Saturday, February 20, 2016

the last book I ever read (The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill, excerpt three)

from The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill:

Then you can blame your imagination—and forget it.
He changes the subject abruptly.
You asked me why I quit the Movement. I had a lot of good reasons. One was myself, and another was my comrades, and the last was the breed of swine called men in general. For myself, I was forced to admit, at the end of thirty years’ devotion to the Cause, that I was never made for it. I was born condemned to be one of those who has to see all sides of a question. When you’re damned like that, the questions multiply for you until in the end it’s all question and no answer. As history proves, to be a worldly success at anything, especially revolution, you have to wear blinders like a horse and see only straight in front of you. You have to see, too, that this is all black, and that is all white. As for my comrades in the Great Cause, I felt as Horace Walpole did about England, that he could love it if it weren’t for the people in it. The material the ideal free society must be constructed from is men themselves and you can’t build a marble temple out of a mixture of mud and manure. When man’s soul isn’t a sow’s ear, it will be time enough to dream of silk purses.
He chuckles sardonically—then irritably as if suddenly provoked at himself for talking so much.
Well, that’s why I quit the Movement, if it leaves you any wiser. At any rate, you see it had nothing to do with your mother.

Smiles almost mockingly.
Oh, sure, I see. But I’ll be Mother has always thought it was on her account. You know her, Larry. To hear her go on sometimes, you’d think she was the Movement.

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