Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Domesticate the demon

Virginia Woolf has that great line in The Common Reader, that try as we might to read impartially, “there is always a demon in us who whispers, ‘I hate, I love.’” I’ve always hoped that it might be possible to domesticate the demon, and that if we can understand what in us quickens or recoils and why, some larger truth can be extracted — even if it’s just about our own tastes. How do I know if I have accomplished this? I don‘t.

— Parul Sehgal, interviewed by Scott McLemee.

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