Feb 1, 2010

To will one virtue — Results

It is said that I am a slipshod writer. Well, that is a matter of opinion. I am fully convinced that there is not a Danish writer who pays as much attention to the insignificant word as I do. I write everything in my own hand twice, some parts three and four times, and in addition, something no one knows anything about, there is my meditating as I walk; before I write I have said everything aloud to myself many times — and this they call being a slipshod writer! And why? Because they have no conception of it at all, because to them an author is someone who at most spends a certain number of hours a day sitting in a room and writing and otherwise has nothing to do with his ideas. Therefore, that kind of an author needs time when he comes home to get into the spirit again — whereas I come home with the whole thing thought through and memorized, even in its stylistic form — when people read a few pages of my writing they are almost always amazed at my style — but a big book — well, how is that possible — ergo: I must be a slipshod writer. No, when one wills only one thing, wills one thing with every sacrifice, every effort — then it is possible.

In a way I can become nauseated by life, for I, who love but one thought — which a person can really be if he wills it — I constitute an epigram upon men, because their judgment of me, the fact that they really cannot understand my consistency, is tragic proof of the categories, the mediocrity, in which they live.

— Søren Kierkegaard, 1846

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