Monday, October 31, 2011

What fanatics really want

In fact, often the fanatic is more interested in you than in himself. He wants to save your soul, he wants to redeem you, he wants to liberate you from sin, from error, from smoking, from your faith or faithlessness, he wants to improve your eating habits, or to cure you from your drinking or voting habits. The fanatic cares a great deal for you; he is always either falling on your neck because he truly loves you or else he is at your throat in case you prove to be unredeemable. And, in any case, topographically speaking, falling at your neck and being at your throat are almost the same gesture.

Amos Oz, from How to Cure a Fanatic (excerpted in Utne Reader, November/December 2011)

(I think I'm going to buy Mr. Oz's book . And check out the superb cover illustration by Tom Richmond!)

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