What They Said: Joseph Brodsky

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Drawing By Hans Christian Andersen


“The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity. That is, something that can’t be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned imposter couldn’t be happy with. Something, in other words, that can’t be shared, like your own skin: not even by a minority. Evil is a sucker for solidity. It always goes for big numbers, for confident granite, for ideological purity, for drilled armies and balanced sheets. Its proclivity for such things has to do with its innate insecurity, but this realization, again, is of small comfort when Evil triumphs.

Joseph Brodsky

“A Commencement Address” (1984), delivered at Williams College

5 thoughts on “What They Said: Joseph Brodsky”

  1. This reminds me of a philosophical notation someone once told me; I’m not sure if it is original, “In a crisis, always go opposite of where the crowd is rushing.

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