“Public life drives out private life. The more political our society becomes (in the broadest sense of ‘political’ — the obsessions, the compulsions of collectivity) the more individuality seems lost. … [N]ational purpose is now involved with the manufacture of commodities in no way essential to human life, but vital to the political survival of the country. … The whole matter … has to do with invasion of the private sphere (including the sexual) by techniques of exploitation and domination.” — Saul Bellow, Herzog (p. 178)

Saul Bellow

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“… irritated feeling with him, as with all of us, seeking rather for justification than for self-knowledge.” — Middlemarch

George Eliot

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Speculation

Others apart sat on a hill retired,
In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high
Of providence, foreknowledge, will and fate;
Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.
Of good and evil much they argued then,
Of happiness and final misery,
Passion and apathy, and glory and shame,
Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy.
Yet with a pleasing sorcery, could charm
Pain for awhile, or anguish, and excite
Fallacious hope, or arm the obdured breast
With stubborn patience, as with triple steel.

— John Milton, Paradise Lost Book II (557-69)

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