The united nations of stupidity

I think this is less true in the era of memoir and blogging, but I will always prefer conscious foolishness to blind faith.

Paper is kindly, because it teaches this humility and opens one’s eyes to the vacuity of the ego. Someone who writes a page and, half an hour later while waiting for a bus, realizes that he understands nothing, not even what he has just written, learns to recognize his own inconsequence, and as he dwells upon the fatuity of his own page realizes that each person takes his own lucubrations to be the center of the universe. And there you have it in a nutshell — everybody does. And perhaps the writer has a fraternal feeling towards that myriad of everybodies who, like him, fancy they are souls elect as they trundle their whims towards the grave; perhaps he realizes how stupid it is, in our common, jostling rush towards nothingness, to do each other injury. Writers constitute a universal secret order, a freemasonry, a Grand Lodge of stupidity. It is no coincidence that they themselves, from Jean Paul to Musil, have been the ones to compose essays and eulogies on Stupidity. (Claudio Magris, Danube)