This sentence is a lie.
Something can be true and untrue at the same
content of my being shrieks in contradiction against myself.
ďThe test of a first-rate intelligence is the
ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and
still retain the ability to function.Ē Iíve always disliked the
unnecessary comma in the middle of this famous Fitzgerald dictum,
suggestive as it is of an inability to hold two opposed ideas in the
mind at the same time while still retaining etc.
We are, I know not how, double within ourselves, with the
result that we do not believe what we believe, and we cannot rid
ourselves of what we condemn.
Negative capability: capable of being in
uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching
after fact and reason.
Itís natural to enter into dialogues and
disputes with others, because itís natural to enter into disputes
with oneself: the mind works by contradiction.
Great art is clear thinking about mixed
One of the tricks in writing a personal essay
is that you have to develop a dialogue between the parts of yourself
that in a way corresponds to the conflict in fiction. You cop to
various tendencies, and then you struggle with these tendencies.
I prefer the epistolary monologue to the drama
Ambitious work doesnít resolve contradictions
in a spurious harmony but, instead, embodies the contradictions,
pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.