What then does it mean to be a Romantic? Is he one who does not fear? Is he one who is blind even to the basis for fear – that is, the possibility of failure, of pain, of disaster and grief? By no means! Indeed he sees all of that – perhaps even more so than the ordinary person, for the more keenly he is aware of these things, the greater a Romantic he is. The difference between him and the ordinary person then is this: that the more he sees the shadow of Fear looming on the horizon, the more he is emboldened to rise above it, the more he is ready to believe that those fears are in fact groundless. And perhaps this sounds like a paradox, an absurd notion. But don’t the higher and purer things in life often bear a hint of the absurd?


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