Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Writer's Almanac: "Self-Knowledge" by C.K. Williams

C. K. Williams
Because he was always the good-hearted one, the ingenuous one, the one
who knew no cunning,
who, if "innocent" didn't quite apply, still merited some similar connota-
tion of naïveté, simplicity,
the sense that an essential awareness of the coarseness of other people's
motives was lacking
so that he was constantly blundering upon situations in which he would
take on good faith
what the other rapaciously, ruthlessly, duplicitously and nearly always
successfully offered as truth. . .
All of that he understood about himself but he was also aware that he
couldn't alter at all
his basic affable faith in the benevolence of everyone's intentions and that
because of this the world
would not as in romance annihilate him but would toy unmercifully with
him until he was mad.

"Self-knowledge" by C.K. Williams, from Flesh and Blood. © Farrar/Straus/Giroux, New York, 1998.

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