My Aunt Dahlia, who runs a woman's paper called Milady's Boudoir, had recently backed me into a corner and made me promise to write her a few words for her "Husbands and Brothers" page on "What the Well-Dressed Man is Wearing". I believe in encouraging aunts, when deserving; and, as there are many worse eggs than her knocking about the metrop, I had consented blithely. But I give you my honest word that if I had had the foggiest notion of what I was letting myself in for, not even a nephew's devotion would have kept me from giving her the raspberry. A deuce of a job it had been, taxing the physique to the utmost. I don't wonder now that all these author blokes have bald heads and faces like birds who have suffered.
There is a literature that does not reach the voracious mass. It is the work of creators, issued from a real necessity in the author, produced for himself. It expresses the knowledge of a supreme egoism, in which laws wither away. Every page must explode, either by profound heavy seriousness, the whirlwind, poetic frenzy, the new, the eternal, the crushing joke, enthusiasm for principles, or by the way in which it is printed. On the one hand a tottering world in flight, betrothed to the glockenspiel of hell, on the other hand: new men. Rough, bouncing, riding on hiccups. Behind them a crippled world and literary quacks with a mania for improvement.
There is no discussing theology, sociology and politics when someone is under the spell of a self-enclosed totalitarian ideology. Intentionally or out of ignorance, Ahmed, who is empirical in all matters, detests pointless and laborious philosophical imaginings, never-ending discussions, or clashes of ideas that might be respectful of non-believer opponents and sinners deserving only of complete contempt.