Quote of the Year: On The Scoundrelism of Anonymity

Schopenhauer portrait1

“Anonymity, that shield for every kind of literary scoundrelism, must disappear. The pretext for its introduction into literary periodicals was that it protected honest critics from the wrath of authors and their patrons. But for every case of this kind there are a hundred cases where it serves merely to allow complete irresponsibility to reviewers who would be unable to defend what they write, or even to conceal the shame of those so venal and abject as to recommend books to the public in exchange for a tip from their publisher. It often merely serves to cloak the obscurity, incompetence and insignificance of the reviewer. It is unbelievable what impudence these fellows are capable of, and from what degree of literary knavery they will not shrink, once they know themselves secure in the shadow of anonymity.”  –  Schopenhauer

Well said, S., well said indeed! With thanks to Mark R. for sending it to me.  By the way, that’s the same expression that’s always on my face too.

10 thoughts on “Quote of the Year: On The Scoundrelism of Anonymity

  1. Scott F 02/09/2010 at 3:29 pm

    You just WISH you had his hair!🙂

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    • Jim 02/09/2010 at 3:31 pm

      dude didn’t own a comb! but that is some crazy hair.

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  2. […] "Anonymity, that shield for every kind of literary scoundrelism, must disappear. The pretext for its introduction into literary periodicals was that it protected honest critics from the wrath of authors and their patrons. But for every case of this kind there are a hundred cases where it serves merely to allow complete irresponsibility to reviewers who would be unable to defend what they write, or even to conceal the shame of those so venal and a … Read More […]

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  3. Doug 02/09/2010 at 6:04 pm

    Doc, that is you in 15 years. Except for the hair, which will be falling out. But, your weight will be down due to your late night gym workouts and your lawn mowing. And you will be wearing overalls.

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    • Jim 02/09/2010 at 6:10 pm

      (you know that’s not really me, right?)

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  4. Doug 02/09/2010 at 7:10 pm

    Of course I know. You don’t look anything like that, usually.

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  5. steph 02/09/2010 at 9:16 pm

    Of course Jim looks EXACTLY like that every time he blogs. I’ve seen that expression every time I read this blog, reflected in the computer screen…

    (except when he morphes into Zwingli)

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  6. NT Wrong 03/09/2010 at 12:19 am

    I agree. It’s disgraceful.

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  7. Emerson Fast 03/09/2010 at 12:30 am

    I love philosophers. Half the fun is in looking at their photos! I think it was either Leibniz or Lessing that looks absolutely rad. We’re talking the most absurd baby-face of all time.

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  8. steph 03/09/2010 at 9:06 am

    yes – and even you aren’t anonymous, Wrong, not that you’re really Wrong anyway.

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