the wheel of the great state plan.

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