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12/08/09 / Al-Gor(e)-ithm

Thomas Mann’s very revealing, rather caustic, take on women, in the context of love:

Women, if one may put it this way, are reactive creatures, with little original initiative, careless to the point of being passive. Allow me, please, to attempt to develop my thought somewhat, though in labored fashion. In matters of love, a woman, as nearly as I can determine, primarily regards herself as simply an object, she lets things come at her, she does not choose freely, she makes her own subjective choice in love only on the basis of the man’s choice, so that, if you will permit me to add this final point, her freedom of choice – presuming, of course, that the man in question is not too sorry a specimen, and even that cannot be regarded as all too strict a requirement – her freedom of choice, then, is prejudiced and corrupted by the fact that she has been chosen. Good God, I’m speaking in banalities, but when one is young, everything is, of course, new – new and astounding. You ask a woman: ‘Do you love him, then?’ And she opens her eyes wide, or even bats them, and replies, ‘He loves me so much.’ And now try to imagine that sort of answer from a man – forgive me for correlating the two. Perhaps there are men who would have to answer that way, but they are simply and utterly ridiculous, tied to love’s apron strings, to put it epigrammatically. I would like to know what sense of self-worth such a female answer represents. Does a woman feel she owes boundless subservience to a man who would confer the favor of his love on such a lowly creature, or does she see in the man’s love for her an unerring token of his superiority?

-The Magic Mountain, pg. 592

I’ve been wondering whether it beehoves me to think out my posts better, to do more research about the topics I’m writing about and present more than just my current questions and curiosities on them.

What does one write for? Who does one write for? While we may achieve some sort of satisfaction and/or catharsis writing for ourselves, aren’t we really all writing for others, so that we may revel in their identifying with our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs?

I am responsible for my own brand. I’m not writing for the New York Times, so there’s no other authority whose reputation I am (indirectly) responsible for; the question, then, becomes whether my brand is diminished from usually candid and (less) frequently incoherent rants.

Songs of the day

The human soul needs actual beauty more than bread

-D. H. Lawrence

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