The advantages of pessimism

The incompatibility between the grandeur of our aspirations and the mean reality of our condition generates the violent disappointments which rack our days and etch themselves in lines of acrimony across our faces. Hence the relief, which can explode into bursts of laughter, when we finally come across an author generous enough to confirm that our very worst insights, far from being unique, are part of the common, inevitable reality of mankind…

A pessimistic world view does not have to entail a life stripped of joy. Pessimists can have a far greater capacity for appreciation than their opposite numbers, for they never expect things to turn out well and so may be amazed by the modest successes which occasionally break out across their darkened horizons.