Saturday, March 15, 2008

On Eliot Spitzer

This was not to say that [Eliot Spitzer] was anything but sincere when he inveighed against [reprobates]. He could not (from his own knowledge, at least) be aware that he was one also, since it is only with the passions of others that we are ever really familiar, and what we come to find out about our own can be no more than what other people have shown us. Upon ourselves they react but indirectly, through our imagination, which substitutes for our actual, primary motives other, secondary motives, less stark and therefore more decent. Never had [Spitzer's wickedness] impelled him to make a habit of visiting a [whore] as such. Instead, it would set his imagination to make that [woman] appear, in [Spitzer]’s eyes, endowed with all the graces. He would be drawn towards the [woman], assuring himself the while that he was yielding to the attractions of her mind, and her other virtues, which the vile race of [degenerates] could never understand. Only his fellow [whore-hounds] knew that he was of their number, for, owing to their inability to appreciate the intervening efforts of his imagination, they saw in close juxtaposition the social activities of [Spitzer] and their primary cause.

Eliot Spitzer as M. Legrandin in Marcel Proust's Swann's Way.

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