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After reading The Blithedale Romance

All my senses are acute. As the morning sunlight washed over me, and I understood the whole narrative after a month or so of reading, it came upon me to the resolution of my whole perverse nature. One of the questions I have so often asked myself, with the attitude of heartbreak between Romeo and Juliet, or some epic lost love, is why I did not choose the thing that blazes over my nature, with which I have absolute sympathy, as the center of my life. The study of literature, the understanding of human nature, which obsesses me at all times.

As I thought of what I really do, I was thrilled with the irony and revelation that I chose a profession that could not touch my heart, nor give me even the remotest satisfaction, nor do that which is my whole aim, giving beauty to the world. A scientist has never and will never give beauty to the world. He exists like a worm beneath a rock. Contributing something, usefulness, but beauty, never, and for someone with my mind, I think it a terrific waste to trouble oneself over the human form. To preserve our frail forms as if there was nothing more. To harness the powers of the earth for our own propagation. Those who would do it and profit from such operation are a waste to me-- even myself.

It is because of my deepest sympathy to something more that I chose the most wasteful and meaningless of professions. Every other profession I think of does yield beauty to the world in some form or other, but not science.

I knew, and I dabbled dangerously, in English classes. In my deepest heart I knew I could not present myself to professors as a vessel to be filled with their good knowledge, that I can trust no mind other than my own with regard to this study. Independent, I may stumble, but my ideas are my own, and I am never expected to take on another's belief. I choose the forces that shape my mind. I might miss things along the way, but I learned so soon what unreliable narrators can do in the real world, that I could not risk it.

This is the perversity of my existence, that the ideas that come forth in my writing be entirely of my own will, eeked out of my free time, not for profit or recognition in the usual sense, and that if I fail to do this, I will have created no beauty in the world, because what I do for a living is absolutely meaningless.

This is, anyway, how I feel after reading The Blithedale Romance that chills me, because I have enough experience to be chilled, and also thrills me, because I do have a purpose, when so many in the world don't, and mourn that lack.

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