Monday, June 11, 2012

Auden on "Righteous Anger"

"Righteous anger can effectively resist and destroy evil, but the more one relies upon it as a source of energy, the less energy and attention one can give to the good which is to replace the evil once it has been removed. That is why, though there may have been some just wars, there has been no just peace. Nor is it only the vanquished who suffer; I have known more than one passionate anti-Nazi who went to pieces once Hitler had been destroyed. Without Hitler to hate, their lives had no raison d’ĂȘtre."

-- W.H. Auden, "Anger," in: Angus Wilson, et al., The Seven Deadly Sins (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1962), pp. 84-85

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