LEO BLOOM: Let’s assume, just for the moment, that you are a dishonest man.
MAX BIALYSTOCK: Assume away.
It bears repeating: Miserable human beings with whom you wouldn’t want to spend a second in real life are capable of making something great that is beautiful or useful to you. That is, in fact, the whole point of art. (It’s currently an unfashionable belief, but it’s true.)
Whatever you love about a writer or an artist’s work, that really is the best of what they have to offer you. You don’t want the whole human, trust me. You really want that thing they offered up to you: The art.
The other day a young reader emailed me, “I know I am assuming things, but I really think you are happy because you love what you do and your website has these very positive and happy vibes!!”
I stared at the email and thought, How am I going to break this to her?
Little did she know that she had caught me at what is turning out to be a particularly low point in my life. But I didn’t want to dump any of my shit on her, so I just sent her Wendell Berry’s “A Warning To My Readers” and left it at that.