What We Want

I’ve been reading a novel, Doctor Glas, written by Hjalmar Söderberg in 1905. So far it has been enjoyable in a depressing sort of way, but not nearly as provocative as the book jacket blurb claims. One paragraph, though, especially captured my attention:

Doctor Glas - a novel
We want to be loved; failing that, admired; failing that, feared; failing that, hated and despised. At all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. Our soul abhors a vacuum. At all costs it longs for contact.

Nowhere did I see this cascade of desires acted out more passionately, more brutally, than in the classroom during my years of teaching.

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