Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Man Must Be a Prophet - He Just Told Me Everything I've Ever Done

... One day you are peacefully reading in your house when a friend drops by and says: "What a lot of books you have!"  This sounds to you as if he were saying: "How intelligent you are!" and the damage has been done.  You know the rest.  You begin to count your books by the hundreds, then by the thousands, and feel more and more intelligent.  As the years pass (unless you really are a poor unfortunate idealist) you generally have greater economic resources at your disposal, have frequented more bookstores, and naturally, have become a writer and consequently own so many books you are no longer simply intelligent: At heart you are a genius.  This is at the root of your pride in owning so many books.
 -- Augusto Monterroso, "How I Got Rid of Five Hundred Books," in Complete Works and Other Stories, University of Texas Press, 1995, pages 118-19.