Interview with Theodore Dalrymple

Eloquent as always. From The Coffee House Wall Interview.

‘Have we seen a different type of person arise in the West … ? How else would you explain that the virtues of respect, duty, deference and self-sacrifice seem to have been universally derided if not abandoned?

Certainly I am worried about a shallowness in the human personality that, if I may so put it, appears to be deepening. Even such things as the electronic media of communication, for those unfortunate enough to have been brought up with them, seem to hollow out human relations, making them extensive rather than intensive. As to derided ideas such as humility, proper deference and so forth, I think we live in an age of inflamed egotism, and of individualism without individuality. Never has it been more necessary, and at the same time more difficult, to mark yourself out as an individual. The slightest subordination in any circumstances is therefore felt as a wound, because the ego is so fragile, and relies on such props as the brand of trainers you are wearing.’

One Reply to “Interview with Theodore Dalrymple”

  1. Dalrymple is a psychiatrist. A rather poor psychiatrist. He bases his views on ‘the shallowness of the human personality’ on the mental patients he says he encountered in his hospital over a period of a decade and a half. He is undeniably a fine writer but what he writes is semi-autobiographical fiction. I have invited him to confront some of the patients he has levelled rather unpleasant accusations against. I don’t expect a response.

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