Sunday, 17 November 2013

Chekhov on petty analysis

The trouble is that youth makes its demands, and our philosophy has nothing in principle against those demands, whether they are good or whether they are loathsome. One who knows that life is aimless and death inevitable is not interested in the struggle against nature or the conception of sin: whether you struggle or whether you don't, you will die and rot just the same.

Secondly, my friends, our philosophy instils even into very young people what is called reasonableness. The predominance of reason over the heart is simply overwhelming amongst us. Direct feeling, inspiration--everything is choked by petty analysis. 

Where there is reasonableness there is coldness, and cold people--it's no use to disguise it--know nothing of chastity. That virtue is only known to those who are warm, affectionate, and capable of love. 

Anton Chekhov - Lights, a short story published in 1888


Sam Vega said...

I think William Blake said something similar. Analysis kills, and only the affectionate and warm-hearted give life and morality.

A K Haart said...

Sam - Santayana too - "the intrinsic beauty of all symbols bred in a genial mind".

James Higham said...

Not entirely sure - much damage has been done through political emotionalism.

A K Haart said...

James - I agree, it has to be essentially genial and genuine.