Sunday, October 24, 2010

my lack of depth

Perhaps my most noteworthy characteristic is lack of depth. Whatever I say or do, the whole of me is contained in what I do or say, and I have nothing in reserve upon which to fall back in the event of my having to retreat. I am, in fact a man all vanguard, without any main body or rearguard. From this characteristic comes my proneness to enthusiasm. I get excited over any trifle......what I mean is that it is an enthusiasm that almost always lacks the support of the intimate, effective strength without which any kind of enthusiasm dwindles into mere foolish desire and rhetoric. And I am, in fact, inclined to rhetoric......that is, to the substitution of words for deeds. My rhetoric is of the sentimental kind; I want for instance, to be in love and often deceive myself into thinking that I am in love, when all that I have done is to talk about it.....with great feeling, no doubt, but simply to talk about it. At such moments, tears come easily, I stammer......But beneath these outward signs of fervour I often conceal a bitter, a positively mean, kind of subtlety which makes me deceitful and does not represent any real strength, being merely the expression of my egoism. I am what can still be called a dilettante.

from Conjugal Love, Alberto Moravia

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