Sunday, 4 June 2017

Propaganda

I decided not to go straight back to the office but to go home, make some coffee, and sit in absolute silence for an hour. I wanted solitude, though this is frowned on in a healthy adult. The propaganda goes the other way; one is urged to get out of oneself, as if preferring one's own company were a dangerous indulgence. I wanted, above all else, to be free of attachments, of those personal agendas which are wished on one in any conversation of any depth, and which are as disruptive to the process of contemplation as a telephone ringing in the middle of the night. I was not sick, I was not melancholy: I simply demanded that I might enjoy the peace of the situation I had inherited.
Altered States, ch. 14

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The phrasing of the 'propaganda' line seems to be idiolectic. Compare this from chapter 2 of Hotel du Lac:
The propaganda goes all the other way, but only because it is the tortoise who is in need of consolation.

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