Yes, that which is beautiful allures, entices, draws one to itself, invites one to partake in a seemingly heavenly embrace… yet one must understand the bitter riddle it represents. We need beauty, because beauty escorts us through our ordeals, infusing them with meaning; beauty, in short, helps us to feel less alone. But perhaps on this point I should “speak for myself,” as they say, rather than generalizing for all humanity, a group for which I am particularly loath to advocate, hearty misanthrope that I am.
Yes! I will speak for myself, dropping all pretense of humanist piety. Yes, yes. It is best to approach things in such a manner, particularly since no one who reads these words will appreciate my insistence on putting themselves in my place, as I am a terrible man, indeed. No! Perhaps not a terrible man, but—all the worse!—simply a pitiful man, the sort you deride and laugh at, the sort whose behavior makes you cringe, and mutter to yourself, “There but for the grace of God…” But there is more to the story, and that “more” is what renders me terrible; yet even in my terribleness, I still remain essentially pitiful. Thus I am robbed even of the dignity that accompanies being a straightforward, thoroughgoing villain.