Wednesday, November 09, 2016


…Val was an optimist herself. Or at least people often accused her of it. And indeed she did try to make the best of things. It seemed to her that that was the way one should behave… Making the best of things was what courage meant, in her opinion; that was right action in the face of life. And how hard it was, given how dark her thoughts had become, and how dismal everything sometimes appeared to her; how against the grain of her temperament it had become. But she kept at it anyway, as an act of the will. And all it did was to get her laughed at, and most of what she said continually discounted or put down, as if being optimistic was a matter of a somewhat obtuse intelligence, or at best the luck of biochemistry, rather than a policy that had to be maintained, sometimes in the midst of the blackest moods imaginable.…

…And the world being what it was, Val supposed that there was some truth in it. Why be optimistic, how be optimistic, when there was so much wrong with so much? In a world coming apart it had to be a kind of stupidity. But still Val held to it, stubbornly, just barely.… It took an effort to be optimistic, it was a moral position. But no one understood that.

— Kim Stanley Robinson, ANTARCTICA

...Need I add that this is, for me, aspirational not descriptive? That to say that I fall short of this is beyond overstatement, and that I am by intellect and temperament pessimistic in the extreme? That this is me talking to myself as much or far more than others? Ok then.

(By the way, this quote is in my sidebar quotes, in a much more truncated version; this is a longer chunk. For the still longer version, read the book!)

No comments: