Monday, August 29, 2016

The case against moderation

"After all, the greatest pleasure in life is to have a fanatical enthusiasm about something. It may be the collection of pictures or of foreign postage stamps—the preaching of teetotalism or of ritualism; it matters comparatively little what is the hobby upon which a man should mount; but the possession of at least one hobby, if not of a complete stud of hobbies, is the first condition towards a thorough enjoyment of life. It is commonly said that chess is too severe an intellectual trial to be suitable as an amusement; and the argument is a very sound one against learning chess for those who cannot devote their time to it; but the intense attention which is willingly granted by a good chess player is the best proof of the powerful attractions of the occupation."
(from "The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen", pp.48-49)

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