He had, by now, the look of a man who was waiting for something which had happened long before.
~ William Gaddis, The Recognitions
It’s quite possible to miss the boat when it comes to one’s own life. It’s possible to miss several different boats, actually. Similarly, it’s possible to live one’s life entirely within the bounds of someone else’s story or someone else’s ideas, to view existence only through lenses ground to a long-dead stranger’s prescription. As much as I might dislike the dogma of radical individualism, I admit I can’t do without it. I’m desperately in love with the idea of my own exceptionality – hoping (and conscious of the irony of hoping in someone else’s words) that Emerson was right when he called “every man’s condition a solution in hieroglyphic to those inquires he would put.”