Thanks to the fact that I write, my life is satisfactory: I can inhabit gloom and live in joy. When something unpleasant happens to me, provided only that is potentially of literary use, my first thought is ?How best can I describe this?? I thereby distance myself from my own displeasure or irritation. As I tell my patients, much to their surprise
—for it is not a fashionable view —it is far more important to be able to lose yourself than to find yourself. —Theodore Dalrymple —Reasons to be cheerful (Spectator)
Dalrymple is an erudite, literate medical doctor who specializes in prison services. He is also a wonderful writer.