Pity the Poor Paranoid

For he does not know how much he does not know. Hofstadter:

“L.B. Namier once said that “the crowning attainment of historical study” is to achieve “an intuitive sense of how things do not happen.” It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him.

We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only in the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.”

Hey, I found the essay on-line, supposedly the version that was originally published in Harper’s in 1964. (I suppose it’s possible that there might be differences between that version and the version published in the reissued book I’m reading, so my apologies for any discrepancies.)

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