Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From a Harlot High and Low

"Anybody who was once caught up in journalism, or is caught up in it still, is under the cruel necessity of meeting men he despises, smiling at his worst enemy, condoning actions of the most unspeakable vileness, soiling his hands to pay his aggressors out in their own coin. You grow used to seeing evil done, to letting it go; you begin by not minding, you end by doing it yourself. In the end, your soul, spotted daily by shameful transactions always going on shrinks, the spring of noble thoughts rusts, the hinges of small talk wear loose and swing unaided. The Alcestes become Philintes, characters loses its temper, talent degenerates, the belief in works of beauty evaporates. A man who wanted to take pride in his pages spends himself in wretched articles which sooner or later his conscience will tell him were base actions. You came on the scene, like Lousteau, like Vernou, intending to be a great writer, you find you have become an impotent hack."

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