In praise of the “loving sympathy” that makes life worthy of living. “Construction and destruction alike satisfy the will to power,” Bertrand Russell wrote in contemplating human nature, “but construction is more difficult as a rule, and therefore gives more satisfaction to the person who can achieve it.” A generation later, W.H. Auden echoed this sentiment in his insistence that the only worthwhile criticism is a celebration — a conviction which I myself have held and placed at the centre of my life for as long as I can remember.

Source: The Art of Sympathetic Enthusiasm: Goethe on the Only Opinion Worth Voicing About the Life and Work of Another

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