Earlier Thoughts

For the July edition of New English Review, Theodore Dalrymple begins his essay with some clever and mature quotes from a young Alexander Pope before moving on to covering the dark and disturbing Romanian thinker, E.M. Cioran.

There are few of us, I should imagine, who would care very much to have their thoughts at the age of twenty about life, literature and the world, exposed to public view and widely disseminated. Our thoughts at that age, though no doubt essential to our personal development, were hardly worth having, or at least not worth communicating to others. In short, our thoughts were callow, shallow, hackneyed and unoriginal in the extreme, often uttered with that youthful combination of arrogant certainty and underlying insecurity which manifests itself as a kind of inflamed prickliness whenever challenged.

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