Against disappointment


28 April 2006, 2.02 CET

“Are most novels poor today? Undoubtedly. But that is like saying mutilation exists, a broken world exists. More mutilated and broken than before? That’s perhaps the world’s own secret. Really, things are now what they always were, and to be disappointed in them is extremely shallow. We may not be strong enough to live in the present. But to be disappointed in it! To identify oneself with a better past! No, no!”

—Saul Bellow, in a 1952 letter to Lionel Trilling.
Quoted in Atlas, James. Bellow: A Biography. New York: Random House, 2000. p. 184.