By Dan Hagen
E.M. Forster wrote, “The author looks for what is permanent, even if it is sad; the man looks for what is cheerful, and noble, and gracious, even if it is transitory … I uphold optimism in life. I do not at present uphold optimism in literature.”
Although Matt has dubbed me “Danny Downer” for my view of our political, economic and social erosion, I’m actually in favor of optimism bounded by realism. Pessimism is inherently self-defeating, and optimism unbounded by realism becomes tragedy, which is something I like to avoid whenever possible, except on stage.
In other words, “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” That’s my favorite quote of all, from Marcus Aurelius.