The Free Spirits

An essayist (if not all writers) has often been accused of vanity, self-indulgence, and of course idiosyncrasy. Such accusations, if they were to be brought before a court of civil morality, with the common readers being the juries – perhaps also the judges since the laws of the herd are always made through collective agreements – then an essayist will definitely be found guilty on all charges. Montaigne knew this, Hazlitt knew this, Lamb knew this, Woolf knew this. Yet, they were willing to face the charges made against them; they stood firm against their personal freedom and independence spirit; they held on to their own individual mantel rather cling on to and let themselves be dragged by the mantels of others. Most importantly, their works – their essays – have stood the test of time. And yet, as long as there is a common-herd, a common-reader with common imagination, then the imagination of the free spirits will continue to be judged (some sacrifice) on the altar of time.


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