Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Essay: "On the Pleasure of Hating." William Hazlitt.

Review: A tribute to misanthropy. A litany of reasons for hating human nature. I have quoted only a few of the many  very quotable execrations against humanity that fill this essay. And it begins with not hating oneself enough.

“But so it is, that there is a secret affinity [with], a hankering after, evil in the human mind, and that it takes a perverse, but a fortunate delight in mischief, since it is a never-failing source of satisfaction.”

“Love turns, with a little indulgence, to indifference or disgust; hatred alone is immortal.”

“…a whole town runs to be present at a fire, and the spectator by no means exults to see it extinguished.”

“Men assemble in crowds with eager enthusiasm, to witness a tragedy.”

“Have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do. And chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.”

The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995.

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