Category Archives: Literature

Resentment, Elitism, and Literature


I mostly agree with this article about resentment, elitism, and literature (in that order). The world, and the United States in particular, is full of people who are insecure of their intelligence and understanding, too lazy or otherwise unwilling to improve their state, and resentful of anyone who creates something that reminds them of their inadequacy.

I respect people, including my wife, who prefer simple pleasures that are easy to come by and require minimal effort to obtain, and are not self-conscious about their preferences or their relative educational status. These people, again including my wife, generally respect people who are different from them and prefer to live among the giants of human intellect. They tend to instinctively grok the idea of how different we can be in our drives and pleasures. I may not be able to talk about some of my greatest intellectual loves with such people, but they understand how to be human and how to share their humanity as well as anyone. For discussion of Goethe, Plato, and Lem, there is the Internet, connecting me to others with these interests.

It takes all kinds to make a world. I have trouble only with those who resent or actively hate those who are more or less erudite than themselves.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an Island, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

This famous text is from John Donne’s series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness (written while Donne was convalescing from a nearly fatal illness) that were published as a book in 1624 under the title Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. This text is from Meditation XVII.