Stamp of Approval

In today’s Takimag, our philatelic doctor remembers his old stamp-collecting hobby during a visit to an English restaurant’s lavatory.

My point, however, is that those who can immerse themselves in the arcana of some minute corner of the universe such as the Penny Black, and become expert in them, excite not my contempt because of the triviality of their subject, but rather my envy, for it seems to me that one of the paths to happiness open to men (particularly men) is precisely an obsessional interest in something. It is by this obsessional interest that the disappointments, daily worries, and chagrins of daily existence can be kept at bay. The world about may be collapsing, but there is always the consolation of their obsessional interest.

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