Joseph O’Neill on the Dutch literary hero Nescio. – Slate Magazine

Nescio’s work is highly preoccupied with the vexing, tragicomically lopsided proportions of human endeavor. All of Nescio’s writing is framed by the problem of a life’s smallness, and almost all of it is concerned with the grandiose struggle of young men, or men who were once young, against the compulsory dimensions of experience—metaphysical bafflement, the inseparability of desire and suffering, the demands of duty and work and social respectability. Not for nothing, in this context, is the English word plight (a bad situation) related to the Dutch word plicht (duty, obligation):

via Joseph O’Neill on the Dutch literary hero Nescio. – Slate Magazine.

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